HAMMERFALL – One Crimson Night

HAMMERFALL - One Crimson Night


Nuclear Blast
Release date: October 17, 2003

User Review
0/10 (0 votes)

There seems to be a love/hate relationship with most metal fans and the Swedish Hammerfall. If Dream Theater is your favourite band, I can see why the guys aren’t your Viking helmet of ale, but if you like to loosen up your upper back at times, Hammerfall is a band that can do it for you. True, Hammerfall is something for the originality police to keep an eye on, and true, they’re not even striving to keep the officers off their backs, but as long as you do things as good as this fivesome, I see no reason to complain about that. In fact, I will state that after four CDs, no matter how the Accept- and Helloween-factor might seem to you, even if you bring me a karaoke-mix of their material, I can easily recognize the band. They did not invent the wheel, but as we write 2003, they make sure it rolls at its best.

This double pack treat is recorded in their hometown, Gothenburg, or Goteborg if you like it more exotic, in February this year. It sounds good indeed, the band is on top notch – if you doubt that they are great players, well … I don’t want to hear about it as you make a fool out of yourself. Joacim is perhaps a very one-dimensional singer, but he knows what he needs to do, and he does it like no-one else and with a great deal of self control and own expression.

Simply put, it’s a full show, and only a few things are left out, like when Mat Sinner from Nuclear Blast presents the band gold discs (yes, I was there), and some small talk with the audience, and then the Swedes go through their entire catalogue. In my opinion, which is what a review like this is based on anyway, the guitar solo and bass solo are totally uncalled for. With a band like Hammerfall, with four really strong albums in the can, it’s also hard to agree 100 percent on the song selection, but whatever … (There are a few bonus tracks thrown in also).

I can see the complaints coming in from Germany, because “One Crimson Night” has Joacim speaking in his native language to the sold out Lisebergshallen. Indeed, I bet my left nut that the only way the Germans would have liked the CD better is if they had the thing dubbed to German by someone else, like they still prefer doing with all the movies and TV shows. (Ah, Helga!!!) While the CDs by their own artists, who are done – to a non-German – exactly the opposite way, they praise. (No wonder why … Eh, never mind – but DON’T mention it!!!) Angra did the same thing with their live CD by the way, and though I don’t speak much Portuguese, I loved it. <p? What else can I say about a live CD? I think I covered most of it. The sound is really good, the crowd likewise (though it’s not a Greek crowd), the playing is solid, the solos are a bit redundant, the selection of songs would of course (like always) had been a lot better if yours truly was involved … Wait, the cover! I didn’t mention the cover. That’s always an important part when doing a live CD. Look at Iron maiden’s “Live After Death”, and you have the perfect live album package. Now when you narrow the package down to a stupid 5 inch silver disc format, Kamelot came close to perfection a few years ago, and Hammerfall has not failed either. A thick booklet with live pix, crew presentation etc. – the whole thing looks cool as hell. (They’ve even managed to get shots with the bass player with his mouth closed!)

The bonus tracks are songs that for some strange reason no longer are in their setlist, the one from “Legacy Of Kings” happens to be my favourite from that CD, and they show that Hammerfall is capable of recording live albums even when they don’t fear the red recording lamp.

Spiral Architect fans, look elsewhere. Fans of Accept, Helloween, Running Wild and riff-oriented melodic metal with catchy choruses and deliverance with attitude – this one is for you!


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