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Ok, lets me serious here for one minute before this review starts. Hammerfall are not for everyone, especially the tr00 and elite metalheads. Many hate this band because they are too cliche and have not one ounce of originality in their bones. Uh, this is true but for some reason, I still find this band admirable for a couple of reasons:
1) They are dedicated to playing metal;
2) They are good musicians; and
3) They are...and forgive me for saying this...fun to listen to. Metal? Fun? Oh, the horror of it all!! Now, calm down kiddies, this older metalhead does remember a time when metal was also music to have a good time to. Lets face it, a lot of Priest's music is meaningless fun music. And hey, thats not always a bad thing.
So, if you are interested in having a little fun, read on.
As far as live albums go, this is done very well. The song selection is good, the recording is top notch, the audience is mixed in well and does not overwhelm or underwhelm in that case, and the packaging is loaded with pics and info on the tour. So far, so good.
The songs - alot of the Hammerfall staples are here such as Riders of the Storm, Heeding The Call, Legacy of Kings, Steel Meets Steel, etc... If you are already a Hammerfall fan then you know not to expect the most insiring and well written lyrics. They are simple and predictable but fit well in the sing along context. There are some gripes here - solos. Ugh. The guitar solo is bearable but not worthy to fill up space here but the bass solo? What the fuck? Drum solos are bad enough but bass solos are an absolute nono. I deducted 10 points just for that.
Anyway, if you like Hammerfall, then you will dig this. If you despise this band, then this won't convince you otherwise. They are a mixed bag - its like taking one part Helloween, one part Dokken, one part Manowar, and one part Accept and mixing it in a blender and voila! - you have Hammerfall. Now, do understand that they can't touch those bands but they do bring back a forgotten element in metal - fun!