Hammerfall - Renegade
Nuclear Blast
True / Power Metal
10 songs (46'46)
Release year: 2000
Hammerfall, Nuclear Blast
Reviewed by Chris
Album of the month

The long awaited new Hammerfall album is finally here ! So the question you must have now in your mind is : is this album better than the two first ones ?
Well I don't know, honestly I think it's a little bit different, probably because of the producer (Michael Wagener). The big difference is that this Hammerfall album is a bit more catchy than it's predecessors and even though it might be cool in the first listens it might also take some of Hammerfall's spirit away.

But let's put your fears at rest here : this is an excellent album, it's Hammerfall, it's fast, it's beautiful, it's melodic, and very epic like always. Entering a little bit more into the details I'd say that Hammerfall made quite some progress in both guitars (principally the solos, since the riffs always have been killing) and vocals where Joacim shows how much he has evolved and that's a good point. Unlike Renegade (the single), he sings like the old Hammerfall way and I'm quite happy cause even if I accepted his way of singing on Renegade I really think that it's not as nice as what he does usually. So everything sounds like Hammerfall, the production did not change much in matter of sound, but like I said it added this catchy impression on the album, perhaps even a bit pop sometimes (in a very metal way of course). The album is very epic and although Renegade was changing a lot the subject of the lyrics, most of the album is the usual drill of courage, fight, metal proud and the rest that makes Hammerfall lyrics so epic that you want to rejoin them and sing these metal hymns from the bottom of your soul until your lungs explodes !

The overall is very good and like always you'll find only one ballad, but a very good one : Always Will Be. As for the metal part I'd say that this album is a tiny little softer than the Legacy Of Kings, which was also a bit softer than Glory To The Brave : still my favorite. A little surprise as the album contains an instrumental track, and not just any, a really good one, very nicely done ! So, I'm standing here, actually sitting, listening to it every day, at least 5 times a day and although I think it's an excellent album I'm a little bit disapointed cause I still prefer the old ones... but with Hammerfall, even if I listened to it 50 times already, I can't say exactly how I'd feel in a year or so, cause it always takes me time to really digest and appreciate Hammerfall (I really don't why :)), although this one entered a lot faster than the first ones (6 months for Glory to The Brave and almost 2 years for Legacy Of Kings).

There's no doubt about the fact that this is a blind buy ! You'll hear some new twists here and there... things you haven't heard before from Hammerfall and I guess it's up to you to see if you like it or not but like I said in the end it's Hammerfall, and I want to say how impressed I am with these True Metal warriors, cause it's not easy to deliver 3 albums without commiting any mistakes, there's not one song, not one minute and not one moment that I don't like in all three albums, and that my friends is A FIRST ! The album may not top the predecessors, but it's not inferior neither, it's still excellent True Metal and it will probably occupy my playing time for years, like the other albums.

And it would not be one of my reviews if I didn't speak of the artcover. Well, believe it or not but it's the worse Hammerfall artcover so far... the coloring simply sucks (if you add more blue and darken it a little it gets better, but well you need the correct tools to do that), the position of the guy is too static on his horse, not realistic somehow, and the castle in fire in the back is so simply made that it kind of ruin Marshall's reputation for details (remember Legacy Of Kings or Blind Guardian's Nightfall In Middle Earth). Perhaps it's been done in a rush or something but still it's really too bad. It's not a bad artcover at all, and the rider and his horse are typical excellent Andreas Marshall style, but the overall is really far from what we usually lie our eyes on.

An excellent release, 3 out of 3 so far, and let's pray they won't stop delivering albums of such quality ! Before I forget, the song Destined For Glory is simply amazing, a metal hymn that really touches me and one of my favorite True Metal song. Keep up warming our metal hearts !

Killing Songs :
All, but my favorite one is : Destined For Glory
Chris quoted 95 / 100
Other albums by Hammerfall that we have reviewed:
Hammerfall - Dominion reviewed by Goat and quoted 80 / 100
Hammerfall - (R)Evolution reviewed by Joel and quoted 89 / 100
Hammerfall - Infected reviewed by Goat and quoted 80 / 100
Hammerfall - No Sacrifice, No Victory reviewed by Goat and quoted 80 / 100
Hammerfall - Threshold reviewed by Jeff and quoted 79 / 100
To see all 12 reviews click here
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