HAMMER KING – Hammer King

HAMMER KING - Hammer King
  • 7.7/10
    HAMMER KING - Hammer King - 7.7/10


Label: Napalm Records
Release date: June 11, 2021

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Although the first country that comes to mind when one hears the phrase “Thrash Metal” is most likely the US, it is not the only place to have fast Metal bands sprout one after another back in the 80s. One of those places is certainly Germany. Like the States have their legendary Bay Area Thrash and more crude and raw East Coast Thrash, Germany has their Teutonic Metal scene. With such legendary acts as Destruction, Kreator, Tankard or Sodom to name just a few, the German fast Metal scene quickly became one of the heaviest ones out there. And even now, almost four decades later, it still brings new decent bands. One of them, known as Hammer King, has just released their third record which also happens to be their self-titled one. These guys certainly do not bum around.

If anything can be said as soon as the first track “Awaken The Thunder” kicks in, then it is that this music is absolutely tight and solid. There seem to be no flaws and this concerns the whole album, not just the first track. It is generally known that people in Germany are very precise and reliable when it comes to various branches of industry that involve the making of things made of metal. Various makes of decent cars, posh high speed trains… but it’s not just that: it’s about the Metal bands as well and Hammer King is a spot-on example for sure. No single drum beat, no guitar or bass note… literally no single thing is out of place here. And the production – these guys certainly don’t represent the “What’s the cheapest studio we can afford?” attitude, but instead they’re more towards “What is the very best studio we can get away with?”

So what does Hammer King by Hammer King actually sound like? For those who are yet to hear it, it could be described the result of such bands as Blind Guardian or Tankard meeting such bands as Hammerfall and having a brief chat about Dream Theater. All of that topped with some extra sound that brings nothing but the middle ages to mind. The first tracks may not initially sound extremely exciting, but there’s nothing to worry about there: there are ten tracks on this album which is anything but monotonous. Already the third Track “Onward To Victory” heralds a nice change. There is a lot more catchiness to the whole song than to the previous two… and also, the bass sound is absolutely perfect. It’s always nice to hear a band that does not neglect the low frequencies. Getting back to the whole album, it is getting better and better as new songs come.

According to the rules of mathematics, 6 is the perfect number. One could wonder if the guys at Hammer King had that in mind as they were arranging the tracks on this album because “We Are The Kingdom” which happens to be the 6th track is probably the best track (although that is a matter of taste). This sure is something the knights from seven centuries ago would listen to before every battle – and they would become eternally invincible. The lead parts might remind the listener of the song “1410” by a moderately known band called Clairvoyant who sadly never made it really big. But the good thing is that Hammer King still stand a chance of making it to the world’s biggest festivals. Luckily the following track “Into The Storm” is also something on can instantly like. Oddly enough, it seems to have a bit of a Twisted Sister sound to it, which may sound like a bit of surprise… but still interesting for sure. The early Maiden-like harmonies in the end add up a lot of nostalgia to the whole thing. The album goes on until it’s time for the final, tenth, composition titled “King of Kings”. It definitely is the most sophisticated and complex track on the album and it gets better as the time goes on. It brings the legendary Russian band Arya to mind more than any other one. And that melodic breakdown… perfect way to conclude a rock solid album.

Overall, Hammer King is definitely a hot release that shouldn’t be missed the chance of giving it a listen. If someone likes Powerwolf for being Powerwolf and Hammerfall for being Hammerfall, they will like Hammer King for being Hammer King. It definitely sounds like a good idea to keep one’s eye on what Hammer King are up to. Their Teutonic might may soar anytime.


  • Miłosz Mikołaj Nizioł

    Miłosz is a reviewer here at Metal Express Radio. He was born somewhere in Europe and now lives elsewhere in Europe. Miłosz is a writer and it has always been his passion. Aside from that, Miłosz is also a bass player - back in his UK days he played in various bands, some of which made it to have their place in the history of Metal; this includes an English high speed Thrash Metal act Rager that got mentioned in Contract in Blood: A History Of UK Thrash Metal (Glasper, I., 2018).   When enjoying live music as a member of the audience, Milosz never says no to circle pits and a good wall of death. Besides Metal, Milosz has a very wide range of interests that don't need to be specified here since they're not about Metal. One of them can be, actually: Milosz LOVES coming up with parodies of various songs lyrics.   Milosz's Top 25 bands (in the following order) are: The Beatles Deep Purple & Black Sabbath Queen ]v[ E G A D E T ]-[ (until 24.05.2021, but still) Judas Priest Iron Maiden (first three albums mostly) Twisted Sister Mötley Crüe KISS (preferably with Ace and Peter) Exodus Overkill Pantera Rainbow (and DIO of course) Savatage Running Wild Testament Pink Floyd ABBA Red Hot Chili Peppers Death Dire Straits Alestorm Motörhead

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