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HammerFall - (r)Evolution

Published August 28 2014

=Staff's pick

Hector's Hymn*
Live Life Loud
Ex Inferis
We Won't Back Down*
Winter Is Coming
Tainted Metal
Evil Incarnate*

Genre Heavy Metal
Joacim Cans
Tracks 11
Oscar Dronjak
Running time 50 Min.
Pontus Norgren
Label Nuclear Blast
Fredrik Larsson
Release 27 August 2014
Anders Johansson
Country Sweden
Producer Fredrik Nordström
Similar artists ---

As you may know HammerFall took the entire 2013 off, but now returns with a new album more than three years past the release of the latest effort, Infected, which in my point of view showed a new and more grown-up side of the band. (r)Evolution on the other hand doesn't follow the footsteps of its predecessor and on the contrary shows a return to earlier days. The band has partly left the, to some extent, more clean and bombastic type of metal which slowly evolved during the first decade of this century under the supervision of producer Charlie Bauerfeind.

The traditional classic vibes are definitely evident and although these steps back in time aren't a complete return to the late nineties, I'm pretty confident that they have approached the songwriting process with the purpose to recreate some of the early sound. As far as I'm concerned, it's definitely an attempt to win back some of the older fans and even though I personally enjoyed the latest record, I still welcome this procedure with a clear and open mind.

Unsurprisingly this record comprises heavy metal to the core. It's pretty massive with solid riffing and captivating and accurate rhythms topped by a few heavy choirs. Some of the riffs are attacked at almost the exact approach as they were on the first album, meaning in a direct and youthful way, rather than with a collective colossal force. The band is able to bring forth great melodies and even if it's not specifically inventive and perhaps even a little repetitive, I like a major part of the guitar plays which includes nifty licks and neat solo details that I find appealing. Joacim Cans' vocal talent is perhaps not the greatest asset in metal, but I still think that he's doing all right in comparison to many other singers in this heavy business.

The first time I listened to this record, I frankly felt that it didn't come out especially strong. After a few spins though, the songs started to slowly dig deeper into my heavy metal heart and I now think that this effort truly contains a great number of songs with heavy impact. The overall production could have been one step more attacking and powerful to come out stronger, although I know that some of the magic of sounding like the earlier days would have been lost in that hypothetical process. I have also, with some exceptions from the early period, never supported HammerFall's ambition to write ballads and Winter Is Coming is by far the worst song on this album. Boring and dull. Apart from this little mishap, I really like this effort and I hand out 8 chalices to (r)Evolution.

See also review of: Built To Last , Infected , No Sacrifice, No Victory , Chapter V: Unbent, Unbowed, Unbroken, Threshold , Crimson Thunder , One Crimson Night








8 chalices of 10 - Tobbe

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