Power of Metal.dk Review

Style: Power Metal
Release date: 29 August, 2014
Playing time: 49:00

Many times I ask myself the same question: why do I like the debut or the second album (and sometimes the third) of a band the most and think they are the best albums by the band, no matter how many records they release after that? Is it because the songs are just less well written, or is it because I expect too much of a new album? Iron Maiden, Metallica, Metal Church, Anthrax, Exodus, Flotsam & Jetsam, Volbeat, Agent Steel, Entombed, Sepultura, Overkill and I think I can go on and on for a long time mentioning other bands.

Anyway, I don't think it is just me, because a lot of bands get to a certain point where they also realize that their first albums are still the most popular ones. That is the reason why some bands return to their roots and start writing songs again that are a bit similar to the first albums. Listening to the new HammerFall album I get the same feeling. It reminded me a lot of their first album 'Glory to the Brave'. HammerFall has been a band since they started that you either love or hate. For some they are a kind of posers playing power metal, for others they are the blue-print of how power metal should sound like. This will not be different I think after this new release.

The new songs sound again a bit more aggressive, a bit faster and with the same kind sing-a-long refrains reminding of the debut. In between the faster songs come once more nice hymns with a lot of melody and strong vocal parts. Opener "Hectror's Hymn" sets the high standard for the rest of the songs on the album. An up-tempo pure power metal track with all the ingredients of a real HammerFall song. Immediately the link with the first album is there. Strong riffs, a nice refrain, double bass drums, galopping guitar and the typical for HammerFall gang singing style. Joacim Cans opens on the second mid tempo track with his mighty voice and after that the hymn "Bushido" takes over. For those who like it a bit more up-tempo there is besides the opening track "We Won't Back Down", "Origins", "Tainted Metal" and "Wildfire". "Winter is Coming" is a kind of baladesk epic track in typical HammerFall style.

Fans of the debut album will surely be pleased with this new album and it can't be a coincidence that Frederik Nordström took care of the production. The music on the album isn't an evolution, nor is it a revolution. It is old wine in new bottles, but it tastes good enough for me and I'm far from saturated.

01. Hector's Hymn
Live Life Loud
Ex Infernis
We Won't Back Down
Winter is Coming
09. Tainted Metal
10. Evil Incarnate
11. Wildfire
12. Demonized (bonus)
Label: Nuclear Blast
Distribution: Sony Music (Denmark)
Reviewed by: Reinier de Vries
Date: 29 August, 2014
Website: www.hammerfall.net