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HammerFall
Renegade
October 2000
Released: 2000, Nuclear Blast
Rating: 4.0/5
Reviewer: Rick

At last! The long awaited new CD from Hammerfall. I have been eagerly awaiting this CD and finally I got it in my hands a little while ago and have hardly listened to anything else. These guys have been one of my favorite bands since I discovered them just after the release of their second CD, Legacy of Kings. I never bothered to check them out till that CD and I was sorry. Legacy of Kings immediately became one of my favorite discs. I went back and discovered their debut, and in the process realized why I loved this band so much. They played traditional metal / powermetal with conviction. They didn’t care what was going on around them. They just played metal! Metal Rules!! I know that I am not the only one who loves Hammerfall as they are up there in the favorite bands of a least a couple of the Metal Rules!! staff members. On Renegade the rest of the Templars of Steel are joined on the drums by new member Anders Johansson (brother of Jens Johansson of Stratovarius), best known for his work with Yngwie Malmsteen. With the new lineup Hammerfall entered the studio with famed producer Michael Wagener. to record what would become Renegade.



"Templars of Steel" kicks of the CD with something a little different for the metal knights. The previous two Hammerfall releases had opening tracks that were fast, up tempo power tunes. "Templars" is a more mid paced track that deals with what else, Metal! "Let your heart beat for the revolution Led by the Templars of Steel". The band cranks things up with the kicker "Keep the Flame Burning" and is followed by the first single "Renegade". Again this is an up tempo tune in regular Hammerfall fashion with typical Hammerfall lyrics but with a twist. Instead of dealing with Knights and Warriors it deals with Renegades and Outlaws. Not too far from the norm but that what is expected of Hammerfall. This is one of the best songs on the disc. "Always Will Be" is the only ballad on the release. It is in the vein of "Glory To The Brave" with acoustic guitars and minimal drums making it a nice contrast to the bands faster material. "The Way of the Warrior" is one of the more memorable tracks on the disc with is great sing a long chorus and deep almost spoken backing vocals. The band even takes a shot at an instrumental with the track "Raise The Hammer". A decent tune but I keep waiting for the vocals to kick in. The CD closes with the mid tempo track "A Legend Reborn". A fitting closer for the disc as Hammerfall have, in 4 short, become one of the most popular bands in metal. A metal legend is born.



Let 'em say first that this CD is not all that I expected it to be. After releasing 2 awesome CDs Hammerfall had a lot to live up to with their all important their release. This Cd however does not quite reach the lofty heights of its predecessors. I must say that I am disappointed with the production of Wagener. Hammerfall wanted to see what it would be to use a big name producer. Truthfully I can’t see any difference from their former CDs except that the drum sound doesn’t have any punch at all. Legacy of Kings which was produced by Fredrik Nordstrom and Oscar Dronjak (guitars) had a much clearer sound and the drums were like a kick in the face. On Renegade the bass drums are down lower in the mix and the gutsy feeling is missing from the bass drum. That being said this is still a typical Hammerfall CD. Lots of songs about warriors, knights, glorious steel and metal. Double bass drums abound and so do the high end vocals of Joacim Cans. Make no mistake. This CD contains nothing new which is a bit of a disappointment. I was hoping that Hammerfall would do something a little different on this disc. Compared to the bands other releases, Glory To The Brave and Legacy of Kings, Renegade ranks third but on a broader comparison this is still great release. If you are a fan of Hammerfall’s other material than this release will not disappoint. In the words of Hammerfall "A Metal Heart Is Hard To Tear Apart".

Next review: » HammerFall - The Templar Renegade Crusades (DVD)
Previous review: » HammerFall - One Crimson Night (Live)





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