01. Hector's Hymn
Hammerfall - (r)Evolution
Hammerfall is one of the third wave of bands that picked up the Heavy Metal torch and has proudly fought the rock 'n roll rights in times when the kids listen to rap and hip hop music. Hammerfall has certainly never been original, nor did they gain fame because of their fantastic virtuoso. They make decent music using all the attributes introduced by bands like Iron Maiden, Judas Priest and Accept and over utilize any cliché at hand. Hammerfall has never seemed to bother about inventing anything new or surprise their audience, until their released Infected a few years back, that was. All of a sudden they threw curve balls. Their mascot Hector was gone and everyone had turned into Zombies. From crusaders to zombies in one album that is a bit too much even for the seasoned Hammerfall consumer. So after a lengthy vacation the band is back with a new album, (R)Evolution. In the process of marketing the album the band has been emphasizing in a comic way that this is a return to the true Hammerfall. Hector is back, that the lyrical themes are familiar is underlined by the fact that the opening track is titled Hector's hymn. I guess we wont be in for any surprises on this album then.
I have always been skeptical to Hammerfall, their tunes have always been somewhat stale, their performance never relaxed. One trade mark that has been significant for Hammerfall is the lack of originality in the guitar work. Just like Manowar, Hammerfall merely is a bleak copy of something great stating how good and they are. But Hammerfall surely have been persistent in their work, until they released Infected that was. Their hard work has paid of and Hammerfall has built quite a following over the last decade.
Regardless of their previous work, this album is actually quite good, and it surely will be cherished by the Hammerfall fans. The opening suite of Hector's Hymn, (R)Evolution, Buhsido and Live Life Loud is probably the best ever produced by Hammerfall. This is traditional metal polished to the max, the production is absolutely flawless and Joacim Cans does one hell of a job. Drum work is stellar as always but the most significant difference is the guitar work that actually sound vital and well performed. Maybe I get tricked by the million dollar mix, anyway, it sounds great.
Then I start to recognize Hammerfall, a number of fillers are cramped in the middle of (R)Evolution. Ex Inferis, We Won't Back Down, the cheesy power ballad Winter is coming (sounding quite a bit like Saxons, Broken Heroes) and Origins are utterly uninteresting. Tainted Metal and Evil Incarnate (the abyss voice sounding like Saxons Crusader) on the other hand both are quite solid tracks, particularly Evil Incarnate that ad some odd signatures to the rhythm patterns.
Hammerfall know their old metal and there are quite a few nods to some old original bands. A few riffs sound quite familiar for the lover of Judas Priest. The most obvious resemblance is the opening of Bushido that sound more than vaguely familiar, check out the Vandenberg track This is War and smile.