Big news on the local metal scene: San Francisco prog-shredders Hammers of Misfortune  have just signed to Metal Blade Records. Hot off the Metal Blade press-release telegraph:
"Metal Blade Records is pleased to announce the signing of San Francisco's progressive metal outfit HAMMERS OF MISFORTUNE. Metal Blade Records will release four of the band's previous releases in late summer 2010 with a new studio album expected in 2011."
According to the release, the band (conceived as "break-up proof" by band founder John Cobbett ) will continue to produce their own albums. Along with Cobbett (who's also in Ludicra ) on guitar, Hammers' regular members include Chewy Marzolo on drums (also a member of swingin' side project  King City ), multi-instrumentalist (keyboards, flute, and haunting vocals) Sigrid Sheie, and bassist Max Barnett (of Old Grandad  fame). News to me, thanks to Metal Blade's PR, is that guitarist-vocalist Leila Abdul-Rauf (whose previous band, solid black-metal outfit Saros, is on "indefinite hiatus," according to their Myspace page ) has joined the Hammers line-up.
Frankly, I'm stoked -- in a world where far too many shitty, quasi-metal bands  get record contracts, this is great news for one of San Francisco's most innovative, talented, hardworking, and (lest we forget) awesomely furious bands. Horns up, Hammers!