"Kingdom of the Hammer King"

By Dr. Abner Mality

Germany's Hammer King have a very one track mind when it comes to subject matter. Consider the song titles on display here: "Kingdom of the Hammer King", "I Am The King", "I Am The Hammer King", "We Are The Hammer", "Glory to the Hammer King". Then again, it's not much of a surprise considering the band's bass player is named K.K. Basement.

What you see is what you get. If Hammer King sounds like a knockoff of Hammerfall, Manowar and any other "warrior" metal band, you are 100% right. This is very much a heavy dose of Hammerfall worship, you don't need a hammer to hit you in the head to know that. All the pieces are in place, but they don't quite fit. Hammer King seems like Hammerfall's little brother that's hoping to catch up to him but is 2 or 3 grades behind in school. Opening song "Kingdom of the Hammer King" is a regal mid-tempo power metal song with an unforgettable chorus. The first 3 songs here had me thinking they might be in the neighborhood of their influences, but the rest of the album tapers off. It just doesn't measure up. Singer Titan Fox (I'm sure that's on his birth certificate) is a more nasal and whiny version of Joacim Cans...not bad by any means, but definitely second-tier. The faster songs like "Blood Angels" and "Figure In The Black" are adequate but not enough to send you into a fist-pumping frenzy.

It's decent medieval power metal but Thor's hammer Mjolnir this is definitely not.