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Gates Of Dalhalla (DVD)
March 2015
Released: 2012, Nuclear Blast Records
Rating: 4.0/5
Reviewer: JP

One of more prolific bands in the past 15+ years, Hammerfall has always given the fans something to look at as well as listen to. GATES OF DALHALLA is the band’s 6th DVD release.

The first thing I noticed about this two hour + long, three-disc set is the gorgeous packaging, layout and design. The four discs are housed in a sort of hard-shelled (but not a jewel case) Double digi-foldout package with built in booklet. It's beautiful! The 20-page booklet has tons of large full colour photos and lots of liner notes, tour dates etc. There are two DVD's and two CD's containing the audio. I hope they release the Double Live album separately like they did for ONE CRIMSON NIGHT back in 2003. The timing for this album is good as it has been four full- length studio albums since the last Double Live platter. The track listing for GATES OF DALHALLA thankfully does not have much duplication from the last Live DVD, only seven of the 24 songs in fact, but it is understood the band has to play some of their hits for the fans.

Oddly enough the booklet does not actually say when the concert was filmed but with a bit of research we do know it was filmed on July 28th, 2012 on the 2011 World Outbreak Tour. Yes, the title is not a typo. Dallhalla (not Valhalla) is a famous open-air amphitheater in central Sweden that seats 4000. It is actually built on the remains of a limestone quarry and sits below sea level! It is a gorgeous venue. The stage is huge with tons of Marshalls. There are tons of lights, fire dancers and the classic, giant flaming HF logo gets hauled out for the occasion. The performance for this concert was quite exceptional, much more than just a concert, it was a unique event in a very cool venue. The stage seems to be in a quarry surrounded by a moat in an outdoor amphitheater setting. The crowd seems quite far away as they are separated by the moat and a fence! The show starts in daylight and ends in darkness, which is quite visually impressive. The lights are subdued but quite nice as well. Too bad it poured rain near the end!

The band invited lots and lots of guests for this show to make it extra special. The complete listing of special guests is on the track listing section of this review. It was really cool to see the original Hammerfall vocalist, Michael Stanne come on stage and do a heavy, heavy version of 'Steel Meets Steel' and Jesper Stromblad join them on stage for 'The Dragon Lies Bleeding'. There lots of little extras, fire dancers, chanting monks, it was quite the spectacle! I'm surprised their Templar mascot (Hector) did not make an appearance!

The picture quality is fantastic. It is a crystal clear, multi-camera shot. The graphics and design are also really top-notch. The sound is also excellent although the crowd is mixed quite low. The crowd seems oddly sedated and sitting in many of the shots but there is no place to stand, it is a seated venue. You can occasionally see quite a few empty seats, which really surprised me for a gig of this magnitude. Vocalist, Joacim addresses the crowd in Swedish but subtitles are provided.

There is one bonus feature as well, a simple, 10 minute, 'Behind The Scenes' feature hosted by Oscar Dronak in English as he provides an interesting walking tour of the venue. Hammerfall have presented another high quality concert DVD that will stand tall and proud on any bookshelf!
Track Listing

1. Patient Zero
2. Heeding the Call
3. Any Means Necessary
4. B.Y.H.
5. Riders of the Storm
6. Let's Get It On
7. Crimson Thunder
8. Renegade
9. Blood Bound
10. Last Man Standing
11. Fury of the Wild
12. Drum Solo
13. Always Will Be
14. Dia de los Muertos
15. Steel Meets Steel
16. Threshold
17. The Dragon Lies Bleeding
18. Let the Hammer Fall
19. När vindarna viskar mitt namn
20. Something for the Ages
21. The Templar Flame
22. Oh Fortuna
23. Glory to the Brave
24. One More Time
25. HammerFall
26. Hearts on Fire


Oscar Dronjak Guitars
Pontus Norgren Guitars
Anders Johansson Drums
Joacim Cans Vocals
Fredrik Larsson Bass



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