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HammerFall
Infected
June 2011
Released: 2011, Nuclear Blast
Rating: 4.0/5
Reviewer: Metal-Rules.com UK Team

Hammerfall were formed in 1993 but didn’t release their first studio album GLORY TO THE BRAVE until 1997. Since this release and the releases after this album, Hammerfall have gone from strength to strength, gaining fans and a big standing in the metal community over the years. They have always had a very power metal sound, one which you could recognise just from hearing a few riffs from any song, you would instantly know that it was Hammerfall!



INFECTED is their 8th studio album and the question ponders have they thrown away their obvious sound and power metal lyrics? The opening of this album is like the beginning of a zombie movie followed by some very heavy guitar riffs - not the usual sound you would expect. The lyrics are also different from their previous album efforts. It seems like the days are gone of them singing about being the Templar’s of Steel and everything we have come to know and love from this band.



The second track “Bang Your Head” does seem to be in their more usual style of play and so are the lyrics BUT, and yes it’s a big but, the whole album seems to go from the heavier sound to the old Hammerfall sound quite a lot which makes this album quite difficult to listen to at first. After a few listens though INFECTED really does what it says in the title, it grows on you and makes you want to come back for more.



The one annoying thing about this album is the fact it just seems to end while your sitting there listening to it, its not a short album by any means but that’s the problem when your listening to the album it pulls you in and before you know it its finished without realising that you have just sat there playing air guitar and headbanging through the whole album.



No Hammerfall album would be complete without a nice slow cheesy ballad and yup they have it on this album too “Send Me A Sign” has all the Hammerfall ballad ingredients! "Immortalized" is one track that you really cant help to just rock out throughout the whole track! Brilliant riffs just keep coming at you throughout it, howling solos and amazing vocal ranges really makes you appreciate Hammerfall and their musical abilities.



So this album really is a mixed bag, songs that have a very different sound than we are used to, songs that sound like the old Hammerfall and the cheesy ballad chucked in the middle! So to sum this album in one word “EPIC” - the guys have done it again and will they ever release a bad album? Well going by their back catalogue I would say no. Ok it took a few listens to really appreciate what they have done here, but once it grabs you it will be sitting there as the most played album in your collection this year!



Reviewer: James Griffiths
Track Listing

01 – Patient Zero
02 – Bang Your Head
03 – One More Time
04 – The Outlaw
05 – Send Me A Sign
06 – Dia De Los Muertos
07 – I Refuse
08 – 666 – The Enemy Within
09 - Immortalized
10 – Lets Get It On
11 - Redemption

Lineup

Joacim Cans – Vocals
Oscar Dronjak – Rhythm Guitar
Pontus Norgren – Lead Guitar
Fredrik Larsson – Bass Guitar
Anders Johansson – Drums


Next review: » HammerFall - Legacy of Kings
Previous review: » Hammerfall - Glory To The Brave





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