PATRICK HEMER - The Writing's On The Wall

Patrick Hemer - The Writing's On The Wall

11 songs
58:53 minutes
***** ***


Patrick Hemer is a French guitarist who’s most popular in Germany and Japan, mostly for having played on two albums (The Sky’s The Limit, Worlds Apart) by the now defunct power metal band Horizon. He recruited that band’s bass player and two further musicians to found his own band, named after himself, although he claims that this is not a solo project.

Stylistically Patrick Hemer more or less heads into the same direction as Horizon, locating himself somewhere between power metal and progressive metal. As Patrick Hemer mostly spends his time as a guitar teacher and a studio musicians, The Writing’s On The Wall, which came out in late 2019, is only his second album, eight years after the debut More Than Meets The Eye. He shows from the beginning his craft and skills on his special seven string guitar. The opener Yesterday’s Burden is playful metal that doesn’t hide the fact that Yngwie Malmsteen is one of his biggest influences. This kind of virtuosity can be witness throughout the album.

Even though the production sounds modern, the music still has the flair from the Eighties. Most tracks have vocals, courtesy of Patrick Hemer himself. His slightly nasal voice reminds of The Scorpions’ Klaus Meine. You have to wait until the sixth track, Pandora’s Box, before you get an instrumental where Patrick Hemer can unleash his inner guitar hero. One should not forget though that he is backed by an incredibly tight rhythm section that adds to the songs’ success. The album’s heart piece is undoubtedly the ten-minute-long The Legacy which starts as a ballad before evolving into a classic hard rock track. Due to its generous length, the song comes with many twists and turns that make this quite an adventurous and varied piece of music.

Patrick Hemer has shown with his new album that he still hasn’t lost his skills. Progressive power metal fans will enjoy The Writing’s On The Wall from the first to the last note. This is a timeless kind of music which had its beginnings in the Eighties and still works all these years later. Patrick Hemer is supposedly working on an upcoming instrumental album, and I wonder if it will revive the spirit of Mike Varney’s Shrapnel label.

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