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Hammerforce - Access Denied
27 March 2013

01. I Am I
02. Templates For All
03. Wasted
04. Mass Media
05. Fugitive
06. Earth Is On Trial
07. No Place For The Old Men
08. Reflections
09. Access Denied

The Russian Federation seems to be producing more and more good, quality metal of various types in the last half decade or so. At the moment I am more familiar with their brutal death scene but over the years I have run into several highly talented bands from Russia playing other genres: Tvangeste (symphonic black), Dominia (symphonic melodeath), Illidiance (industrial), and SunLess Rise (extreme power) to name a few. I'm thinking I need to delve more into their overall metal scene though rather than just the brutal scene.

Now to Hammerforce, what we have here is high energy, synth driven power metal (with progressive tendencies) of the highest caliber. You'd think, as I mistakenly thought, that this would be some kind of cheesy, over the top, nonsense similar to DragonForce (as the name might make one think), but it's not. Thank God, too! Instead it's very well written, high quality power metal. Think if you were to take the musical stylings of Finnish extreme power metal (dual guitar riffs/melodies/harmonies, solos and drumming) with a higher range, power metal vocalist (similar to Hansi Kersh that, at times, will reach up into the falsettosphere of King Diamond), and then drive it home with some trance/techno-style synths and keys a la Illidiance's Damage Theory. There are some progressive leanings here and there but I'm not sure if they are enough to really call this "progressive power metal", but this convergence of different styles is definitely going to make Hammerforce's Access Denied quite the force to be reckoned with in the 2013 power metal circles.

Whether you prefer older school power metal, or more modern power metal (or even that uber cheesy stuff like DragonForce), this album is sure to have you headbanging and air jamming along. This will also likely appeal to fans of the "extreme power metal" genre as well, I would think. My favorite tracks would probably have to be "Mass Media" and "Earth Is On Trial." This is definitely a must own for fans who like the earlier Children Of Bodom and Norther music (but with a power metal vocalist), newer Illidiance, and SunLess Rise.

Performance: 9
Songwriting: 9
Originality: 8
Production: 9

Band profile: Hammerforce
Album: Access Denied


written by psykometal | 17.05.2013


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R'Vannith - 17.05.2013 at 13:46  
Surprising amount of power in those synths, helps to have such strong and hooky songwriting overall. This album blew my expectations away as I had judged it by the album cover, had me thinking cheesy as well as cheap and plastic. How wrong I was!

Completely agreed with the wide appeal, should be an enjoyable listen for fans of a range of different power metal styles (hell I didn't expect to enjoy it), particularly those who go for those bands that use the trance synths.

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