Hammers of Misfortune – “The August Engine” (2003)


Label : Metal Blade Records

Review by Tony Cannella

The second release from San Francisco, California’s avant-garde/progressive metal band Hammers of Misfortune is called “The August Engine” and was originally released in 2003. The bands whole back catalogue has recently been re-issue by Metal Blade records. “The August Engine” begins with a bombastic instrumental piece, “The August Engine Part I” and segues into the more sedate, “Rainfall”. The band picks up the intensity with the powerful “A Room and a Riddle”. The 9-minute “The August Engine Part II” is next and continues with the heavy, melodic bombastic nature of the CD. “Insect” slows things down a bit with some nice acoustic guitar and the female vocals are out front giving the song a bit of a hypnotic slant, before rapidly picking up the tempo and heaviness as the male vocalist takes over. The “Doomed Parade” quickly became a favorite. Great vocal contributions from the male and female singer and fantastic guitar harmonies are on display here. The 11-minute, “The Trial and the Grave” brings this 44-minute opus to a close. Hammers of Misfortune are the complete package. As with their debut, there is a lot going on sonically with Hammers of Misfortune. The mix of the vocal and musical styles makes this a truly unique and entertaining listen. It is becoming increasingly obvious that the positive buzz this band has generated is well deserved. You want to call them Progressive Metal, Folk Metal, Doom Metal, Power Metal? Go ahead, it’s all there.

Rating – 90/100



  1. The August Engine Part I
  2. Rainfall
  3. A Room and a Riddle
  4. The August Engine Part II
  5. Insect
  6. Doomed Parade
  7. The Trial and the Grave


Line Up

  • John Cobbett – Vocals, Guitar
  • Jamie Myers – Vocals, Bass
  • Mike Scalzi – Vocals, Guitar
  • Sigrid Sheie – Keyboards, Vocals
  • Chewy Marzolo – Drums


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