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“Steel Meets Steel – Ten Years Of Glory” by Hammerfall

Artist: HammerFall
Title: “Steel Meets Steel – Ten Years Of Glory”
Label: Nuclear Blast Records
Release Date: 10/23/2007
Genre: Heavy Metal
Rating: 4/5

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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