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Hanover Fist

HF III

Review by Gary Hill

I have to admit that I never heard of this band before. They originally came out in the mid-90s, but honestly, their sound seems rooted in older eras, at least as represented here. This album seems like a lot of it is tied to the NWOBHM sound. After the death of their drummer, they broke up for a few years, but are now back, and this new set is on fire. I hope they continue putting out music because this is such a strong CD.

This review is available in book (paperback and hardcover) form in Music Street Journal: 2020  Volume 5. More information and purchase links can be found at: garyhillauthor.com/Music-Street-Journal-2020.

Track by Track Review
Outta My Head
I dig the killer riff that opens this driving stomper. It's a smoking hot number that really pounds out with style and fury. It's a great opener. There is a raw edge, and this makes me think of NWOBHM styled metal.
Jukebox Dancer
With some real raunch and roll in the mix, this is another killer metal tune. The riffs aren't as magical as those on the opener, but this still rocks like crazy. The guitar soloing is particularly tasty.
Cats and Dogs
A lot of times the third slot on a metal album is devoted to a ballad. Well, this is not a ballad, but it is much slower than the previous tunes. It still has plenty of true steel in the mix. I really love the guitar sound on this, actually.
Dreamin
I don't think I'd consider this number to be metal at all. It's more of a power-pop tune. It makes me think of bands like Off Broadway, Cheap Trick and Enuff Znuff.
Room with a View
They waste no time getting back to the fierce. There is a punky edge to this, but overall it really feels like NWOBHM. This is raw and has some killer riffs.
Captain
This is a tune that makes good use of the contrast between faster and slower sections. It's a nautical number that is one of the highlights of the set. Everything about it just works so well, from the lyrics to the song structure and guitar solo.
Sweet Leaf / Peace Pipe
As you might imagine, they start this with a cover of the Black Sabbath song, right down the opening cough. They play it pretty straightforward and faithful. They turn that out into a cool psychedelic rock metal sound with original lyrics after the first verse, but come back to the chorus and second verse from there. The new verse that comes after the second Sabbath one has a rap metal vibe. They continue the mashup concept by bringing it back to the original for the instrumental break. They take this sort of bybrid concept through the duration of the track. It's an intriguing blending.
Risky Business
I really dig the main riff on this screamer. This isn't anything earth shattering, but it is a powerhouse metal tune. It's one of the highlights of the set. I'm reminded to some degree of a cross between NWOBHM and Metallica.
See You Again
There is such a great classic metal vibe to this screamer. I love the guitar fills, but the whole song is just plain effective. This is another highlight of the CD.
Quest
I love the mean guitar sound on this. The tune has a bit of a thrashy element to it, but probably leans more toward doom metal. They have definitely hit the best part of the album by this point because this is another standout.
Blackout
Here is another cover. This one is the classic from the Scorpions. They deliver a solid version. It's a bit rawer than the original, but fairly faithful beyond that.
Buzzsaw
This has such a great doom metal sound. It's a mid-tempo number that just oozes old-school Black Sabbath sound. There are some interesting changes, and this is a killer tune.
Neurotica
While not a big change, this is another effective metal stomper. The cut earns a parental advisory.
Mean Ole Axe
A galloping guitar riff starts this a bit like a metal version of old-school Queen. This is very much a callback to the days of NWOBHM. It's a solid, if not standout, tune.
 
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