Hammerforce - Dice (2009)
©Perekrestok Records


  1. Dice (4:18)
  2. Fury of the Nordmen (3:51)
  3. Malleus Maleficarum (4:56)
  4. Fall of Monsegur (5:14)
  5. Pink-Minded World (4:07)
  6. Quest to the Lonely Mountain (5:58)
  7. We Are the World Pollution (5:41)
  8. Piano (8:06)
  9. Breakaway (4:54)

Joel: I was a little skeptical of diving into an album that is under the classification of Power Metal because I find that this genre is a little too 'castle' for me. Second, there are not very many metal acts from Russia that are considered high caliber or are even recognized for that matter. I have officially been made a believer and Hammerforce's debut release "Dice" instills hope that Russia has some undiscovered Metal machines out there just waiting be absorbed by bloodthirsty fans.

Jeremy: Like Joel, I was hesitant upon initial listens of Hammerforce, mainly because of two specific reasons. 1: Their name is a merge of Hammerfall and Dragonforce. Hammerfall, I find to be creative and constructive, whereas Dragonforce, I see as a marketing ploy who play very bland music at top speeds to make their finished production sound technical and innovative. And 2: I am very picky with Power Metal. With that being said, I saw it as my duty to the band, who very politely contacted us regarding their album to provide them with an unbiased review.

Joel: The vocals are not those of traditional power metal bands. In fact, Nikita "Tjalvi" Valamin reminds me of original Sieges Even vocalist Franz Herde (circa 1986-1991) in combination with Iron Maiden's Bruce Dickenson. To say the least, this in itself is a huge complement. The hint of Russian accent on top of that gives his vocal style a distinguished sound. If Tjalvi decided to get involved with some rougher vocal moments and even some growls, then the outcome would certainly be paramount.

Jeremy: Although my preferred department is growls, I've always found Power Metal vocals to be very unique. Aside from the clear melodic singing, the high-pitched wails of this genre's vocal style always make the hairs on the back of my neck stand straight up. Hammerforce, however do not utilize such vocals. Instead, vocalist Nikita Valamin pursues the stylings of Heavy Metal, whereas the high pitched wails of traditional Power Metal are almost completely vacant and instead, use of traditional melodic singing comes in to play. Vocally, I hear a large influence by Blind Guardian's vocalist Hansi Kursch, which, believe me, is a grand statement of praise. As far as complaints for the singing department goes, the only thing I can think of is that very scarcely the vocals hit the wrong note. Apart from that, very good job. Honestly, I am greatly impressed.

Joel: My research revealed than many compare this band to Dragonforce. I completely disagree. Anyone who would compare this band to Dragonforce have no clue what they are talking about. First of all, D.F is as castle as you can get. I mean, seriously, why do we need to subject ourselves to crap like that? Crap by a band that are out to wow listeners on an album and ultimately fail to produce performance quality during live gigs. Hammerforce have a nice technical side to them, (ala Circus Maximus, particularly keyboards and guitar riffs) and a realistic quality that certainly could be recreated for live performances. The atmosphere of "Dice" also holds true to what Kamelot is able to give the listener. So, take those two ingredients (and throw in some old Children of Bodom, a hint of Dream Evil, and the spirit of Winds) plus originality and you obtain a nice little package. The bass too has a nice raw twang to it that holds its own amongst its instrument counterparts, which is really nice to see in this genre.

Jeremy: The Dragonforce comparisons I read in another review for "Dice" were unjust and completely ridiculous. That reviewer obviously does not know real talent upon hearing it. Hammerforce are miles ahead of the Dragonforce on every level. As already stated earlier. D.F. are talentless, and rely on imagery and high speeds to further expand their popularity. Hammerforce on the other hand, pull the opposite, relying not on speeding up their sound via a computer to sound talented. Hammerforce are too good for that. Their creations actually have great amounts of melody to them, as well as excellent song structure and nice tempo changes. The keyboards add a nice effect to the Power Metal spirit of the album, while never going over the top like Children of Boredom, who do nothing but rummage up and down the scale relentlessly. Hammerforce make great use of perfectly placed keyboards and never cross the lines of cheesiness. In terms of guitar work, these Russians have Traditional Metal riffs perfected to the core. With hints of Judas Priest and Iron Maiden in the mix. On the subject of drums, Alexander Zhuchihin provides great skill in his department, not utilizing standard Power Metal beats all the time, while instead incorporating extreme-metal influenced Thrash-style beats adding to the heaviness of "Dice". Overall, I was very pleasantly surprised with Hammerforce, and I look forward to keeping up with the band and their future albums. You know that when you find a band that proves to you that the genre they play is far from dead, that you have struck gold.

-Split review written by Jeremy & Joel



blog comments powered by Disqus
Make a Free Website with Yola.