Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Hammerfall: "Built To Last"

Rating: RRRr
Label: Napalm Records
Review by Martien Koolen

The tenth album, called Built To Last, by the Swedish metal band Hammerfall, is defintely a "return" to their good "old" metal sound on albums like Glory To The Brave (1997) and Renegade (2000). It is Hammerfall's first album via Napalm Records and that may be the reason that this album sounds so higly melodic, aggressive and is overloaded with catchy choruses.

Opening track Bring It reveals the sound of the entire album; powerful, great riffs and a pumped up chorus that sticks in your head for a very long time. The following two songs Sacred Vow and Hammer High were previously released as lyric videos, and especially the latter is a metal anthem par excellence. Dethrone And Defy is probably the fastest track of the album and it is followed by the obligatory power ballad Twilight Princess; a classic Hammerfall ballad with excellent melodic guitar solos. However, the best tracks on this powerful album can be heard in the end as, the two final songs of Built To Last, being: New Breed and Second To None are the brilliant highlights. New Breed is a heavy, speedy, almost "trashy" metal track in the veins of Accept and that song will become a new live Hammerfall anthem killer for sure. Second To None, the longest song on the album, is indeed as the title says second to none! It is an epic-kind of track, slowly built up from a ballad-like melody into a rather dark song with amazing guitar passages and  "heavy" keyboard arrangements. On Second To None vocalist Joacim delivers his best performance of the entire album, making it a classic Hammerfall song, which will stand the test of time for years to come. Built To Last is a must for addicts of true, melodic, aggresive power metal and it is a return to Hammerfall's classic sound. I am really looking forward to see/hear them in Utrecht (The Netherlands) on 16 January next year.

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