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HammerFall
One Crimson Night (Live)
January 2004
Released: 2003, Nuclear Blast
Rating: 4.5/5
Reviewer: Lord of the Wasteland

Hammerfall has been dogged by controversy since their first album, GLORY TO THE BRAVE, was released in 1997. Their detractors have called them Helloween rip-offs and Iron Maiden imitators, but there is no denying their powerful riffs, soaring vocals and galloping rhythms have earned them a place among the European power metal elite. After four full-length studio releases, it was time to treat Hammerfall fans to not just a live album, but a DOUBLE live album! ONE CRIMSON NIGHT was recorded on February 20, 2003 in the band’s hometown of Lisebergshallen, Gotenborg, Sweden (three bonus tracks were recorded in Mexico and Chile in May 2003) and the show is excellent. Listening to this CD puts the listener right in the audience amongst thousands of hungry fans.



There really is no stone left unturned, as 22 tracks spanning each Hammerfall album are included. “Riders Of The Storm,” “Stone Cold,” “At The End Of The Rainbow,” “Glory To The Brave,” “Let The Hammer Fall,” and “Templars Of Steel” are must-have classics and in the live setting, the band does them justice. Magnus Rosen’s bass solo could have been omitted (this isn’t a Manowar record, for crying out loud!!) and Stefan Elmgren’s 3:45 guitar solo could also have been left off for a real “song” but given Hammerfall’s desire to re-create their live show on record, it is fitting. Joacim Cans’ voice is in top-notch form here. He has plenty of interplay with the Swedish audience (NOTE: unless you know the Swedish language, forget about it), who has been mixed well into the recording without feeling overdone or forced. Of course, the guitars are one of the most important parts of any Hammerfall song and Oscar Dronjak’s rhythms and Elmgren’s leads really shine here. This band is tight as hell!



The CD booklet is also worth mentioning. The 24-page booklet is filled with live shots and candid backstage photos (WARNING: Skip page 15 if you don’t care to see drummer Anders Johansson’s pasty naked ass), including the band with Ronnie James Dio, King’s X and Udo Dirkschneider. There is also a complete listing of tour dates that took the band through four continents over nine months.



ONE CRIMSON NIGHT is an excellent representation of Hammerfall’s live show. This CD serves as the perfect starting point for someone interested in discovering the band but it also has enough material to satisfy even a Hammerfall die-hard who owns all of their studio releases and EPs.
Track Listing

Disc One
1. Lore Of The Arcane
2. Riders Of The Storm
3. Heeding The Call
4. Stone Cold
5. Hero’s Return
6. Legacy Of Kings
7. Bass Solo
8. At The End Of The Rainbow
9. The Way Of The Warrior
10. The Unforgiving Blade
11. Glory To The Brave
12. Guitar Solo
13. Let The Hammer Fall

Disc Two
1. Renegade
2. Steel Meets Steel
3. Crimson Thunder
4. Templars Of Steel
5. Hearts On Fire
6. Hammerfall
BONUS TRACKS:
7. The Dragon Lies Bleeding
8. Stronger Than Fall
9. A Legend Reborn

Lineup

Joacim Cans—Vocals
Oscar Dronjak—Rhythm Guitar
Stefan Elmgren—Lead Guitar
Magnus Rosen—Bass
Anders Johansson—Drums


Next review: » Hammers of Misfortune - The August Engine
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