Fireworks

Hammerforce - 'Access Denied' Hot

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Written by Central Electronic Brain     December 21, 2013    
 
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More than enough melodrama and atmosphere to keep things interesting from start to finish.

Since Jimi Hendrix first turned his guitar to overdrive in the late 60s, the hard rock/heavy metal genre he pioneered has grown and diversified infinitesimally. Constantly evolving and reinventing itself, the proliferation of genres and subgenres that now fall within the arc of the broad overall umbrella is both confusing, yet at the same time amazing. As a consequence, whilst the boundaries are constantly being pushed, it becomes harder and harder for bands to establish a unique identity – the best most can hope for is due recognition within an already recognized mindset.

With that in mind, let me introduce you to Hammerforce, a hard hitting progressive/power metal quintet from the stunningly beautiful Russian municipality of St. Petersburg. Put together by rhythm guitarist/keyboard player Nikita Merzllyakov and guitarist/bassist Ilya Kapralov, Hammerforce tread the long established up-tempo symphonic power metal path with an intriguing little twist. First of all, the impressive range of 'new' frontman Dmitriy Yanovskiy seems to add an extra dimension to their sound, building on solid, yet fairly standard riffs to maximise the impact of the songs. Secondly, stylishly the ultra-modern sounding keys (which wouldn't be out of place on a techno or dance album) certainly give them a bit of an edge over the competition.

Fireworks - The Ultimate Magazine For Melodic Rock Music

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Released several months ago with relatively little (make that none whatsoever) fanfare, 'Access Denied' is the band's sophomore outing; the first (as alluded to earlier) with Yanovskiy installed behind the mic. On the first couple of run-throughs it seemed to be a competent enough (if fairly generic) sounding slab of European symphonic power metal, but after a while the progressive nuances, vocal diversity and futuristic keyboard sounds really seemed to enhance their overall approach. If you can imagine Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Stratovarius and Dragonforce jamming at a techno rave (throw in the odd progressive curve ball a la Dream Theater), you won't be a million miles away from where Hammerforce are headed with tracks such as 'I Am I', 'Fugitive', 'Reflections' and Wasted'.

Don't let the largely up-tempo pace put you off because there's more than enough melodrama and atmosphere coursing through 'Access Denied' to keep things interesting from start to finish.

Dave Cockett

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