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Hammers Of Misfortune - Overtaker review




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Reviewer:
5.5

32 users:
6.38
Band: Hammers Of Misfortune
Album: Overtaker
Release date: December 2022


01. Overtaker
02. Dark Brennius
03. Vipers Cross
04. Don't Follow The Lights
05. Ghost Hearts
06. Outside Our Minds
07. The Raven's Bell
08. Orbweaver
09. Overthrower
10. Aggressive Perfection


A very bumpy ride through aimless chaos.

"I very much dislike this": that is the first thing that came to mind when listening to Overtaker. So, first impressions of this record were (to put it mildly) underwhelming... And as the review score shows, the subsequent listens didn’t really make me change my mind about this one. Actually, they kind of did. I dislike it slightly less now, I think. Whether that’s due to it actually needing a couple of spins to appreciate it or because my brain is attempting to suppress all the things that annoy me on this album, I’ll leave that in the middle. But it’s definitely the latter...

Ok, enough venting. What exactly didn’t I like about Hammers Of Misfortune’s latest album? After all, the performances are overall rock solid, and the production is good as well?

Unfortunately, that’s where the positives kind of end for me. This album suffers very much from what I described in the first sentence of this review. It’s full of chaotic energy; is that a bad thing? No, not necessarily if you can channel it into songs that have a certain aim/goal and have something specific to tell. Here, it goes all over the place, and I just can’t figure out what the idea was behind most of the songs on Overtaker.

Furthermore, there is another big issue with this album: it’s incredibly hard to sit through in one sitting. Not because it’s so dull you want to fall asleep. No, here the big problem is the flow, or more specifically, the lack thereof. It all feels so incredibly disjointed and schizophrenic.

And I know the issues that I’m bringing up are all related to the lack of a central idea or vision. I say central idea, because I feel like there are a lot of ideas here. But they are all like pasta thrown at a wall to see what sticks, and to my disappointment, it’s not a lot. There are good moments sprinkled throughout most of the songs, but their impact is so limited that none of the tracks really stand out.

Perhaps I’m missing something. Or is this the style of record I should expect from Hammers Of Misfortune? This is the first time I’ve listened to a Hammers Of Misfortune album, and I was genuinely excited for my first spin. I saw how their previous records got overall very positive ratings, hence why I jumped on the opportunity to review this one. Sadly, though, it didn’t really satisfy me. Like with a lot of albums that I give a lower rating, I can see potential. On a technical skill level, these guys are fantastic; I can’t emphasize that enough. However, the overall songwriting fell flat for me. Combine that with the pacing and flow issues, and the result is an album that I wouldn’t recommend to anyone. I can see the potential that the band has; I can’t see any potential in this specific album. It’s too disjointed and inconsistent for that.


Rating breakdown
Performance: 9
Songwriting: 4
Originality: 4
Production: 8





Written on 31.12.2022 by You know I'm right, you just haven't realised it yet...


Comments

Comments: 6   Visited by: 81 users
31.12.2022 - 12:49
Rating: 8
Jacob Butcher

I somewhat understand where you are coming from, but I feel quite the opposite of literally everything you said here. For me, the album captures the same kind of chaotic energy that Sigh albums have, for example. If it were less chaotic, hyperactive, whimsical and carnivalesque, it would be less outstanding for me. I have zero pacing issues with it and it works best for me listening to it front to back. I guess one needs to have a certain knack for over-the-top things to appreciate this
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01.01.2023 - 13:51
Rating: 5
tominator
At best deranged
Written by Jacob Butcher on 31.12.2022 at 12:49

I somewhat understand where you are coming from, but I feel quite the opposite of literally everything you said here. For me, the album captures the same kind of chaotic energy that Sigh albums have, for example. If it were less chaotic, hyperactive, whimsical and carnivalesque, it would be less outstanding for me. I have zero pacing issues with it and it works best for me listening to it front to back. I guess one needs to have a certain knack for over-the-top things to appreciate this


Usually I'm quite fine with over-the-top elements on an album, but like I mentioned, I am also looking for an aim/goal/reason to the chaos. With this album, I seem to be missing that, which results in it falling flat whereas for you, there seem to be aspects that do work. I'm glad you enjoy it.
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01.01.2023 - 17:15
Desha
delicious dish
I also didn't really see much in this. And I'm a big fan of (particularly early) Hammers of Misfortune. This record is much more like some band members' side project called VHÖL, but not in a good way. It makes kind of sense as an evolution from the previous record (at least in production), but even that had way more structure and even quite a few memorable hooks to it. Not a fan of this one. You should definitely check out their previous material though!
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You are the hammer, I am the nail
building a house in the fire on the hill
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01.01.2023 - 23:24
Rating: 5
tominator
At best deranged
Written by Desha on 01.01.2023 at 17:15

I also didn't really see much in this. And I'm a big fan of (particularly early) Hammers of Misfortune. This record is much more like some band members' side project called VHÖL, but not in a good way. It makes kind of sense as an evolution from the previous record (at least in production), but even that had way more structure and even quite a few memorable hooks to it. Not a fan of this one. You should definitely check out their previous material though!


It does seem like there are a lot of people who like this band. One record that doesn't work for me, isn't going to stop me to check out some of their other work. The technical skills of the band members are indisputable, so I wouldn't be surprised if one of their other albums does work for me. I will check some of those previous records out soon.
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02.01.2023 - 02:03
nikarg
Mod
I am with you all the way. I actually found the record annoying. But I like their early stuff, and I think you'll like them too. I suggest you check out The Locust Years, especially.
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02.01.2023 - 21:56
Rating: 8
Tuonelan

I'll second the Locust Years recommendation for getting a sense of what people love about the band (though The Bastard is its own kind of fun). Cobbett told Invisible Oranges that he didn't write this with any one of his bands in mind, he was just chasing the idea of something like early Genesis prog crashing into and through early Sadus thrash.

For me it hits the same spot that Solefald did in their more experimental moments. It's got a swagger to its experimentalism that sounds like people having fun chasing ideas and not worrying if the result is accessible. Like all true experimentation, the results are not going to please everyone, and that's fine.
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Nie mój cyrk, nie moje małpy
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