Hammers of Misfortune
Based in San Francisco, power/fantasy, D&D, neo-classical, guitar-god-metal-poet-stylists Hammers of Misfortune may be somewhat obscure, but they wield no small amount of respect among metal fans interested in the fringes of the genre. Utilizing three vocalists (one female, one Shakespearean and one death-screecher) to assume various roles in their high-concept tales of violent redemption, time travel and impending apocalypse, guitarists/vocalists Mike Scalzi and John Cobbett weave stratospherically harmonized guitars into a dense wall of Iron Maiden-isms, druidic acoustic passages and piano tranquility, all of this amid surprisingly unconvoluted storylines. Years of honing their craft yielded 2001's epic The Bastard on Tumult, followed by the supernatural riff-fest The August Engine in 2003 and The Locust Years in 2006, which came out on Cruz Del Sur. Scalzi also leads the similarly imaginative and unique metal band Slough Feg.