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Built to Last - 60%

kluseba, September 10th, 2019
Written based on this version: 2019, CD, Napalm Records (Limited edition, Digipak)

HammerFall seems to be on autopilot these days since Dominion is almost an exact copy of predecessor Built to Last. The band offers melodic mid-paced traditional heavy metal with catchy choruses, epic choirs and skilled guitar play. While records like r(E)volution had some immediately appealing tracks, the material on Dominion takes a few spins to grow but especially the album's second half makes it an overall enjoyable experience despite its bland approach.

Heavy stomper ''Dead by Dawn'' has a chorus supported by background shouts that should be sung by thousand of fans in concert. Up-tempo track ''Bloodline'' convinces with an uplifting melodic chorus of epic proportions. Closer ''And Yet I Smile'' starts as power ballad but evolves into a passionate heavy metal song with soulful vocals and optimistic lyrics and might overall qualify as album highlight that ends an average release on a truly convincing note.

There really isn't much to say about HammerFall's Dominion. The album offers the mid-paced traditional heavy metal you have come to expect. The skillful vocals, technically appealing guitar play and sincere heavy metal spirit of the veterans keep this record away from mediocrity. Fans of the band will like this album while those who resent the band might qualify this output as yet another exchangeable scoop of vanilla metal. Don't buy this record and support a younger band but make sure to catch the Swedish veterans on tour instead.