|Review: Hammerforce - Access Denied|
Year released: 2013
Genre: Power Metal
Review online: March 25, 2014
Reviewed by: MetalMike
Rated 3/5 (60%) (5 Votes)
Hammerforce is a Russian Melodic/Power Metal band that plays a keyboard-heavy yet still crunchy brand of music that bears similarities to both the Italian/Finnish and German schools. Access Denied (Dostup Zakryt in anglicized Russian) is the band's second album and was independently released after a crowdfunding campaign enabled the band to pay for the studio time to put it together. Access Denied has been released with both Russian and English lyrics and the version I have is the former. I didn't think there was anything particularly new on Access Denied until I started paying attention to the keyboards. Their style is different than is typical of Power Metal in that they skew away from the classical roots of Rhapsody and Sonata Arctica and lean towards techno. If you had just suggested this to me I would have assumed it would suck but after hearing the album, surprisingly, it doesn't. The crunchy guitars compensate nicely and the vocals are not unlike Rob Halford with a dash of King Diamond thrown in. I have no idea what the lyrics are about but I was tapping my foot and strumming the air guitar regularly. This is the kind of Power Metal that sweeps you up with majestic major chord changes and speedy tempos that carry you from song to song. On the down side, there isn't a whole lot of variation between the songs on Access Denied so it starts to sound a little stale toward the end and that's something Hammerforce will need to address on the next album. Ultimately, Access Denied is not your typical Power Metal album, though not so different that fans of the genre won't be able to pick it up and enjoy it from the get go.
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