New wave needs a different name. I mean, it's been around
since the 70s and is no longer new. Nobody has managed to do that yet. However,
whatever you want to call it, many a metalhead loves it and I am no exception.
The exception I have with Hazy Hamlet is one that divides opinion throughout the
entire metal community. Is it 'influence' or is it 'copying'? Well, I have to be
honest and speak for how I feel, and my view is this:
Hazy Hamlet, in all but vocal style, copy Iron Maiden. The lead guitar is all
Dave Murray in both tone and technique, the rhythm guitar is almost without
exception the same tone as early Maiden, with a lot of the riffs coming straight
out of that era. The drums, particularly the intricate symbol work reminds me a
lot of Nicko and just listen to the bass and try telling me with a straight face
that it wasn't modelled on Steve? It's a carbon copy.
Ok, I mentioned 'in all but vocal style'. Well, the vocals are more power metal
in style and lyrical content. Norse mythology, wars etc, and all sung in a much
lower tone than you would associate with the Air Raid Siren. Those of you that
are not aware, that was Bruce Dickinson's nickname. On one occasion, 'Jaws Of
Fenris', power metal creeps in and takes over one track. For the rest of it, you
could replace the singer with Bruce and easily think that this is a Maiden
album. I suppose in many ways that is a compliment - I certainly am not
trying to insult anyone.
It's enjoyable to listen to and they've done very well at recreating the classic
tone that Maiden fans love, but the fact remains it is still not their own.
Whether intentional or not it sounds a lot like they are trying to be Iron
Maiden and we already have far too many copy cats.
I'm sorry guys, 'cos I do like the songs but there is no getting away from the
fact that your tone, style, song structure, and significant portions of riffs
all come very obviously from one band. Ok, Vocals no, but everything else, yes.
Beyond a shadow of an inkling of a doubt.
For that reason I must, with regret, give this album a 'try again' rating of 49.
You are clearly all very proficient musicians. Please use that talent to create
That being said, the issues I have with this album are issues that will not
bother a lot of people. It happens a lot after all. Like Avenged Sevenfold who
copy Metallica, Airbourne who copy AC/DC, and Machine Head who, until recently,
copied whoever was popular at the time.
I know it may be controversial, but I am in a very lucky position of being sent
records to review, and then asked to give my honest opinion. You now have it.