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17TH STREET

Hammers of Misfortune

Experimental/Post Metal


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Hammers of Misfortune 17th Street album cover
3.67 | 11 ratings | 2 reviews | 36% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 2011

Songs / Tracks Listing


1. 317 (3:39)
2. 17th Street (4:41)
3. The Grain (7:14)
4. Staring (The 31st Floor) (3:47)
5. The Day the City Died (4:30)
6. Romance Valley (5:19)
7. Summer Tears (6:37)
8. Grey Wednesday (3:58)
9. Going Somewhere (10:05)

Total Time 49:50

Lyrics

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Music tabs (tablatures)

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Line-up / Musicians


- John Cobbett / guitar
- Chewy Marzolo / drums
- Sigrid Sheie / organ, piano, vocals, flute
- Leila Abdul-Rauf / guitar, vocals
- Joe Hutton / vocals
- Max Barnett / bass

Releases information

Metal Blade Records, 24th Oct. 2011

Thanks to yam yam for the addition
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Locust YearsLocust Years
Metal Blade 2010
Audio CD$5.11
$5.99 (used)
17th Street17th Street
Metal Blade 2011
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August EngineAugust Engine
Metal Blade 2010
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$5.99 (used)
BastardBastard
Metal Blade 2010
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Fields & Church of Broken GlassFields & Church of Broken Glass
Profound Lore 2008
Audio CD$9.59
$7.26 (used)
Fields/Church of Broken GlassFields/Church of Broken Glass
Metal Blade 2010
Audio CD$7.50
$6.31 (used)
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HAMMERS OF MISFORTUNE 17th Street ratings distribution


3.67
(11 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(36%)
36%
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(55%)
55%
Good, but non-essential (9%)
9%
Collectors/fans only (0%)
0%
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)
0%

HAMMERS OF MISFORTUNE 17th Street reviews


Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by ozzy_tom
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars So far I've listened to 2 albums recorded by this formation "The Locust Years" and "Fields / Church of Broken Glass ". Both of them were filled with interesting prog-metal with surprisingly important role of Hammond organ played by female keyboardist Sigrid Sheie. Formation's 5th CD called "17th Street" it's a continuation of this trend. While I noticed that organ started to play a slightly smaller role in the music, my overall reception of this record is even better than previous stuff of Hammers of Misfortune. I just realized that after few listenings I already remember some of the melodies included here. Maybe for die-hard prog-metal aficionados it's not so important, but for such symphonic prog-rock fan like me captivating melodies are as much important as technical proficiency of musicians.

Anyway the latest "child" of Hammers of Misfortune includes 9 entertaining songs bordering between prog-metal and heavy prog genres:

1. "317" - album kick off with powerful guitar and organ riffing in this mysteriously named track. In fact I thought it will be an instrumental composition but near the end pompous, symphonic metal vocals appear. Overall it's a real introducing punch in listener's face.

2. "17th Street" - while previous track was more in Ayreon valley, this one has more in common with "traditional" progressive metal style, so lovers of Dream Theater and Symphony X should dig it (however vocals here are much lower than high-registered "shrieks" of James LaBrie). Anyway it's a rather good, fast-paced and aggressive, but not groundbreaking song.

3. "The Grain" - it's definitely the core of the album! Fantastic song, really. While it doesn't have any spectacular solos or new ideas, it has one of the most catchy melodies I've heard in prog-metal world. It's a simple and in the same time amazing composition.

4. "Staring (The 31st Floor)" - definitely the weakest song on the album. Very tiresome and bland. Lots of ultra heavy guitar layers and doom-like vocals. Almost no keyboards at all too. Waste of space on the disk...

5. "The Day the City Died" - and he's my number two after "The Grain". Another phenomenal song, very enjoyable in its simplicity. Very groovy rhythm, amazingly memorable refrain and splendid organ/acoustic piano layers. I also love that guitar here is much more in hard rock vain than metal style. To be honest "The Day the City Died" reminds me of Ozzy Osbourne's material from 80s (and as you can see from my nickname, I always liked Ozzy :-).

6. "Romance Valley" - speedy power-metal song with breathtaking electric guitar riffing and organ filling out the space. Not horribly memorable but good enough to be used as a "nice" headbanger ;-). While listening to this song I think about Japanese band Sigh and their "Gallows Pole" album.

7. "Summer Tears" - surprisingly soft song driven by classical-influenced acoustic piano (yeah, Sigrid Sheie not only blasts our ears with organ but she also can play beautiful piano passages!) and melodic vocals. And those classic-rock sounding guitar solo, ehhh...You will be shocked if you expected another stomping metal, but for me it's a great song.

8. "Grey Wednesday" - Doom metal organ blasts as from the beginning of the song, but after about 1 minute Hammers of Misfortune comes back to prog/power metal territory. Lots of crunching guitars and dirty Hammond chops make is another decent track.

9. "Going Somewhere" - and here comes an epic. It was inevitable that we will have some epics on progressive metal/rock album. Unfortunately it's not so exciting as I wished it to be. A bit too repetitive and restless rhythm doesn't let me enjoy this piece so much. However I don't say it's bad 'cos there are still many good moments, especially some speedy guitar/organ marathons.

In general I'd recommend latest album of Hammers of Misfortune to people who like progressive metal but look for something more than 10+ minutes electric guitar solos where you can hear more dazzling sounds in one second than you can even comprehend... I would say that prog-metal style presented on this album is more sophisticated and casual listener friendly.

If you prefer your prog-metal more diverse and retro-prog rooted like this, I'd also recommend you to check such formations: Ayreon, Sigh, Death Organ, Solefald or Ansur. But I think that fanboys of Dream Theater and Symphony X may also find music on "17th Street" interesting.

Best tracks: "The Grain" & "The Day the City Died"

4 stars from ozzy_tom

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Send comments to ozzy_tom (BETA) | Report this review (#558168) | Review Permalink
Posted Thursday, October 27, 2011

Review by AtomicCrimsonRush
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Symphonic Team
3 stars Hammers of Misfortune are a band I have always liked for many reasons since 2003's "The August Engine". They fuse very strong metal riffing with inventive time sigs and some excellent keyboard work. The lyrics are a real drawcard for me as they are uplifting and thought provoking always. They have an excellent lead guitarist with John Cobbett and the organ of Sigrid Sheie is terrific. The sound reminds me of Riverside or Sky architect. The vocals of Joe Hutton are easy to understand and very well executed. Other musicians make up the soundscape including Chewy Marzolo on drums and Max Barnett on bass. Leila Abdul-Rauf is a fine guitarist and vocalist too, balancing all the male vocals. Sigrid Sheie also plays flute in places and sings. It is a grand metal sound that is generated, though the lineup has changed slightly adding extra members.

On this album "317" the title track is majestic and slow until we get to some very fast riffing on the wonderful '17th Street'. Sigrid's vocals are very noticeable and I hoped later we would hear more of her. There is a great doom metal crawling riff, so simple and effective. I loved how it just locked into a riff and kept the signature throughout and yet remained so completely compelling.

'The Grain' is a progressive ever shifting metal track with a terrific melody and very accomplished lead break. I love the riff on this just hammering along. The chorus is catchy too, though sung too often. The conclusion of this is organ shimmering over piano phrases. 'Staring (The 31st Floor)' is a short metal blaster, chopsticks piano over outbursts of distorted guitar. Nothing against Joe, but please let the girls sing for a bit and this is just non stop vocals and the melody is rather mediocre at best.

'The Day the City Died' follows with a fast tempo, and some nice time sig changes. A nice harmony between the male and female vocalists. This sounds lot like Symphony X in places. 'Romance Valley' is more fast metal to bang your head in to the wall to. Followed by soft slow meandering 'Summer Tears'. The lead break is great on this. Sigrid's sweet piano is dreamy. It has an unusual feel to this, not metal and descending chords sound like 'Phantom of the Opera' melody.

'Grey Wednesday' is next with grand doomy chord splashes, and then a fast riffing metal guitar with some massive Hammond organ. The fast tempo really woke me up after the slower material. It sounds very much like classic 80s metal in some ways, not Anthrax, Metallica or Slayer, more like anthemic power metal like Manowar, or Helloween. 'Going Somewhere' is the longest track clocking 10 minutes. The mini epic starts with piano and then a huge riff crunches in, Joe's strong vocals and some harmonies, though the ladies are silent on this except for echoing some phrases. The sig changes in a retro classic metal style. No lead break forthcoming and then another melodic riff and another verse some falsetto here too. The keyboard solos to follow are excellent though not as good as the lead break which consists of very fast hammer ons and speed picking. There is a galloping metal riff shift, and more lead breaks to end it.

"17th Street" is another solid album from underrated Hammers of Misfortune that deserve more reviews and attention.

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Send comments to AtomicCrimsonRush (BETA) | Report this review (#618633) | Review Permalink
Posted Wednesday, January 25, 2012

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