“Chapter V: Unbent, Unbowed, Unbroken” by Hammerfall

Artist: Hammerfall
Title: “Chapter V: Unbent, Unbowed, Unbroken”
Label: Nuclear Blast Records
Release Date: 7/3/2005
Genre: Power Metal
Rating: 8/10

The mighty Hammerfall are back and with a perfect follow-up to their live effort “One Crimson Night”. With “Chapter V: Unbent, Unbowed, Unbroken” the band has delivered a rock solid piece of Metal. Steeped in heroism and loaded with songs about Knights and honor you will surely find most of it to be true raise your fist in the air head-banging anthems. Starting off with the song “Secrets” you get the layout of the release and it sets the stage for the rest of the record. One aspect that impressed me was that it reminded me of the things I enjoyed about early Helloween when they first started. Hammerfall is one of those bands that are clearly influenced by Maiden and Priest in some overall styles, yet the manner in which they follow is clearly Manowar based. This comes across in tunes like “Hammer Of Justice” and “Fury Of The Wild”. I don’t draw the comparison based on the overall music quality for while both are interesting there are differences. Magnus Rosen is a killer Metal bassist but he does not do what Joey DeMaio does. Joacim Cans holds the front man position in the same sense of honor and glory that Eric Adams does even though their vocal styles are drastically different. So far this premise has worked very well for Hammerfall and shows that History can often repeat itself even when it comes to Metal music.

The CD is pure Power Metal the way it should be played with solid drumming underneath killer guitar hooks all tied together by a great singer. It’s easy to find enjoyment in several of the tunes and most of them come off as being very “live” in their sound. The dual guitar work of Oscar Dronjak and Stefan Elmgren show that the pair shred like the classic teams of Tipton and Downing or Murray and Smith (Judas Priest and Iron Maiden for those that forget for some reason). Add to this the drumming expertise of former Yngwie Malmsteen skin basher Anders Johanssen and you can see why this bands popularity grows with each release. This release is good for those that want to recall the glory of the early Power Metal sound and go in for great hooks and riffs. I found a lot of the songs getting replayed as I wrote this and after seeing them perform in concert can confirm that they carry well in the live setting. Check them out.

Track Listing:
1. Secrets
2. Blood Bound
3. Fury Of The Wild
4. Hammer Of Justice
5. Never, Ever
6. Born To Rule
7. The Templar Flame
8. Imperial
9. Take The Black
10. Knights Of The 21st Century

Official Website: www.Hammerfall.net

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