Hammerfall have always been one of those bands who have been ‘there abouts’ when it comes to discussions of the Heavy Metal scene; whilst the world never being set ablaze with an out-of-this-world album, they have always consistently produced music that is pleasing to listen to. Some would even go as far as saying they’re one of the most underappreciated bands on the scene (I’ll leave that one up for debate). Their resume is compiled of twenty five years of metal infused qualifications, and they’re showing no signs of slowing down anytime soon.
Hammerfall’s founding member, Oscar Dronjak (rhythm guitars) is still at the helm demonstrating the same musical prowess he possessed in the band’s inception, alongside Joacim Cans (vocals), Fredrik Larsson (bass), Pontus Norgren (lead guitars), and David Wallin (drums).
Arguably, throughout their lifetime as a heavy metal outfit, their second album release ‘Legacy of Kings’ is the greatest thing to ever leave the Hammerfall studio; boasting some of the most powerful vocals, and shredding licks, that the band have ever produced. It’s been twenty long years since the band released that album, and to mark the momentous occasion the ‘Legacy of Kings – 20 Year Anniversary Edition’. It’s the perfect Hammerfall Collection (especially if you’ve been a fan since the beginning), with the CD/DVD Box Set proudly boasting not only the original ten-track album, but a plethora of other tasty treats to sustain your metal hunger.
Such a collection wouldn’t exist without the core material; a re-release of the 1998 ‘Legacy of Kings’ album. The first of the two CD set showcases all ten tracks from the original release, including Heeding The Call, Dreamland, Warriors of Faith, and the title-track, Legacy of KIngs. Although this nostalgic trip is sure to excite the older fans, where this collection truly shines is on the second CD, which showcases a collection of recorded live performances, and a handful of demos (of which would later become tracks that comprised the 1998 album).
The live portion of the album is the epitome of crowd participation, combined with brilliant insight to Hammerfall’s interaction with their fans. A thunderous rendition of Heeding The Call kicks this portion off, paired with a gut-busting drum performance that is sure to ensight the metalhead deep within. Let The Hammer Fall (2017) and Legacy of Kings paints vivid imagery, and created an atmosphere that transports you into the centre of the crowd, thrusting your fist in the air amongst the thousands in attendance. The opening of At The End Of The Rainbow will have you dragging your family members (yes, even Grandma) into your living room so you can get your own mosh going, and the live brilliance rounds out with Stronger Than All, aptly named for the performance level of the song. If you’ve never been able to catch Hammerfall live, then this is the perfect alternative!
The second half of the album is comprised of ‘never before heard’ demo tracks that would later come to fruition, and build the core of ‘Legacy of Kings’. The instrumentals of the tracks stand at the forefront, with the vocals not as audible as the finished products, but this allows for you to have a newfound appreciation for the performances. It’s not supposed to be clean cut, and the complete rawness of their sound is somewhat magical. Heeding The Call, Let The Hammer Fall and At The End Of The Rainbow all reappear from the live performances, with Warriors of Faith, Back To Back, and performance of Dreamland that almost rivals the studio release round out the demos on the album. If you’re one for nostalgia, this is one trip you’ll be happy to take!
As well as the 2-CD set, you’ll be gifted with some visual performances, also. This is comprised of the following:
- Legacy Of Kings – Interview 2018
HammerFall – Live at Park Avenue, Jan. 19th 1999, Shure Endorsement Party
- Heeding The Call
- The Metal Age
- Let The Hammer Fall
- Steel Meets Steel
- Breaking The Law (Judas Priest cover)
- Shure Endorsement Ceremony
From “The First Crusade”
- Listening Session
- German TV Advertisement
- Release party for Legacy of Kings
- Head Over Heels (Accept cover)
- Balls To The Wall (Accept cover)
- Breaking The Law (Judas Priest cover)
- Outtakes And Sign Off
From “The Templar Renegade Crusades”
- I Want Out (Video montage from Hansen Studios)
- Unchained (Live in Switzerland)
- Legacy Of Kings (Live in the U.S.A.)
- Remember Yesterday (Live in Japan)
- Warriors Of Faith (Live in Chile)
- Let The Hammer Fall (Live in Sweden)
- I Believe (Live in Sweden)
- Breaking The Law (Video montage)
Whether you’ve been a fan of Hammerfall since the Nineties, or have only gotten into their music in recent years, this collection boasts something for everyone, and is definitely something you’re not going to want to miss getting your hands on!