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   HAMMERFALL
Crimson Thunder
2002
Nuclear Blast
http://www.hammerfall.net


rating: 3/5

1. Riders Of The Storm
2. Hearts On Fire
3. On The Edge Of Honour
4. Crimson Thunder
5. Lore Of The Arcane
6. Trailblazers
7. Dreams Come True
8. Angel Of Mercy
9. The Unforgiving Blade
10. In Memoriam
11. Heroís Return
Hammerfall are here again. I didnít have my expectations that high about this album as I considered its predecessor, "Renegade" to be a huge disappointment. After listening this album from beginning to end several times, mainly two things came to my mind: Firstly, this is a step back on the track after the aforementioned "Renegade", but still canít beat the first two albums. Secondly, they still reek the 80s. Therefore I can but wonder how people can consider Hammerfall as a band leading the way (does anyone?). Sure they have some catchy melodies lined up, but whatever the point of view youíre looking at them, they completely lack originality. It has all been heard before and even on their own previous albums. Some kind of new approach to their true/heavy metal would be nice and refreshing. I tried to find one on this album, but simply wasnít able to.

Joacim Cans is still a good singer, the guitar duet and the rhythm section are solid, but I just have enormous difficulties to get excited about Hammerfall. Some of the songs are fast, double bass driven power/true metal and some are slower, akin more to the traditional heavy metal. My personal favorites on this release are the close-to-majestic-atmosphere title track, the ballad "Dreams Come True", the incredibly beautiful instrumental "In Memoriam" and the very catchy "Heroís Return". The production is, as expected, once again very good.

Choirs, high-pitched vocals, some catchy melodies, 80ís heavy metal riffs and overall atmosphere, fast fingers wielding some nice solos and an Yngwie cover is what youíll get. But you knew that already, didnít you? Yet, in the end youíre left alone and thinking: ďDidnít I just hear this a year ago? Or was it ten years?Ē

submitted by Aleksi 21.05.2003

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