Hammerforce - _Dice_
(Perekrestok Records, 2008)
by: Daniel Cairns (4.5 out of 10)
The Eighties were the best. The hair was amazing, people had excellent clothes and the music was brilliant. Mostly. Yet for every Slayer, Gary Numan or Duran Duran, there was something so putrid and foul, that it threatened to stink up the decade for ever. I am of course talking about soft metal. The decade was mired in the kind of mawkish shite that finds itself on various rock ballad compilations. Like Europe (the band), basically.

Hammerforce unfortunately manage to evoke that side of the Eighties; the side that should drown in its own hairspray-laced vomit forever more.

There isn't actually anything glaringly awful about _Dice_. It's basically the kind of crap that you'd hear soundtracking a "Transformers" film, and if that floats your boat, then by all means have a listen. They're a talented bunch as well. The singer in particular sounds mildly like Devin Townsend, albeit Devin Townsend when he's taking the piss.

So yeah, it's well played and upbeat soft power metal and, erm... that's about it.

Hammerforce play music that is so derivative and void of depth that you wonder why they bother. This is Rhapsody without the histrionic ballast. This is Dragonforce without the drunken lunacy. This is... tiresome pish. If this is the kind of music that you feel warrants repeated listens, then you've probably had a brain bypass.

Actually, I'm being slightly cruel. Some of the album is actually fun, in the way that it sounds like music from a Sonic the Hedgehog game, and everyone knows that music from Sonic the Hedgehog is best. No argument.

As an overall metal package though, it fails utterly. Power metal works best when there's a knowing wink and nod behind it. Look at Hammerfall, or the aforementioned Dragonforce. Regardless of your opinions about them, they are clearly completely aware of how ridiculous they are. Hammerforce (Christ, even the name is derivative) however, don't seem so sentient. You can imagine them on stage, shamelessly brandishing their fists of emotion, singing their cheesy songs without a trace of irony. It doesn't help that the lyrics are hilariously earnest. "We are the nature's rubbish, We are the parasites, There are too many of us, but you're still telling lies." Eh? Who's telling lies? It's like Bono throwing a wobbler.

You know, it pains me to be so horrible, because from the pictures they sent with the package, they look like very nice boys, but in the words of the immortally foul tempered Christian Bale, "that don't fuckin' cut it".

Hammerforce probably work best then if you've just discovered your first pubic hairs. It's up-tempo, simple nonsense that'll pass by in forty minutes. For the rest of us though, it's a big no no. It's about as dangerous and edgy as a bunny rabbit farting.

Contact: http://www.myspace.com/hammerforceband

(article published 15/3/2009)

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