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.