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Hammerfall - Built To Last Award winner

Hammerfall
Built To Last
by Marcos "Big Daddy" Garcia at 13 November 2016, 9:41 AM

The Templars of Metal are back in the front! Yes, only after two years since “®Evolution”, the Swedish quintet HAMMERFALL has returned with their new album, “Built to Last”, showing the world that they aren’t playing when they make their music! The main fact is, their Power Metal way that mixes influences from ACCEPT, IRON MAIDEN and old HELLOWEEN is untouched, heavy and full of excellent melodies and excellent catchy choruses. If “®Evolution” marked their return to the old form of music they played in the past, and ended a dark chapter in the band’s career, we can say that “Built to Last” keeps the band on the right side, with the Templars showing their musical identity. They didn’t create a new whole Metal style (and there’s no need to do so), but they keep it personal and heavy.

Indeed, they are here to last, no matter what some idiots say that complain about their music. The production was done by three guys: the experienced Fredrik Nordström worked with drums, guitars and bass guitar; Pontus Norgren on guitars and bass guitar; and James Michael on vocals. The mixing was done by Fredrik as well, and Henrik Udd worked on the mastering. The final result is a sound quality that is really clear, but heavy, keeping that touch of musical aggressiveness with a perfect aesthetical sense. So be prepared for the assault. Andreas Marschall made a fine work with the cover art, keeping Hector (the band’s symbol, their Templar mascot) as he is, and it is fine.

“Built to Last” keeps the same energy from albums as “Legacy of Kings” and “Renegade”, with just more instrumental experience. Of course someone can ask about their new drummer, David Wallin, but I can guarantee a thing: he is doing great on the entire album.

Their finest moments: the bitter and heavy weight shown by bass guitar and drums on “Bring It!” (that shows excellent musical arrangements and chorus), the catchy melodies on the vocals on “Hammer High” (obviously, this song will be a great moment on their live shows, due the excellent chorus that hooks on our minds), the excellent simple tempos of “The Sacred Vow” (one of the greatest moments of Joacim on the entire album, going from tender moments to some aggressive ones, without leaving aside this class), the fast hooking riffs of “Dethrone and Defy”, the power of the rhythmic session on “Stormbreaker”, the slow and climatic tempos of “Built to Last”, and the Old School energy from “New Breed” (where some Hard’n’Heavy influences appears). Their burning hearts are still fiery and fierce, so heed the call and listen to “Built to Last” at high volume!

Originality: 8
Songwriting: 10
Memorability: 10
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Bring It!
2. Hammer High
3. The Sacred Vow
4. Dethrone and Defy
5. Twilight Princess
6. Stormbreaker
7. Built to Last
8. The Star of Home
9. New Breed
10. Second to None
Lineup:
Joacim Cans – Vocals
Oscar Dronjak – Guitars, keyboards, backing vocals
Pontus Norgren – Guitars, keyboards, backing vocals
Fredrik Larsson – Bass, backing vocals
David Wallin – Drums
Record Label: Napalm Records
     


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