Label : Metal Blade Records

Review by Luisa Mercier

The Hammers of Misfortune are the creature of John Cobbett (already with Ludicra, Unholy Cadaver, Gwar and Slough Feg). They were born in late ’90s and now are about to release their fifth full-length, “17th Street”. Defining the genre they play it is quite a challenge. Basically it is a progressive metal with a lot of influences that draw up from so many different styles. Joe Hutton delivers the main vocal performance, but also the two girls of the bands (Leila, the guitar player and Sigrid, the keyboard and flute player) offer their contribution. You can clearly hear them in the title track: they grace the song in the choruses. Overall it’s a very up-tempo song with some slight folk/country influence. “The Grain” is quite epic with an emotional chorus and perfectly fits the concept of the album about “loss and ending”. The following “Staring (The 31st Floor)” has a distinctive Nevermore feeling, reminding me of the song “Garden of Gray”. Way less gloomy is “The Day the City Died” with its sweeping keyboards who give the song a Queen-ish mood. Quite romantic the piano intro for “Summer Tears”, the only ballad of the album in which the two girls deliver the background vocals in a 70s prog rock atmosphere. “In Grey Wednesday” we are back to power/prog metal, while the closing track “Going Somewhere” is the longest on the album and in its 10 minutes embodies everything the band stands for: progressive metal, male & female vocals, heavy metal, power and a slightly doom-sludge influence. Hammers of Misfortune have crafted a very good release that will appeal a wide variety of metal listeners, given the multitude of genres featured in “17th Street”.

Rating – 80/100



  1. 317
  2. 17th Street
  3. The Grain
  4. Staring (The 31st Floor)
  5. The Day the City Died
  6. Romance Valley
  7. Summer Tears
  8. Grey Wednesday
  9. Going Somewhere


Line Up

  • Joe Hutton – Vocals
  • John Cobbett – Guitars & Vocals
  • Leila Abdul-Rauf – Guitars & Vocals
  • Sigrid Sheie – Organ, Keyboards, Vocals & Flute
  • Max Barnett – Bass
  • Chewy Marzolo – Drums



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