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HammerFall
The Templars of Heavy Metal: The First Crusade (DVD)
February 2000
Released: 1999, Nuclear Blast Records
Rating: 4.0/5
Reviewer: EvilG

HammerFall are just plain fun to listen to. Now with the release of this home video, they are also fun to watch! I ordered this about three months ago and left it on back order hoping one day it would arrive. Well it did arrive in late January, and yes it was worth the wait. Did you know HammerFall have videos? Well no one plays them so it was cool to see - even if it looks like they were made by a local community access cable program...still very cool.



So here's the deal. This video basically encapsulates the story of HammerFall up until the release party for "Legacy of Kings." The video is hosted mainly by Oscar and Joacim with a brief introduction to the other HammerFall guys. The tape starts out with a live version of "Steel Meets Steel" which had me worried that the whole tape would be in this bootleg like "Cliff 'em All" format. But not to worry, it's all pretty much all good quality after that. Next up are the videos for "Glory To The Brave" and "HammerFall." There's a very cool segment called "Introducing Magnus Rosén" (the bass player) where they show the demo material he did for his audition for HammerFall. This guy is a lot better on bass than you would expect from listening the the band. He's literally flying all over the place doing crazy shit like 8-finger tapping and whatever....too bad this isn't incorporated into HammerFall a bit. Other cool moments is a low-quality recording of HammerFall covering "Ravenlord" with a guest appearance by the original Stormwitch vocalist Andy Muck. His voice is in top shape! The next memorable thing is the release party for "Legacy of Kings." HammerFall play two Accept songs - "Balls to the Wall" and "Head Over Heals" and guess what? - They are joined onstage by Udo Dirkschneider! Very cool indeed. But I have one major complaint! It's not really HammerFall playing with Udo. It's 4/5ths of HammerFall playing with Udo. Why Joacim doesn't come out and sing WITH Udo or at least do back ups is totally beyond me. It was the same with the Ravenlord cover - Joacim should of sang the song with him! Also, considering this was the release party for "Legacy of Kings" - why the hell was no songs from that CD put on the tape? I hope they do a part II for this video release and take it from the release party of Legacy of Kings and take it up to the next CD. The other track from the release party features HammerFall switching instruments for a Priest cover. Oscar gets handed the vocal mike and dons a leather hat and leather trench coat to sing - "Breaking The Law." I didn't know what to expect from Oscar on vocals because I've only heard him sing in his last band "Crystal Age" and that was like someone vomiting haha...but guess what - he can sing! He's no Rob Halford mind you and you can hear the strain on the higher notes but this is all just for the fun of it, so just enjoy it and don't over analyze it.



This video is entertaining, funny and well worth the investment to pick up for any fan of HammerFall...especially for those of us who have never seen the band and who haven't seen their videos from "Glory To The Brave." A metal heart...is hard to tear apart!

Next review: » HammerFall - Threshold
Previous review: » HammerFall - The Templar Renegade Crusades (DVD)





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