HAMMERFALL are about as fashionable as a pair of trousers at a nudist beach but let’s take nothing away from them. They are the European equivalent of MANOWAR and it’d be folly to argue with that. Browse the song titles: more steel than a US aircraft carrier; more glorifying odes to battle; more Dragons, swords and loin cloths and simply more Heavy Metal all round.
‘’One Crimson Night’’ is the Swedes first foray into the live arena after four albums, recorded in the bands home town, Gothenburg on February 20th 2003, it serves as a testimony on how many great, fist in the air, pounding, sing along Heavy Metal songs HAMMERFALL has. Like MANOWAR they play and act exactly as it says on the side of tin. Whatever pretence HAMMERFALL has it’s worn quite clearly on their collective sleeves. And once you get over the fact that HAMMERFALL are never going to deliver anything less than classic Heavy Metal you’ll thoroughly enjoy what is a blistering run down of the group’s best cuts.
Although the bands sound is steeply entrenched in 80’s Metal and an 80’s mind set – it’s not only Joey De Maio that does ludicrous and agonisingly awful bass solos – it is also rich in the very foundations of just why we all listen to Heavy Metal. Honestly if you don’t raise a smile or look back to the glory days when HAMMERFALL unleash songs such as ‘’Heeding The Call’’, ‘’Hero’s Return’’ and ‘’The Unforgiving Blade’’ then you might as well be dead. These are the very corner stones, the support structures of Metal that we all return to when we need a bit of refreshing.
The lyrics and the Templar themes may well sound corny and rehashed but would the world be a better place if we all listened to COLDPLAY and the KAISER CHIEFS? and ingested the bullshit from NME and the load of old wank from and in particular the UK and USA music press? Possibly not and whilst bands like HAMMERFALL continue to release pure unadulterated Heavy Metal I will there along side for the ride. (Online November 6, 2005)