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Heavy Metal Troops On The Rise - 98%

WishmasterTheDark, December 11th, 2011

HammerFall continued their heavy metal crusade started with Glory To The Brave in order to save the heavy metal music and wipe away the plague which affected it in 90's. Posers were shocked because of the attention HammerFall got, and they started hating on them. But did they stop HammerFall? No fucking way. This studio album is a killer classic heavy/power metal machine made of songs which continue Gory To The Brave tradition,with fast and slower songs, with passionate ballads too. There are many excellent fast songs: Heeding The Call, Legacy Of Kings, Stronger Than All and Warriors Of Faith, with ground-shaking drum work, raw, classic and heavy riffs and some well-placed power chords, orgasmic melodic lead guitars, fast, tasty, unique and technical demanding guitar solos, soaring vocals, catchy refrains and well-written lyrics. Dreamland belongs to this group of fast songs, but it's not excellent like others. That is the only weak moment on this album. If the lyrics could have been more creative, specially refrain, then everything would be all right. So, it has memorable riffs, leads, guitar solo, it's really enjoyable very good song, but not excellent.

On the other side, there are slower songs like Let The Hammer Fall, which has monster classic heavy riffs, creative killer drum rhythms, and that's easily one of the coolest sing-along songs from this album, along with Heeding The Call and At The End Of The Rainbow. Although Let The Hammer Fall is faster than At The End Of The Rainbow, it's not as fast as the songs I mentioned above. At The End Of The Rainbow is one of those songs which will stuck into your mind after the very first listen, but many others as well. All songs will actually stuck into listener's mind without leaving him 'til the day he dies, except Dreamland which is the weakest song from here. Really weird thing is that such an passionate, slow, piano-driven ballad like The Fallen One remained in shade for very long time. Maybe it's just me, but actually I have never paid enough attention to that song. It's a true jewel, just like Remember Yesterday, the other excellent ballad from this studio album. They covered Pretty Maid's song Back To Back, and made it much more bad-ass. They played it so well, and made it sound like their own, so I'm not surprised that some people think it's their own.

The album artwork perfectly represents HammerFall's role in heavy metal music. Of course they were not the only band formed in 90's which actually played heavy metal music, but not many other bands did it the way HammerFall did. Some 80's bands started to bend, and tried to adjust the mallcore trends like groove, industrial, -core, nu etc. Lyrics are not about knights and dragons, but mostly about "fighting for heavy metal" (keeping it alive) and playing it they way it was, just like Black Sabbath, Manowar, King Diamond and other masters did. For example: Heeding The Call which says - we are the ones to resurrect heavy metal, Legacy Of Kings which says - we''ll keep it true, Let The Hammer Fall which is self-promotion song, At The End Of The Rainbow which represents the new found way to keep heavy metal alive, Stronger Than All which says - you can say whatever you want, we don't give a fuck etc. Some songs express their feelings like Remember Yesterday and The Fallen One. These songs show that you don't have to pretend to be harsh and "br00tal" with down-tuned guitars, growl-screams/shrieks, wannabe bad-ass lyrics etc.

Good sides of this release:
Just pure fucking heavy metal, that's all you can get from HammerFall. This release is highly recommended for every metalhead, and metalhead only.

Bad sides of this release:
The only weaker moment is their very good song Dreamland, which prevented this album from being pure masterpiece. But anyway, this album is excellent.

Highlights:
Heeding The Call, Legacy Of Kings, Let The Hammer Fall, Remember Yesterday, At The End Of The Rainbow, Back To Back (Pretty Maids cover), Stronger Than All, Warriors Of Faith and The Fallen One.