Review : HAMMERS OF MISFORTUNE – “Fields/Church Of Broken Glass”

Hammers Of Misfortune - “Fields/Church Of Broken Glass”
Re-Released: 2010Aug03 (US)
Label: Metal Blade
Rating: 3.5/5

This is the re-release of “Fields/Church Of Broken Glass”, the fourth album from Hammers Of Misfortune that was released in 2008. By listening to “Agriculture” commence, you can decipher the sounds that will dominate this album. In fact, “Fields” and “Motorcade” feel more like an extension of the first track than separate tracks. They attempt to incorporate a Genesis/ELP influence on all three, but personally, I feel that is too counterproductive to their unique sound.

“Rats Assembly” changes things up in a positive way, with thrash-like guitars and drums mated to the organ. Admittedly, the organ seems out of place here but it’s still an interesting track that attempts to break the monotony of the first three tracks. “Always Looking Down” seems to nail the 70s progressive influence, even with organ present. “Too Soon” has female vocals and flute mated to upbeat bass notes. As this track shows, Hammers Of Misfortune shine the most when they are given more time and more room to express themselves. “Butchertown” is the longest track on this album. Instruments have a slight doom tinge to them and if it were not for the organ and droning nature, it might actually be the best track. “The Gulls” shows them at their experimental best. Lots of jamming with a definite arena-rock influence. Think Ozzy Osbourne’s solo work if it were released in the mid-70s instead of the early-80s. On an interesting note, this album also has “Church of Broken Glass” from The Locust Years and there doesn’t seem to be too much of a difference between versions.

I feel that this was a difficult album to listen to and my reasoning has to do with the drop off in folk and doom influence and the over-emphasis on organ. It might be wise for Hammers Of Misfortune to consider touching more on their roots, and find the common ground that best incorporates all of their influences into a whole. This album feels like a slight mis-step, but there is always hope in the upcoming Hammers Of Misfortune album, scheduled for a release sometime in early-2011.

FCC: Clean
Try: 5,6, 710

01. Agriculture
02. Fields
03. Motorcade
04. Haruspex
05. Rats Assembly
06. Always Looking Down
07.Too Soon
08. Almost (Left Without You)
09. Butchertown
10. The Gulls
11. Church Of Broken Glass
12. Train

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