“Threshold” by Hammerfall

Artist: Hammerfall
Title: “Threshold”
Label: Nuclear Blast Records
Release Date: 10/31/2006
Genre: Power Metal
Rating: 4/5

Following their stellar release “Chapter V: Unbent, Unbowed, Unbroken”, Sweden’s Hammerfall has returned with “Threshold” an album that continues their heroic adventures into Metal glory. For their sixth release there is pretty much the same formula that has worked for the band since their inception and while that might seem safe to some readers, others should know that the band has not lost any of their luster by keeping this premise the same. Opener “Threshold” is an anthem-styled rocker which not only brings you into the way this band feels quick, but it will also have you singing with them as you push your fist into the air. Front man Joacim Cans possesses a great set of Metal pipes and he displays the level of his melodic powers on tracks such as “Shadow Empire” and “Genocide”; songs that are among the most standout numbers on the album. The blistering twin axe attack of Oscar Dronjak and Stefan Elmgren provide riffs that are poised to defend the course of Metal honor whenever called upon while Magnus thunders on the bass and Anders keeps the time under control in true Power Metal drummer fashion. “Threshold” continues the bands theme with more songs about epic battles and sword and sorcery based warriors but it is done with such a majestic overtone and manner that the music does not get stale. For some reason this works well for Hammerfall and their legions of followers, one could cite that since Manowar has also never strayed from the premise that it can work for a long time.

Perhaps “Majestic Metal” is another one of those untapped genre labels. “Reign Of The Hammer” finds the band delivering an energetic instrumental piece and shows that they can do such a number to effect as well and even find the space for a ballad like “Dark Wings, Dark Words”. I arrived late to the music of Hammerfall, joining the cause with “One Crimson Night” but the thing I like most about them is the overall level of excitement and purity that their music possesses. So many Metal bands have a dark vibe to them or are super thrashy – it is nice to find bands like Hammerfall using the early influences of Judas Priest, Iron Maiden and the like to carry their own band into the halls of honor. As a result, it becomes fun Metal to be interested in and since it takes you away to far away and mystical places, it continues the magic that music is supposed to unleash in a person. The Metal fire truly does burn forever with Hammerfall. This should be a great album on the concert stage.

Song Listing:
1. Threshold
2. The Fire Burns Forever
3. Rebel Inside
4. Natural High
5. Dark Wings, Dark Words
6. Howlin’ With The ‘Pac
7. Shadow Empire
8. Carved In Stone
9. Reign Of The Hammer
10. Genocide
11. Titan

Official Web site: www.hammerfall.net

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