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Hammerfall
(r)Evolution

Company: Nuclear Blast
Release: 2014
Genre: Power
Reviewer: Eric Compton

  • Speedy power metal exercises



  • After seven albums over a fourteen year span, Hammerfall, also known as Sweden's Manowar, altered their traditional sound with the 2011 release ‘Infected'. Unfortunately that album was panned by the band's faithful followers, criticized for its modern arrangements and scorned for the lack of the group's mascot, Hector, from the album cover. Power metal enthusiasts pledge allegiance to their chosen Gods and ‘Infected' questioned their vows. Personally, I felt ‘Infected' was a much needed change of pace after the same formula year after year. The record had a thick bottom heavy production to accompany the darker subject matter. In many ways the band was attempting to replicate the heavier Joacim Cans' 2004 solo record, ‘Beyond the Gates'. The fans rebelled, had their way and now three years later Hammerfall and their fan base find themselves cornered. '(r)Evolution' is essentially like selecting random play on the band's first seven records. The speedy power metal exercises are in full force, complete with the gang vocal melodies and dungeon and dragon songwriting. Even Hector himself returns to grace fans and critics alike with his rigid stature. Is this a good thing though--repeating the same formula year after year, album after album? The band find themselves in an awkward predicament; carry on with the same tried and true routine, pleasing fans and wallets or go against the grain and create music that challenges the band and adds diversity to a rather one-dimensional discography. '(r)Evolution' is a decent record, but is it a blessing or a curse? You be the judge.


    About this Writer:
    Eric Compton // Eric Compton lives in the most haunted city in the world, St. Augustine, Florida with his family and two yorkies. He has served as senior editor for MaximumMetal.com for nearly 10 years and is the author of the heavy metal book series--Denim & Letters. His reviews, interviews and social commentary has been featured on websites like Brave Words, Blabbermouth, Metal Temple, Metal Rules, Ultimate Metal, Metal Maniacs and Wikipedia.

    Maximum Metal Rating Legend - Click for Full Details
    5 Excellent - Buy it and say a prayer to the metal gods that you were tuned on to this masterpiece. A classic.
    4-4.5 Great - Almost perfect records but there's probably a clunker or a lacking somewhere to keep it from perfection. You won't feel bad about dropping some bones on these.
    3.5 Good - Most of the record is good, but there may be some filler. This is the OK range where you'd search for the record on sale or used.
    3 Average - Some good songs, some bad ones at about a half/half ratio. Could show skills but be dull overall. Redeeming qualities for indy bands are effort and passion. Majors that don't try or suck outright end up here.
    2-2.5 Fair - Worth a listen, but best obtained by collectors. There is much better metal out there.
    1-1.5 Bad - Major problems with music, lyrics, production, etc.
    0 Terrible or an otherwise waste of your life and time.

    Note: Reviews are graded from 0-5, anything higher or not showing is from our old style. Scores, however, do not reveal the important features. The written review that accompanies the ratings is the best source of information regarding the music on our site. Reviewing is opinionated, not a qualitative science, so scores are personal to the reviewer and could reflect anything from being technically brilliant to gloriously cheesy fun.

    Demos and independent releases get some slack since the bands are often spent broke supporting themselves and trying to improve. Major releases usually have big financial backing, so they may be judged by a heavier hand. All scores can be eventually adjusted up or down by comparison of subsequent releases by the same band. We attempt to keep biases out of reviews and be advocates of the consumer without the undo influence of any band, label, management, promoter, etc.

    The best way to determine how much you may like certain music is to listen to it yourself.



    ALL FULL REVIEWS FOR: HAMMERFALL
    CD
    TITLE BAND
    DOR
    REVIEWER DATE
    (r)EvolutionHammerFall
    2014
    Eric Compton10/23/2014
    Built to LastHammerFall
    2016
    Eric Compton12/20/2016
    Chapter V: Unbent, Unbowed, UnbrokenHammerFall
    2005
    Eric Compton5/5/2005
    Crimson ThunderHammerFall
    2002
    Eric Compton1/21/2003
    InfectedHammerFall
    2011
    Eric Compton10/20/2011
    InfectedHammerFall
    2011
    Chris Kincaid6/3/2011
    No Sacrifice, No VictoryHammerFall
    2009
    Hail and Kill5/15/2009
    Steel Meets Steel: 10 Years Of GloryHammerFall
    2008
    Eric Compton3/13/2009
    ThresholdHammerFall
    2006
    Eric Compton10/4/2006


    ALL SUMMARY REVIEWS FOR: HAMMERFALL

    No Summary reviews currently exist for them.


    ALL INTERVIEWS FOR: HAMMERFALL
    INTERVIEW BAND INTERVIEWER DATE
    Anders JohanssonHammerFallChris Galea5/25/2006


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