THORS HAMMER — Thors Hammer (review)

THORS HAMMER — Thors Hammer album cover Album · 1971 · Jazz Related Rock Buy this album from MMA partners
4/5 ·
Thor's Hammer are a bit of an unknown bunch picked out from the 70's prog scene, but usually in my experiences obscure bands produce the best music, and that's definitely true here. The band's sole album and debut was released in 1971 and is as energetic as the best of them. A problem that I've found with eclectic prog bands is they feature too much emphasis on experimentation and not enough on, well, the music. Here however Thor's Hammer combines all sorts of dazzling elements, like operatic rock, symphonic rock, and hell why not throw in a few crunchy riffs here and there. It truly takes a lot of effort to be a consistent, but TH pull it off very well. Although extremely eclectic, the album is refined even when it gets to it's most climactic points. As for jazz influences, they aren't exactly prominent aside from Simon Koppel's drumming and Jesper Neehammer's occasional saxophone breaks. Hell, King Crimson used saxophone and I still don't consider them to be very jazzy. The song selection, although short is extremely well done and each track has careful time and care put into it. A major highlight is 'Not Worth Saying', a powerhouse of a song where there is not one, but two solos from guitarist Michael Brunn and from Koppel. I would sort of say that the following track 'Blind Gypsy Woman' is so similar in atmosphere that it is just a continuation of the former.

The only problem I would say I have with the album is after the third track the erratic powerful nature the album has starts to lose it's punch; there aren't any really breaking points or slower sections. I'd hate to parallel this with VDGG but on Pawn Hearts, after the loud rocker 'Lemmings', 'Man-Erg' started with a beautiful piano opening to sort of calm you down and prepare you for the rest. If the album were to have at least a few interludes that calmed the atmosphere a bit, this would be close to a perfect experience. Other than that I have no problems except for the cover. But I mean if the music's good what does that matter?

So I'd suggest take a look at this one. Eclectic prog, next to jazz-fusion is the prog sub-genre where I found has usually the best musicians. Give these guys more attention because they deserve it.
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