Hammerfall – 'Hammer Of Dawn' Album Review
2. Hammer Of Dawn
3. No Son Of Odin
4. Venerate Me
6. Too Old To Die Young
7. Not Today
8. Live Free Or Die
9. State Of The W.I.L.D
10. No Mercy
'Hammer of Dawn' is an album that knows what it is and comes shooting out of the gates the moment you start it, firing on all cylinders. This is some absolute, balls-to-the-wall, Classic Metal and proud of it. It has everything you want for what I call a ‘Monday Morning Metal album’ – the sort of album you put on loud to clear the cobwebs and get you pumped for the start of the week.
As an album, there’s not a lot in the way of weak links either. Some tracks (like ‘Brotherhood’, the opener) set out their intent from the off, with pounding drums and speedy intricate riffs, whereas some (like “Reveries”) are a bit slower, but still offer a groove and intensity that fits perfectly with the album.
There are a couple of standout tracks for me – “No Son of Odin” is the first – from the opening riff (which is beautiful), through the powerful verses and into the chanting chorus of “I am I, I am Me, Heart of Steel no Son of Odin” which I can imagine would be only more powerful played live with an entire crowd chanting it back to the band. The solos in this song are great too – short, understated yet impactful. My other favourite song is “State of the W.I.L.D.” which is just an absolute banger with a tight and fun main riff.
Is there anything not to like about this album? Well that depends on your taste. Obviously as I said earlier, this is an album that knows what it is – there’s no re-inventing the wheel here. This is Power Metal, Metal that sounds like it wouldn’t have been out of place in the eighties, so if you know that’s not your favoured type of music, maybe give it a miss. However, if you are a fan then it’s a pretty damn solid album – I do wish the production was a little fuller sounding as it feels quite constrained, and I would imagine it was originally recorded with a little more fury than is given off here, but that’s a minor complaint.
'Hammer of Dawn' won’t be remembered as a classic of the genre, as classic albums normally have something else about them – some kind of change in the sound that isn’t present here, but that’s not a bad thing. If you are a fan of Hammerfall or of Power Metal in general, this is absolutely an album that is worth your time – you’ll find yourself headbanging along to it and have a great time throughout.
Website - hammerfall.net
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/hammerfall
Review - Michael Braunton