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Hammerfall – Dominion Award winner

by John Paul Romero at 25 September 2019, 8:13 PM

Sweden is undeniably the world’s best importer of top-class Metal. And when talking about the Swedish metal scene, one of the biggest names that always pop out is HAMMERFALL. Not only are they one of the most successful bands in Sweden, they also helped shape the entire Swedish Metal scene since their debut “Glory to the Brave”. And up until today, lots of modern Heavy Metal and Power Metal bands consider HAMMERFALL as their primary influencers. Now, in their 22nd year in the battlefield, these pioneers of true Heavy Metal releases another opus called “Dominion”.

Like all their albums, “Dominion” leans on the signature “steel meets steel” approach. Right from the launch point “Never Forgive, Never Forget”, you’ll know what they are up to: heavy-beating drums, beefy bass lines and thunderous riffs. Shiftiness is also one of the ingredients that the album possesses, within every single song and throughout the entire record. Another asset of this album is memorability. It has lots of very memorable cuts, from the epic main riffs of the title track, the highly infectious chorus of “One Against the World”, Joacim’s first ever scream in “Scars of a Generation”, down to the overall-badasses “Testify” and “Dead By Dawn”. They also have an awesome tribute to the Swedish Rock and metal scene in “(We Make) Sweden Rock” which is simply electrifying from top to bottom. Of course, the equation will not be complete without a pair of gentler tracks. That’s what the songs “Second to One” and “And Yet I Smile” are about - with the former being the softest song in the album. However, despite being “mellow” and relatively slower, the tracks didn’t really sound out of place.

In terms of production, it is still over the top. They never lost a little bit of heaviness or epicenes 22 years after “Glory to the Brave” was unearthed. If you heard any HAMMERFALL album before, you’ll easily love this album for it is a very typical HAMMERFALL with very minimal innovations. They put on full display what they do best: topnotch Heavy Metal with lots of thunderous riffs, sharp solos and anthemic choruses. You’ll also particularly love how crunchy the drums sound for it boosts the level of adrenaline of the album. Talking about songwriting, well, there are not really a lot of new things to find here – just the classic HAMMERFALL that everyone loves. Because really, what else does this folks need to prove?

If you have heard any of the singles that the band already released, you might wonder if there are still more interesting songs to find in the album. And the answer to that is yes, you are missing a lot if you are not getting a copy of this album yet. This album is made of sheer power and heaviness, and it will surely amaze you whether you are a long-time fan or simply trying HAMMERFALL for the first time.

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

4 Star Rating

1. Never Forgive, Never Forget
2. Dominion
3. Testify
4. One Against the World
5. (We Make) Sweden Rock
6. Second to One
7. Scars of a Generation
8. Dead by Dawn
9. Battleworn
10. Bloodline
11. Chain of Command
12. And Yet I Smile
Oscar Dronjak – Guitars
Fredrik Larsson – Bass
Joacim Cans – Vocals
Pontus Norgren – Guitars
David Wallin – Drums
Record Label: Napalm Records


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Edited 28 January 2023

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