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Review

Hammer King – Poseidon Will Carry Us Home Review

Band: Hammer King
Album: Poseidon Will Carry Us Home
Label: Cruz Del Sur Music
Genre: Power Metal
Country: Germany
Release Date: October 5th, 2018

Nautical imagery is always interesting, whether it evokes a mythological presence or speaks to the brute force of Nature.  In popular culture, films like Titanic and The Perfect Storm chronicle the destructive power of the sea while raking in large profits at the box office.  The imagination of man has always been fascinated with real and imaginary sea monsters that lurk beneath the ocean’s waves; there is no mystery behind the allure of literary epics such as the Odyssey and Moby Dick.  When I saw Hammer King’s album art for their third album Poseidon Will Carry Us Home, I was immediately intrigued.

Unfortunately, the hype of the album art and title do not reconcile with the overall mediocre effort produced by these German power metal enthusiasts.  Poseidon Will Carry Us Home suffers from a lack of consistency, and while there are a few stand-out moments, this is not the next power metal album of the year.

Poseidon Will Carry Us Home sets sail with the title track as galloping guitars swell beneath vocalist Titan Fox’s falsetto battle cry.  The song is typical power metal fare in the vein of Blind Guardian or Edguy.  The next track, “The King is a Deadly Machine” showcases a memorable chorus and adequate guitar lines.  “Battle of Wars,” is a tsunami of melodic bliss and one of the better efforts on the album.  The classic Maiden influence is clear in the opening riff and vocal melodies.  “7 Days and 7 Kings” is a worthwhile thematic effort with a memorable chorus.

Unfortunately, the ship begins to sink with all hands aboard after this, starting with the song, “Warriors of Angelhill.”  In fact, if it wasn’t for the epic song, “We Sail Cape Horn,” this would probably be a good stopping point for anyone but the most stalwart Hammer King fan.  Tracks 5-10 are either generic, tacky, or both.  Hammer King attempts to implement spoken parts and choirs, but they come across as forced or gimmicky.  If over-the-top humor was the purpose of these songs, it clashes with the more serious efforts on Poseidon Will Carry Us Home.  There are memorable guitar riffs throughout these songs, especially in “Locust Plague,” but these are marred by the ordinariness of the rest of the material.  I was tempted to hit “skip” more than once but forced myself to endure these tracks so that I could write an honest and cohesive review.

I think that Hammer King missed out on an opportunity with the final three songs of Poseidon Will Carry Us Home.  From the press release, it appears that these tracks are part of a “nautical trilogy” and are supposed to be a three-part movement.  This is not clear from the song names, even if it is hinted at in the lyrics.  Regardless of this omission, the only track that rises above the mediocre effort of Poseidon Will Carry Us Home is “We Sail Cape Horn.”  The song structure and some of the guitar riffs recall Maiden’s “Hallowed Be Thy Name.”  Hammer King nails it with this epic song.  I suspect that the final track of the album, “Meatus Majestatis” was designed to be an outro.  The effect of the chorus is somewhat disettling; Hammer King would have been better off with tossing this effort over the side and using the opus “We Sail Cape Horn” as a finisher.

Overall, there are some merits to Hammer King’s Poseidon Will Carry Us Home, but these are overshadowed by shallow song-writing and musical inconsistencies.  If Hammer King can produce more tracks like “Battle of Wars” or “We Sail Cape Horn” in the future, they could make a powerful statement in the power metal scene.  As it stands, however, Hammer King’s Poseidon Will Carry Us Home is an example of an album that started out with good intentions but ran aground instead.

Rating: 6/10

Tracklist:
1. Poseidon Will Carry Us Home
2. The King Is A Deadly Machine
3. Battle Of Wars
4. 7 Days And 7 Kings
5. Warriors Of Angelhill
6. Where The Hammer Hangs
7. Last Rites
8. Glorious Night Of Glory
9. Locust Plague
10. At The Mercy Of The Waves
11. We Sail Cape Horn
12. Meatus Majestatis

Total Playing Time: 48:12

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