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Hammerfall - Legacy Of Kings 20-Year Anniversary Award winner

Hammerfall
Legacy Of Kings 20-Year Anniversary
by Kevin Burke at 27 January 2019, 3:07 PM

This is a masterclass on how to both honor and celebrate a release.  HAMMERFALL celebrate the twentieth-anniversary of “Legacy Of Kings” by greatly expanding the original release.  Where the original release stood at ten-tracks of brilliance, now we have the further addition of a second disc which contains a further fifteen-live and demo tracks. This is galvanized further by a DVD disc featuring interviews, promo spots, live concerts and very deep live cuts from Japan, America and Sweden.

The original album is a masterpiece of power-Metal, there is not much more to be said other than, this remaster does not detract from the original, there is nothing added except for a freshness in sound. Getting to meat and bones of this release, is worth buying again for the heavily expanded bonus material? Simply, yes it is well worth the admission price, and here is why. In the past there has been a problem with quality control on anniversary and lavish celebratory releases, something you would listen to once and leave it at that, feeling slightly cheated in a way , this is not the case here.

The bonus cd opens with a hat-trick of power-covers by PICTURE, HELLOWEEN and RAINBOW.  It’s that cover of “Man On The Silver Mountain” which is particularly brilliant, honest to the original but in the unique style of HAMMERFALL. These tracks actually feel like an extension of the album and, here is the important note, it fits with the flow, not taking from the original. The section of live tracks, some taken from last year is a dynamic blast of what actually makes this band great, these are the jewels in the “Legacy Of Kings” crown.  Fans of the band will truly salivate here, the “Legacy Of Kings Medley” is a magnificent beast, the sound quality is awesome, and they are as good as the original studio recordings, faithfully re imagined on stage.  The pure, raw sound of the live cuts “At The End Of The Rainbow” and “Stronger Than All” leave other contemporaries in the dust, then we get into demo territory.

The six-demo tracks that make up the remainder of the album, the version of “Heeding The Call” is a drum attack, which is first and at the fore of it, the vocals are almost hidden in the mix, this is more a run-through than a rehearsal-demo, but very intense all the same.  “Warriors Of The Faith” is explosive, of course not as polished as the album track but interesting nonetheless.

At The End Of The Rainbow” sounds brilliant and still has a speaker aching quality to it as it gets into a solid groove, whereas the closer “Dreamland” is a dense guitar showcase which still rumbles with the same intense drive as the album. All in all the rehearsal demos give an extra perspective on the bands creative process, not bad and listenable. This is an exceptional release, which flows nicely between the original, the live tracks and the reversal demos, giving a top-quality listen for hardcore and casual fans of HAMMERFALL, now, we can look forward to their other releases getting the same care and treatment.

Songwriting: 9
Originality: 8
Memorability: 9
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
CD1 (album, remastered 2018)

1. Heeding The Call
2. Legacy Of Kings
3. Let The Hammer Fall
4. Dreamland
5. Remember Yesterday
6. At The End Of The Rainbow
7. Back To Back
8. Stronger Than All
9. Warriors Of Faith
10. The Fallen One

CD2

1. Eternal Dark (Picture cover)
2. I Want Out (Helloween cover)
3. Man On The Silver Mountain (Rainbow cover)
4. Legacy Of Kings (Medley 2018)
5. Heeding The Call (Live 2018)
6. Let The Hammer Fall (Live in Brazil 2017)
7. Legacy Of Kings (Live)
8. At The End Of The Rainbow (Live)
9. Stronger Than All (Live)
10. Heeding The Call (Rehearsal demo 1998)
11. Let The Hammer Fall (Rehearsal demo 1998)
12. Warriors Of Faith (Rehearsal demo 1998)
13. Back To Back (Rehearsal demo 1998)
14. At The End Of The Rainbow (Rehearsal demo 1998)
15. Dreamland (Rehearsal demo 1998)

DVD (Bonus)

1. Legacy Of Kings – Interview 2018
HammerFall – Live at Park Avenue, Jan. 19th 1999, Shure Endorsement Party
2. Heeding The Call
3. The Metal Age
4. Let The Hammer Fall
5. Steel Meets Steel
6. Breaking The Law (Judas Priest cover)
7. Shure Endorsement Ceremony
From “The First Crusade”
08. Listening Session
09. German TV Advertisement
10. Releaseparty for Legacy of Kings
11. Head Over Heels (Accept cover)
12. Balls To The Wall (Accept cover)
13. Breaking The Law (Judas Priest cover)
14. Outtakes And Sign Off
From “The Templar Renegade Crusades”
15. I Want Out (Video montage from Hansen Studios)
16. Unchained (Live in Switzerland)
17. Legacy Of Kings (Live in the U.S.A.)
18. Remember Yesterday (Live in Japan)
19. Warriors Of Faith (Live in Chile)
20. Let The Hammer Fall (Live in Sweden)
21. I Believe (Live in Sweden)
22. Breaking The Law (Video montage)
Lineup:
Line Up Legacy Of Kings 1998:

Joacim Cans- Vocals
Oscar Dronjak- Guitar
Stefan Elmgren- Guitar
Magnus Rosen- Bass
Patrik Räfling- Drums
Record Label: Nuclear Blast Records
     


Rating

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Edited 21 October 2019
 

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