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Hammerfall - No Sacrifice, No Victory

Published March 18 2009

=Staff's pick

Any Means Necessary*
Life Is Now
Punish And Enslave
Between Two Worlds
Hallowed Be My Name
Something For The Ages (Instrumental)*
No Sacrifice, No Victory
Bring The Hammer Down
One Of A Kind*
My Sharona (The Knack Cover)

Genre Heavy Metal
Joacim Cans
Tracks 11
Oscar Dronjak
Runningtime 50 Min.
Pontus Norgren
Label Nuclear Blast
Fredrik Larsson
Release 20 February 2009
Anders Johansson
Country Sweden
Similar artists Dreamland, Gaia Epicus, Dream Evil

On the edge of honor, the champion Templar heroes return ready to bring the hammer down, with their mettle hearts on fire. On this, their seventh studio release, these restless souls still keep the fire and flame burning, continuously destined for glory.

Hammerfall are one of a kind, and after 15 years, they have truly come to know sacrifice, and this is why they are living in victory. This CD marks their noble ambition, the debut with guitarist Pontus Norgren, and Glory To The Brave bassist -Fredrik Larsson. There is also a natural high velvet timbre to Joacim's vocals, which might suggest he has been practicing his range.

The mercenary madness begins, in memento mori, with the war journal of a fallen soldier. By Any Means Necessary comments on the barbarism of war. The bellicose riffs ramble, quake, punish and enslave, while the solos sear, and singe.

The anthemic - Life Is Now - showcases the brave integrity, sincerity, and glory of Hammerfall, and is sure to become an arena rock favourite. A song as such, is why Hammerfall will always be heeding the call of the wild.

The twisted, sinister Punish And Enslave reaches its threshold of tolerance and pain. The title track proves the mettle resolve of Hammerfall - living by the metal code of blood and honour - always holding their ground forever. Bring The Hammer Down, lets the hammer of justice fall, where it wilt.

Carved in stone cold vengeance, armed to take the black stallion by the reins, the demonic scowl of - Legion - echoes Legacy Of King's handsome ability to verify that these blood bound brothers can still play fast and loud. The pounding pulse hammers my heart, just as my head begins to roll.

Following this rising force of evil, is the cheese and fodder of being - Between Two Worlds. Yet, again we are tortured by another obligatory ballad, which is by any means, unnecessary. I suppose they never, ever will realize we grow weary of these melancholic rock sentiments. The unforgiving blade cuts deep, and gives credence as to why Hammerfall are often the subjects of much derision, ridicule, and scorn.

The judicious, beastly, made in hell, might of Hallowed Be My Name is pure Hammerfall. This is just what true fans have come to expect from these leather rebel renegades.

One Of A Kind resounds the Templar's noble responsibility, and hastens back to the eternal Dark Ages. Fans of the early era of Hammerfall won't be led astray. This anthem would have served well on Ridley Scott's Kingdom Of Heaven.

The unchained fury of the wild renegade riffing on Something For The Ages, is an intense array of crisp thunderous melodies. This trailblazing instrumental ensures the reign of the hammer, indeed! Owing to the fact that these masters of the metal age, have already covered pieces by Malmsteen and Chastain, those harmonic scales and balances slice, stammer, and bleed on the razor's edge.

The cover of My Sharona is decent, but a bit extraneous. Honestly, I prefer Destruction's Cracked Brain rendition. I believe, that given their last release - Masterpieces - which was a collection of covers, and because they only provided a rendition of an instrumental, by Europe; when they could have easily chosen a song like - Seven Doors Hotel - I'm left wondering why they did not just choose to include The Knack there, thus allowing for another quality song on this album, in the vein of Legion Or One Of A Kind.

Essentially, No Sacrifice, No Victory is a step up from Threshold & Chaper V, with more consistency, authenticity, thoughtful lyrics, and arrangements; still meeting steel standards. The eternal fight and flight of the warriors of faith endures, stronger than all.

See also review of: Built To Last , (r)Evolution , Infected , Threshold , Chapter V: Unbent, Unbowed, Unbroken , Crimson Thunder , One Crimson Night








7,5 chalices of 10 - Michael the MettleAngel

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