• Riders Of The Storm
  • Hearts On Fire
  • On The Edge
  • Crimson Thunder
  • Lore Of The Arcane
  • Trailblazers
  • Dreams Come True
  • Angel Of Mercy
  • The Unforgiving Blade
  • In Memoriam
  • Hero's Return

Joacim Cans - vocals
Oscar Dronjak - guitar
Stefan Elmgren - guitar
Magnus Rosen - bass
Anders Johansson - drums

HAMMERFALL: "Crimson Thunder"                 www.hammerfall.net          
review by Dalia "gryphon_spirit"
Ah here Hammerfall play safe! Crimson Thunder is a very good album we cannot deny it, and every lover of Power Metal will soon elect  it like one of the fav CD's. The most particular feature in my opinion is that the old flavours and chords à la eighty years are fully taken  back and reproposed in a darker way. The new trend that sees the Power Metal march in the double track of the revival of classic rock resonances, and, at the same time, of the new taste towards  darker horizons is fully confirmed by Crimson Thunder. Besides the usual hymnic and galloping rhythms, here we can find a more emphasized research towards slowliness and sadness. The catchy tracks are many and maybe too catchy sometimes, i mean this is an album that hits the mark, goes straight to our ears with easiness showcasing all the persuading chords, instrumentations and rhythms you can imagine. Yes but this way one could be caught  in the trap of being too commercial . Indeed,  darkness apart, there is not much innovation in this album, but surely there are many tracks fully unespected from HammerFall!! Crimson Thunder can be listened  and enjoyed by a wider range of audience a last!.  You can argue till the day of the Last Judgement about the image of Hammerfall as a band, i couldn't care less about their usual detractors, i don't give a flying f*ck of how a band is dressed up, or of how stages the performances, for me only 2 things are important: music and the way a band interacts with  audiences and fans . So OK TO THIS CRIMSON THUNDER: slower, darker, catchy , generally mid-paced, with rather simple but effective riffs, at the end of story not pretentious.  And those who think it's the usual hackneyed music full of clichés have only to  listen  well with well washed ears to the dark atmospheres here and there,  to Joacim Cans' powerful vocals never too high (ohhh always a point a favore for me) ,and to the precise and sharp soundscape. Yes i admit: there is not the Helloween touch which trasmutes every Power in a very exciting thing, but another time i couldn't care less. Moreover many chords let  remind too much  other songs previously proposed in the metal wide wide world : so many times i wonder: "ehy!  but this passage is reminding  me something!"  but again i couldn't care less. Even better if some resonances  are recovered and recycled for the new generations. Discussing on this level, what should we say then about the countless covers of the hip hop genre and related ones??

The production is impeccable and the time passed listening to this album runs away in a minute. I suggest this album to everybody without exceptions, one reason for approaching the Power/Heavy style for all who have ever disliked this genre. You will find heaviness, riffs, traditional metal of good quality, melodies, good guitars, proposed in a gloomier way.  Exceptional to be heard while driving,.

Hearts on Fire and On the Edge of Honour are the songs i like less, anyway not bad ones, they are totally and directly into the more usual HammerFall style.

Among the songs i prefer there are  the opener Riders of the Storm; - the fully convincing, heavy and rather dark-oriented Crimson Thunder with its thunderous chorus; - and then Lore of the Arcane so  dark  and atmospheric  , with a chorus that will give you the shivers with its church-feel, and which gets  straight into Trailblazers, a little bit old-Helloween-like in some passages;  - the  acoustic ballad Dreams come True: slow, sad but full of hope, emphasized by the strings, in a word fantastic, with a pale medieval touch (ehi this is something for Gotthard fans too without doubt!, maybe too much Gotthard!); - the tormented , deep and dark Angel of Mercy, Chastain cover,  solemn, mystical and simple at  the same time, with brilliant bass sounds and crunchy guitars, enlighted by the lead;-  the "bang-your-head" and enthralling  The Unforgiving Blade with a cool guitar weaving, powered by fully classical "rock-on -the road"flavours and thunderous bass sounds; - the instrumental melodic In Memoriam with a kicking ass lead and strong backrhythmics; -and finally the heavy , sad, powerful, anthemic Hero's return with aggressive vocals, and its  simply earthquaking musicscape , its chorus  and the cool nearly gothic outro. Ehi, but it's practically the whole album! Seen? And i bet this will happen to you too: listening to the whole CD, appreciating nearly every note in it and then wondering: "Oh it is already ended?"


rating:  09/10  yes! and very happy about!

Dalia Carla "gryphon_spirit" Di Giacomo 

Niederrohrdorf - Switzerland Impressum