JUNE 29th,2011  

Review by: Metal Mom 

My first experience with HAMMERFALL was Mar.23 2010 in Vancouver, BC at The Venue, and I was totally blown away by how they sounded, at no time did I stop with my horns high, or moving my head, they were just so catchy, and easy to sing along with. In fact they were that good, that I took the next day off to go to Seattle, Washington and see them play again. So I was thrilled to be able to review their newest CD “ INFECTED “.

First let me tell you a little, they were formed back in 1993 in Sweden by Oscar Dronjak. Today the band members are: Pontus Norgren (guitar/backing vocals), Anders Johansson (drums), Fredrik Larsson (bass/backing vocals), Oscar Dronjak (guitar/backing vocals), and vocalist Joacim Cans. For me I call their genre a power metal / heavy metal one.

INFECTED by dictionary standards means “ to affect or contaminate (a person, organ, wound etc.) with disease-producing germs” . I think this definition is correct , it will infect your mind, it will contaminate your blood. A new standard for HAMMERFALL. I always review new CD’s with an open mind, and try hard not to compare them to previous releases.

HAMMERFALLS newest release is their 8th album, and there are 11 tracks to listen to. Its also the first CD produced and mixed by James Michael. It was recorded at Pama Studios and Sonic Train Studios in Sweden, and also at a studio in Nashville, Tennessee. There was some dispute over the cd cover and changes had to be made to the imagery. Yes, poor Hector their mascot did not make the cover this time around, but not to worry, he will be back. The release dates are May 20 in Europe, and in the USA June 7. It has also debuted at # 2 on Swedish charts.

To start, it wasn’t what I expected to hear from HAMMERFALL, there were a few changes made, but it was nice to hear the differences, means that they are growing as a band, not afraid to make some changes. If you are a true fan of theirs , you can still hear their obvious sounds. At times I heard a slight sound of Iron Maiden, but not for long. The guitar riffs were done effortlessly and with style, the distinct thunder of the drums were ever present, bass, its always a factor in the band that seems to pull it all together, to flow with ease. And we all know the vocals of Joacim are distinctive and make HAMMERFALL the sound they are. This album is a little darker sounding, more extreme, but all told masterfully done. There are some slower songs, so be it, I like the changes they have done, some wont, they want the same sound over and over again. But the variety in this new CD is what kept me listening to it , and still listening. The very first song was so different , but I can see it being an excellent choice for a video release.

“I Refuse” to say anything bad about this CD, because this one was done with some thought and determination for something new. Congrats guys a job well done.