All the classics Hammerfall tunes are here, great performance by one of the best metal bands nowadays. Special credit for singer Joacim Caans, who delivers live just as good as he does in the studio albums… surely one of the best metal vocalists. The set list is great… but be warned… get the special edition with the bonus tracks…I cant think of a Hammerfall live album without “the dragon lies bleeding”…. a 10/10!
Domestic edition of the Swedish power metal band’s 2003 live album includes three bonus tracks, ’The Dragon Lies Bleeding’, ’Stronger Than All’, & ’A Legend Reborn’. 22 tracks. Nuclear Blast.
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Ahhh, Hammerfall. Depending on where you stand, Hammerfall are either metal’s saviors or biggest joke. Like it or not, Hammerfall are a full-blown international metal act. This double live disc features a balanced selection of tracks from all their albums and damn do Hammerfall have a great live sound. Their current line up has been together for a few years now, and it shows in the tightness of the band. Joacim Cans’ voice is surprisingly good live (I think he sounds better than on the studio albums), and the guitars and drums are right on. The production and mix are perfect too, with each instrument achieving equal prominence. Aside from the right-awful bass solo, this album is perfect for the die-hard and newcomer alike. ‘Steel Meets Steel’, ‘Let the Hammer Fall’, and ‘Glory to the Brave’ resonate with life not found on the studio versions and newer selections like ‘Riders of the Storm’ and ‘Hearts on Fire’ are sure to get one’s fist in the air and their head bobbing around. One small gripe: since the show was recorded in their native Sweden (save the last three songs), unless you speak Swedish, you can’t tell what he’s saying between songs (most likely the same rhetoric as everyone else). Nice artwork and packaging round out this release. This is an album that can be listened to start to finish without feeling bored, due to the order of the songs. If you enjoyed Edguy’s or Blind Guardian’s recent live albums, this should also be in your collection. Bonus points to Hammerfall for including ‘The Dragon Lies Bleeding’ as one of the ‘extra’ three songs from Mexico. Templars of steel indeed!!
I got into Hammerfall about two years ago, and I still love them. sure, the song material is a bit funny, but it’s way more interesting than most stuff out there right now. this is, essentially, their “Greatest Hits” done live in Sweden (with 3 bonus tracks from 2 other tours). the two solos (Stefan and Magnus) are decent lead-ins, and I love the way the band goes seamlessly from song to song, despite the differences of each album (ie following up Riders of the Storm with Heeding the Call with Stone Cold with Hero’s Return…)highlights: Legacy of Kings, Stone Cold, Crimson Thunder, Dragon Lies Bleeding, Heeding the Call, Templars of Steel.minor complaint: one of my favorite songs, Hearts on Fire, is played too fast. it loses the awesomeness when they blaze through it. a few other songs are like this.also, get used to hearing Joacim talk to the audience…in Swedish. it’s weird, but cool, and besides, who cares? it’s great metal in any language! although I must admit, hearing random Swedish words punctuated by “(album name)”, “Hammerfall”, and “heavy metal!” is hilarious.I’d recommend this to anyone who has any interest in Hammerfall or metal whatsoever. get the bonus version! it’s 2 hours of music you won’t regret.
If not for the S and M album by Metallica, this would easily be the best-sounding live album I’ve ever heard. Even better, it is, in essence, a greatest hits package from one of the most important bands of their generation — heck, of any generation. It seems strange now, but when Hammerfall first appeared, power metal was an ember barely burning. They, as much as anyone, were responsible for re-lighting the flame — indeed, many of the bands that have come and gone in traditional power metal since then are purely and simply imitations of these masters. Sounding something like Judas Priest if they had the attitude and lyrics of Manowar, Hammerfall never quite rises to the level of those great bands, but they are only a notch or two below them, whereas most bands are about five notches below them.
There are those who say that Hammerfall is excessively cheesy. Those people are right. However, it’s the good kind of cheese, not the bad kind (that is, they are self-aware in their cheesiness, which is the only way that real metal can work. The bad kind of cheesy bands, the prog type, for example, that actually seem to take rock music one hundred percent seriously — those are the moldy kind of rancid cheese you want to avoid).
Hammerfall is everything metal bands ought to be, but too rarely are: themes of self-empowerment communicated through universal and fantastic imagery, melodic vocals sitting atop crunching riff-based guitar work, and a relentless dedication to their own style. This band is too often taken for granted, too often under-rated, too often overlooked for the latest fad when the best-of lists are handed out. Treat yourself to some real, raw heavy metal and pick this one up.
This is what metal was all about bofore the whole grunge and depression thing. These guys rock. Their songs are all catchy and they play really well together. Several of their songs have a military or religious theme to the lyrics, which is cool. They’re out of Sweden, so they more than make up for the feeble sounds of the band Europe. I bet this would be an incredible concert to see, but this 2-disk live set will have to do.
1. Lore Of The Arcane- 4/5- sounds really Nordic. They use this as an intro to-
2. Riders Of The Storm- 5/5- here we go. Awesome chord progression, great way to start the album. Proves that solos don’t need to be super-fast to be cool.
3. Heeding The Call- 5/5- rallying song, sort of like a heavy-metal We Will Rock You. A lot of the songs on here are like that.
4. Stone Cold- 5/5- listening to Joacim talk in Swedish is friggin hilarious. The song’s really cool too. They go a little overboard with the audience participation, though.
5. Hero’s Return- 5/5- fast paced. Another one of those rallying songs I talked about.
6. Legacy Of Kings- 5/5- cool beat, great backup vocals.
7. Bass Solo: Magnus Rosen- 5/5- this guy’s good. Sort of a mix between Nordic & Spanish he’s got going here.
8. At The End Of The Rainbow- 5/5- slow and catchy. What’s cooler than Swedish guys singing about dragons and rainbows? Only 5-foot tall Italian guys singing about dragons and rainbows (Ronnie James Dio, for those who didn’t make the connection).
9. The Way Of The Warrior- 5/5- great song to sing along to, even though I can’t. Love this one.
10. The Unforgiving Blade- 4.5/5- really cool, but a little short.
11. Glory To The Brave- 5/5- great slow song. Reminds me of the soldiers over in the Middle East after 9/11.
12. Guitar Solo: Stefan Elmgren- 4/5- sort of weaker than the bass solo. However, it would make a great basis for a new song (how ’bout it, guys?).
13. Let The Hammer Fall- 5/5- awesome closer, great for rockin’ out to.
1. Renegade- 4/5- on to disk 2. Good opener, but not one of my favorites.
2. Steel Meets Steel- 5/5- this one’s about the Crusades (read a book, people). Really catchy.
3. Crimson Thunder- 10/5- MY FRIGGIN FAVORITE! Slow, heavy, just plain cool, and just the right of amount of audience participation.
4. Templars Of Steel- 4/5- again with too much audience participation (they sing half the friggin chorus evey single time). We paid to listen to you, Hammerfall, not these boobs in the audience!
5. Hearts On Fire- 5/5- this song’s really catchy. A lot faster than the origional recording, too.
6. Hammerfall- 4/5- this is the only band I know of with two self-titled songs. And Let The Hammer Fall is hands down the better one.
7. The Dragon Lies Bleeding- 5/5- great song, could be a ballad if not for the part about killing stuff.
8. Stronger Than All- 5/5- another one of those catchy ones. This album would be great for parties.
9. A Legend Reborn- 5/5- cool riff and cool closer. Rest those heads easy, it’s finally done. If you can’t move your neck tomorrow, the music has done its job.