Archive for Hammerfall

Hammerfall – Built To Last

Posted in CD, Metal with tags , , , on 5th November 2016 by mickbirchy

Hammerfall
Built To Last
Power Metal, Heavy Metal
Released 4th November 2016
via Napalm Records

Hammerfall return once again with their brand of power metal. Their tenth album Built to Last is a pretty fun romp and is another fantastic piece to their legacy. Their musicianship and chemistry shines through. They really prove why Hammerfall are Built to Last.

The album opens with the old school style tune, Bring It. A fun way to open proceedings. Quickly followed up with the anthemic Hammer High. A song that I feel should become their new anthem. Built To Last really has a immense feel to it. With big choruses and well excited music. The guitar solos are beautiful and the when the music swells for a big chorus it’s a wonderful sound. The production has this flair of old school metal, like Judas Priest or Grim Reaper. The riffs are so defined and the rhythm is so tight when it all comes in together. It makes for one hell of a listening experience. The vocals of Joacim Cans ring beautifully as the intense metal bubbles below. The infectious sound worms it’s way into your ear and definitely keeps you hooked. The soulful ballads are particularly good. As they usually are in power metal. The creativity and imagination paint epic mental pictures in your mind. You don’t want that feeling to end.

You’d think after 10 albums and two decades of writing they might be short of ideas. Well in my opinion, there are very few original ideas anymore. Yet, if a band can get.me to hear something in a new way then it’s much appreciated. Hammerfall deliver the music with a sharp and crisp tone. Nothing sounds muddy or distorted. It’s beautifully clear. Every note and every beat is felt and it’s effective. Not a second is wasted on the album at all. In all honesty I don’t have that much more to say so I’m going to end it there. Otherwise I’d just be covering ground I’d already done. It’s an excellent album and I recommend it.

5/5

Mick Birchall

Advertisements

Hammerfall set to return in 2014 in full force

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , on 5th December 2013 by Nico Solheim-Davidson

Two years ago, Swedish metal lords Hammerfall announced that they would be taking a creative break after celebrating the 15th anniversary of their legendary debut Glory To The Brave. At the time Oscar Dronjak commented:

We are taking a pause to ensure that we have another 15 years ahead of us.

And vocalist Joacim Cans added:

The plan is to use the year off to recharge our batteries and come back more vital than ever with a new album in 2014.

Hammerfall’s anniversary show in Dalhalla (Shouldn’t that be Valhalla?) was recorded and later released on DVD, followed up by their final show at Wacken Open Air. The German festival was the first show Hammerfall ever did outside of Sweden, and marked the beginning of the long and passionate relationship the band has enjoyed with the German metal fans. After the story had begun and the first chapter ended, they will return and the band are proud to announce that they will be returning to perform at the 25th anniversary of Wacken Open Air. And in true metal style, the show won’t just be a standard one. Oscar Dronjak explains:

It’s very fitting that, when Wacken celebrates its 25th anniversary, they will get a proper Glory To The Brave anniversary show. This will be a throwback show to the European gig that launched it all for us: Wacken Open Air 1997. The set list will consist of all the songs from the first album and we’ll of course add some newer songs at the end. We will do this very unique show at Wacken and nowhere else, so if you miss it, you missed it.

August 2014 will also see the release of a new studio album from Hammerfall. The album is currently untitled but there will be a single released both on vinyl and digitally in June 2014. Oscar Dronjak reveals:

We’ve all kept ourselves busy with various projects of a musical nature, but, man, it feels good to finally announce that we’re going to release a new Hammerfall album next year! The album is set for an August release, and we have already begun writing songs for it. It’s always difficult to tell which direction we will end up going in when you’re in the middle of it, but it feels like this will be a mix of the very best of what we have done over the years. The time off has given us perspective on a lot of things, and the new material seems to reflect this. We’re all super excited to get this going again and bring you a revitalized and reenergized Hammerfall!

This new album will mark a return to Fredrik Nordström, who worked with the band in their early days. Joacim Cans explains:

It’s a great honour to have Fredrik Nordström back as the main producer for Hammerfall. As the father and founder of “The Gothenburg Sound” as well as the producer of Glory To The Brave and Legacy Of Kings we are confident that he will take our music to new and yet unreached levels.

James Michael who had co-produced the band’s latest studio album Infected will once again take over the vocal recordings:

In order to maintain the high vocal standard set on ‘Infected’ we will return to USA and record with multitalented SIXX:AM vocalist James Michael. Never have I experienced such great set-up and environment as when we recorded the previous album. Even though things will be different this time around since he is re-locating in Los Angeles, I am damn sure he will make my vocal chord deliver like never before.

This won’t be the only return to the bands roots. The artwork of the new record will be created by no one else, but Andreas Marschall, who actually was the founder of Hector, seen on Glory To The Brave and many other great Hammerfall artworks.

Hammerfall online:

http://hammerfall.net
http://facebook.com/hammerfall

 

Holy Dragon-Zerstorer

Posted in CD, Metal with tags , , , on 30th October 2012 by gothicspike88

Holy Dragons
Zerstorer
6th November
Power Metal
Released via Pitch Black Records

Holy Dragons are a power metal band from Kazakhstan. Founded in 1992, since their beginning to the present day, the main musical direction for the group is that the band sticks to the style of the eighties. The band has done 12 albums including their most recent one, Zerstorer.

After a somewhat quite and subdued first track, Voices of Lie, the album comes at you full force in the second track Dooms Day Angels at a very fast pace. When the vocals came in I can’t help but listen closely to the singer’s voice as he sounds very familiar – a bit  like Oscar Donjack from Hammerfall. It’s a very nice song to have opening the album has a few very nice guitar solos in the middle that will just want to make you do some air guitar to this track.

Man Who Saved the World picks up right where the second track ended, beginning with a somewhat subdued start on an acoustic guitar then kicking in with a fast paced tempo of drums and guitar and those Hammerfallesque vocals that I still can’t get that out of my mind. Again it’s a nice, catchy track with some very nice solos in the middle of the track. There’s a little bit where it sounds like the songs being played backwards before it comes at you again loud and fast for the final two minutes.

Project A119 is track has all the things I’ve already talked about and the added use of backing vocals add to the slickness of the vocals on this track. The guitar solo on this track is my personal favourite part of the track with just the way it sounds, making me try to tap my finger in time with its truly amazing sound.

Mutual Assured Destruction starts in a similar fashion to one of the previous track. I get the feeling this album could of been written and recorded by DragonForce  if I hadn’t already known it was Holy Dragon. Somewhat quiet backing vocals say the words “nuclear fire” on each chorus. The vocals again are good however I struggled on this track to understand what the lyrics were.

After a staggered introduction using the play pause play pause technique, Cuband Crisis begins to build up before finally getting going with a solo on both guitar and drums before the vocals finally come in properly. This is one track I actually enjoy. In the middle where the song changes to Insomnia, there’s a use of an organ which gives it a creepy haunting feel as though people could be coming to where a bomb has just gone off and there looking at the devastation it has left in this wake. This in turn brings in the acoustic guitar and some very haunting vocals before the song come round full circle and repeats its introduction.

F.R.A.G.I.L.E is a somewhat shorter track than has been used up to this point, a nice calm relaxing song with the acoustic guitar and the use of a keyboard combine well to give the listener just a little time to let their ears recover before coming back in again loud hard and fast for NORAD Alert. NORAD Alert is another fast paced opening with a very powerful guitar solo at the start, which leads into the vocals. Mainly on the chorus rather than the verses which I think it should always sound better. More catchy solos in the middle of the track before the vocals come back in for the chorus for the final three times before fading out to the sound of what I assume to be an alarm sounding an incoming nuclear attack.

 The Day After is the shortest track on the album making use of the acoustic guitar, giving the listener a chance to let their ears have a break.

HL 7442 begins very heavy on the drums which is a nice change – it’s good to finally be able to hear some more of the vocals on this track compared to other tracks on this album. The way the lyrics in this song talk about war and how some soldiers were not coming home again with a chorus is poetically done. I really like how this sounds within the context of the song its self.  Yet again. amazing solo work by Jurgen Thunderson. I really like this guy’s work and the sound he produces in terms of the vocals on this track – As I said before, it’s nice that you can hear what is being sang and that only helps add to how good this song really is. DEFCON 1 is the final track on this album, beginning with a very nice slow opening with use of keyboards. As the song builds up before it kicks in with the fast pace drums and wailing guitar riffs that have been present throughout the entire album. Again, you can hear the lyrics on this on which is a nice change.

I think personally for me this album Zerstorer isn’t that great while I love the guitar and drum work on this album. It’s the vocals on a lot of the tracks let it down massively, the fact you can’t understand them a lot of the time. Furthermore, I find the fact the first five to six songs sound almost exactly alike just how DragonForce sound on  their albums doesn’t help in any way at all.

3/5

Luke “GothicSpike” Smith