Hammer King – Poseidon Will Carry Us Home (2018)

I would have never expected that a band lyrically based on hammers and kings would ever go so far, but here we are into the third outing from Hammer King and I’d be lying if I told you that it didn’t have several notable moments laid within. I’m heavily reminded of Hammerfall with the album’s title track and opener, plus it has a rather remarkable solo and that’s always a good note. “The King Is A Deadly Machine” comes off even stronger, with chugging riffs that truly feel like they’ve been channeled from Priest. With another catchy chorus, the band are currently two for two. “Battle Of Wars” features a folk-influence, which once again works well for the band and shows a necessary sense of musical diversity. “7 Days and 7 Kings” comes off a bit lackluster, but I won’t deny the amount of structure laden within it. It’s definitely a more complex number, reminding me a little bit of Avantasia, but the chorus falls a bit flat. “Warriors Of Angelhill” is decent enough, but it doesn’t really strike me all that mightily and simply reminds me a little bit too much of mid-era Hammerfall. I could have sworn I’ve heard the riff melodies in that chorus somewhere before this one, and that’s not necessarily a good thing. “Where The Hammer Hangs” actually brings the album back up to speed, with a punchy, almost thrashy vibe and a notable chorus node. That’s the kind of thing that will get stuck in my head folks, so they’ve succeeded with this one. “Last Rites” can be skipped over.

“Glorious Night Of Glory” feels like a march of sorts, so we’re definitely pushing in the right direction. The chorus doesn’t seem like it would work so well, until you examine the flow it has with the rest of the piece. Like “7 Days and 7 Kings” this piece also seems to show more complexity in songwriting; but this time it doesn’t fall quite so flat. In fact, they were able to get it right and I’ll applaud them for attempting it again. Following that, we have “Locust Plague” is a short little number that seems to excel in it’s speed and guitar acrobatics. “At The Mercy Of The Waves” almost clocks in at the same length as the other thickly structured cuts on this piece, but it really pounds down in the chorus number and merely utilizes it’s extended length for some slight acoustics and a rip-roaring solo. The solos on this record are pretty mighty, so you’re definitely getting a memorable performance with this one. Unexpectedly, the band tried for a much longer cut than even the album’s more structured numbers with “We Sail Cape Horn.” This track clocks in at just a little over seven minutes and makes it’s impact quite clear. Though the beginning of the song is quite a bit slow and merely delays the extreme firepower that we later get, it’s the second part of the song that got stuck in my head. This is definitely where the band perform at their strongest, making them much more than a mere novelty act that just sings about “hammers and kings.” I’m not really sure what to say about “Meatus Majestatis” and am quite sure there’s got to be a dick joke in there somewhere. However, it is performed to quality standards and makes a final pass, even though this feels like a bonus track to me. The record should have ended with “We Sail Cape Horn” in my opinion, because that’s the real epic finisher and closes the disc on a much stronger note. Bands have committed this grave sin for many years though and I suppose I will just overlook Hammer King’s folly here as well.

Ultimately, this is Hammer King’s most musically accomplished album to date. While not as catchy as previous efforts, the record definitely shows them as a heavy hitting power metal act that is definitely worth a listen and will certainly appeal to fans of Hammerfall, Avantasia, Helloween and dozens of power metal acts the world over. Poseidon Will Carry Us Home is definitely one of the best power metal efforts I’ve heard this year and I think you’re going to dig it too. Just in case it fell under the radar for you, now might be a great time to pick it up. There’s just a few shortcomings and songs out of place, but that doesn’t stop it from showing a band continuing to evolve and grow into something even greater than it already is. At this rate, they might even surpass their influences. This king is definitely coming to conquer.

(12 Tracks, 48:00)

8.5/10

Purchase HERE (Bandcamp)

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