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Steel Meets Steel showcases the ten year mark in Hammerfalls musical career, respectively. The first best of compilation by the band and pretty kick ass if you ask me. The reason why I bought this album: I’d never heard any Hammerfall before and I wanted to test them out. Because of this fact, I can’t judge this release by the selection of tracks from previous albums and whether or not it is a good representation. I can, however, judge this release by the quality of songs presented. Having never heard Hammerfall before, I can proudly say that I am impressed. If these are the best tracks from previous albums, than I can’t wait to hear the songs that weren’t included. Catchy choruses, classic metal riffing, and epic lyrics all round. How can you go wrong.
The Journey Starts with The Abyss, quite an epic intro track, and then moves to Last Man Standing, an honourable Hammerfall song. As the album progresses, Hammerfall’s sound is showcased through several power metal standards. Hammerfall v2.0.07, The Dragon Lies Bleeding, Glory to the Brave, Renegade, and countless others. All quite similar to each other, yet at the same time, very individual and different. Some are very melodic, epic, power metal anthems, where as some have a more classic metal sound, similar to Judas Priest. Fury of the Wild is a good example of this. There are also a few ballads on this release. Restless Soul and Never, Ever, although ballads, still showcase very heavy guitar in the chorus. The second disk is relatively similar to the first. Still full of awesome Hammerfall Tracks which seem to come at no end. Overall, each song is as memorable as the last. Although these guys don’t show a lot of technicality or diversity, they make up for it in melody and sing-a-long chanting. There’s a solid guitar tone, standard drumming and clean vocals, everything you would expect from a safe power metal album. But what makes Hammerfall different is their ability to kick ass by fusing heaviness and melody together, to create some awesome and memorable tracks. Ever since I bought this album, Hammerfall has become one of my favourite power metal bands. This release features some pretty sweet live tracks as well that you just can’t help but thrust your fist in the air and sing along to. Not only are the songs fun to listen to, there’s two full albums worth of them. Making 10 Years of Glory totally worth the money. Some things that bring the album down a bit is the quite obvious Swedish accent, which is even more prevalent on the live tracks when Joacim starts speaking what I assume is Swedish to the crowd. The low chanting on some of the tracks can get a bit tacky at times but that’s part of the whole Hammerfall package I guess.
To those of you who are already fans of Hammerfall I can’t really tell you much on whether you should purchase this or not. But to those of you who haven’t experienced this band and are looking for a power metal band to get into, I highly recommend this epic, sing-a-long, fist pumping, dragon slaying release, for it showcases the might of Hammerfall. I can’t wait to pick up my copy of Glory to the Brave.