Title: “Rebels With A Cause”
Label: Nuclear Blast Records
Release Date: 7/22/2008
Genre: Power Metal
Fans of Sweden’s Power Metal masters Hammerfall will love the DVD “Rebels With A Cause” because it takes us on a journey to a little bit of everywhere with the band and covers their misadventures from 2002 through 2007 as they present recording studio stories, live on tour insanity and tons of backstage antics that make them a special band to all of their fans. The release comes to us at the same time as the bands “Masterpieces” album, where they deliver the music of other bands as presented by Hammerfall. “Masterpieces” is the latest edition in a series of such releases and combined with this kind of film we Metal fans have a couple of nice distractions to enjoy while we wait with anticipation for the bands next studio album. Films of this kind are far different from your conventional live concert performance films that give you this kind of footage in limited quantity either inter spaced between songs or left as bonus features to be watched on their own and depending on the band I tend to prefer the way that Hammerfall did this. The footage is primarily delivered to the viewer by the band who gives you the full scoop from the beginning of 2002 as they recorded their album “Crimson Thunder” album and discuss the touring that ensued afterwards. The band all gets a chance to speak and as you watch you realize that they are not taking this film as a serious historical document but instead are choosing to have a lot of fun with it as they rib and abuse each other and all those involved as the recollection of the stories happens. The other albums that are discussed are “Chapter V” and “Threshold”. We also get some brief insight into the solo album that lead singer Joacim Cans released in between Hammerfall releases.
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Title: “Steel Meets Steel – Ten Years Of Glory”
Label: Nuclear Blast Records
Release Date: 10/23/2007
Genre: Heavy Metal
Journey with me now as we walk with torches in hand through the corridors of Metal’s caverns and hidden passages in the castle that HammerFall built. Their fortress stands high on the brink of the abyss at the end of the rainbow where its secrets are safely guarded by the templar’s of steel who are all blood bound to protect the legacy of kings. With hearts of fire this crimson thunder shall be a flame kept burning until the threshold is crossed and leads to a hero’s return. For ten years now the mighty HammerFall has been bringing us tales of Knights and Kings, Forgotten Lands and epic battles all for the sake of honor and glory and of course the purity of Heavy Metal music. Now you might be thinking that this sounds quite a bit like the kind of stuff that Manowar has been doing for decades and while I’ve liked that stuff myself at times, I have to admit that in recent years that I have found HammerFall to be more of a refreshing difference when it came to the Heroic Metal genre. I think the larger appeal in how HammerFall does their thing is based on how they focus on the epic nature more in their storytelling during the song rather than by executing long and sometimes unending forays all for the sake of “majesty”. Too many epics can get a little boring if you ask me and by keeping most of their songs at standard length HammerFall is able to kick your ass and leave you wanting some more. With seven chapters written in the bands book of Metal lore they now proudly present “Steel Meets Steel: Ten Years Of Glory”, a thirty song retrospective anthology that gives the world their best and brightest material and it’s a perfect way for all of their existing believers to reflect back on the bands accomplishments for the causes of Metal. Across the years we have seen the band change in the way of members on a few occasions and these musicians all make an appearance across the tracks on these two discs. As 2007 draws to a close we find the lineup set as Joacim Cans (vocals), Oscar Donjak (guitar), Stefan Elmgren (guitar), Fredrik Larsson (bass) and Anders Johansson (drums). Historically speaking all members save Johansson has been in the band since they began recording. Larsson however would leave in 1997 only to be replaced by Magnus Rosen, who he would in turn replace in 2007 when the bassist decided to move on. Larsson kept himself busy for a couple of these years by serving in Arch Enemy while Chris Amott was on his musical sabbatical.
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