At Rockefeller Music Hall, Oslo, Norway, January 21, 2007

Another Hammerfall album; another world tour; another Rockefeller gig. Not a bad thing at all, but it was hard not to realize that a bit of the enthusiasm the Oslo crowd has shown at earlier occasions was not present this Sunday evening. The crowd was quite big in numbers (the place was not entirely packed), and for a Sunday this was not bad at all, but the noise level could easily be far higher than what was the case this time around. Maybe this affected the band as some of the spark that has become somewhat of a Hammerfall trademark was clearly not there.

The band also suffered some technical difficulties, and this was (hopefully) the reason why the show consisted of way too many rather boring instrumental breaks, for the most part in the shape of guitar and drum solos. This was a shame, as the band –- although way too many Metalheads try to ignore this –- sports a whole lot of well-written Heavy Metal tunes. Some of them were also played this Cold Winter’s Night –- no further reference to another famed Power Metal band -– “Templars Of Steel,” “Let The Hammer Fall,” “Heeding The Call,” “Legacy Of Kings,” “Blood Bound,” and “Glory To The Brave” stood out among the older tracks, while “Natural High” and “Rebel Inside” were performed best out of the songs from their latest album Threshold. A song like “Renegade” also sounded far fresher than on the album, and was actually one of the highlights of the show.

Performance-wise, things were just as you’d expect them — solid and professional, but there was nothing more than that. Anders Johansson has lost some of the flair that characterized his performance in Rising Force, and when Joacim Cans introduced lead guitarist Stefan Elmgren as “Yngwie Malmsteen, or whatever – they sound the same” it’s just ridiculous; in today’s jungle of competent Metal guitarists, Elmgren far from stands out. Actually, aside from playing some competent leads on the Legacy Of Kings albums, he’s evolved into a entirely average player. Luckily the aforementioned singer, despite some problems with his microphone, had a good day, and sounded very comfortable in the high register.

All in all, Hammerfall provided a fairly enjoyable night of Heavy Metal, although this gig was far from showing the band at their best.


  • Torgeir P. Krokfjord

    Torgeir was a reviewer here at Metal Express Radio. After hearing Malmsteen's "Vengeance" on a guitar mag CD at the age of 12 or 13, he began doing hopeless interpretations of Yngwie licks and it just took off from there. After shorter stints at other zines he was snatched to Metal Express Radio in 2003. Alongside Yngwie, Savatage, WASP, Symphony X, Blind Guardian, Emperor, Arch Enemy, In Flames, Opeth, Motörhead, Manowar, and Queensrÿche are a quick list of musical faves. Torgeir is also guitarist in the Heavy/Prog/Thrash outfit Sarpedon.

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