“King is Rising”

By Theron Moore

Excuse me while I don my dungeon master’s hat and dodge a bunch of flying hammers comin’ at me!  There, that’s better.  If Hammerfall is Manowar light then Hammer King is…well, what about the music, right?  Does it rock?  Absolutely.  Hammer King’s “King is Rising” is good power metal.  I mean, c’mon, it’s kinda hard to screw it up.  Anyone with a heavy metal recipe book can pull it off with the right players.  Plus, I like the vocals.  From a musical standpoint, sans the silly lyrics, the band sounds good.

Hammer King for the most part is tighter, more cohesive and easier to connect with than their peers, Hammerfall, but still come off cartoony.  Both bands are into this hammer rock thing which I don’t get because of the caricature nature of it.  If both Hammerfall and Hammer King broke away from it they’d destroy, because musically, both bands are good. 
Especially Hammer King which I like better.  But with “King is Rising,” Hammer Kings’ second record, we’re still dodging flying hammers, celebrating all things king and dumb and talking about being mighty warriors on the battlefield.  I made up a brief list of what I’m talking about which I’m sure isn’t near to complete –

“The King is the Hammer.  The Hammer is the King” from the song “Hammer is the King”
"King is Rising"
"For God and King"
"The Hammer is the King"
"Viva ‘La King"

At best this is bruh-metal, you know, the kind of thing you chest bump to while lifting at the gym, delivering the odd grunt or two, trying to look cool with your weight belt on.  That’s about the depth of Hammer King so far.  If you’re into X-Box, all things bruh, and you’re probably 17 or 18 years old, you’ll get “King is Rising.”  If not, I’d steer clear of this record.