|Posted on October 6, 2014 at 7:20 PM|
Hammerfall – (r)Evolution
Witten by The Rock Man
For those people who insist that metal music is dying a slow agonising death or that it is in fact dead, I’m here to tell you all with absolute authority metal is well and truly alive and thriving. The sceptics might ask “How can you prove that?” and my response would be by making them take a listen to the blistering, triumphant new album from Swedish metallers Hammerfall titled (r)Evolution.
Since their stunning debut album Glory To The Brave in 1997, Hammerfall have clearly been on a quest to restore metal music to its glory days of the 1970s and 80s. Over the past 17 years the band have been responsible for some of the best metal albums I have heard, albums like Legacy Of Kings, Crimson Thunder, Chapter V: Unbent, Unbowed, Unbroken and Threshold all come to mind. In 2014 the band can now add (r)Evolution to this glorious body of work.
Anyone that has followed the band will be aware of the band’s iconic warrior mascot Hector that adorns many of the album covers. The opening track Hector’s Hymn is a salute to this identifiable character and as such the track is very identifiable as classic Hammerfall in sound and attitude. Shredding guitar riffs, thunderous double bass drums and soaring vocals are all on offer from this track and this formula continues throughout the album. The title track follows and is a great straight ahead fist pumping rocker with a fire cracking solo. The first single from the album is Bushido which in Japanese means “The way of the warrior”. This is a track which tells the story of the code of the samurai.
Ex Inferis is a traditional mid-tempo sounding Hammerfall song with very big backing vocals and a really cool meaty chugging guitar riff. We Won’t Back Down is another in a long line of full steam ahead Knight’s Templar inspired Hammerfall juggernauts. “Silence, we have sworn/The oath, protect the earth, the sun and moon/My precious friends/United we stand ’till the end/ The vision, future’s demand/Has been written in the palm of our hands/When we charge the storm clouds amass/Cause the ace of swords will lead on this glorious day”.
Winter Is Coming is a true metal power ballad and is quite an emotional piece. It is also the only ballad on the record. Origins harkens back to the early days of the band with drums of fury, screaming guitars and a very strong chorus and again very familiar lyrics, “We’re brothers in arms searching for gold and glory/Stay true to your heart, come follow, heed the call/Come inside, true templars of the world/Raise your voice, let’s speak for the unheard/On and on the story must go on/Running free we always will be”.
Evil Incarnate tells the story of a guy who plays a card game with the devil for the souls of the human race. Naturally he loses. The album come to a fitting end with Wildfire which features a 30 piece female choir and creates a different atmosphere for a Hammerfall song.
At the end of the day you know exactly what you are going to get when you purchase a Hammerfall record. For me at least, I really find comfort in that. In knowing that all the elements that make a great metal album will be present and celebrated. They don’t need to keep up with the latest trends or experiment with different ideas to keep the band sounding fresh, no boys and girls Hammerfall know who they are, what they are about and on (r)Evolution they do it very well indeed.
Categories: Album Reviews