F U L L . R E V I E W S


HammerFall - Threshold - 2006 - Nuclear Blast

Track Listing
1. Threshold
2. The Fire Burns Forever
3. Rebel Inside
4. Natural High
5. Dark Wings, Dark Words
6. Howlin' With The 'Pac
7. Shadow Empire
8. Carved In Stone
9. Reign Of The Hammer
10. Genocide
11. Titan
Sweden's mighty power metal warriors, the band that has managed to land popularity awards the world over, has returned with their sixth full-length studio album. I can't believe that this band has recorded six albums thus far. I can still remember hearing the debut, "Glory To The Brave", back in the mid-90s and thinking there is just no way this will work. It did and it has. In many ways HammerFall has probably surpassed Iron Maiden status with today's younger metal generation. Some newer metal fans may be more likely to jam these records than the classic and legendary "Killers" and "Number Of The Beast" types. Motorhead drummer Mickey Dee once stated in an interview that a kid at an airport saw his Maiden shirt and said, "Maiden is very cool, almost as good as HammerFall". It is a sad fact but one that probably holds true. For me personally I have stood behind the band, firmly embracing their brand of Euro power metal and dismissing critics who claim this is just simply too much cheese. It isn't the fault of the band that their music is easily identifiable with today's generation. It is just simply polished heavy metal that has been played for more than twenty-five years. The same formula works with the band's newest venture.

"Threshold" is made up of the same types of songs we have heard from the band over time. This one shows us dash and flash pacers like "Natural High" (album's first single), "Shadow Empire", and the Running Wild styled "Reign Of The Hammer". The band throw in some great mid-paced hook with solid sluggers like "Rebel Inside" and "Titan". The group also hits some traditional nods with the somewhat generic "Howlin' With The 'Pac" and title track "Threshold". The well placed ballad "Dark Wings, Dark Words", complete with eerie mood and atmosphere, is a refreshing "slow down" that really breathes dynamics and diversity among this much bravado and metallic clang. Charlie Bauerfeind steps in to produce once again, paying a bit more notion to bottom end and bass than the typical HammerFall effort.

Bottom Line - Certainly not hitting the career high mark set forth by "Crimson Thunder", but still a solid catalogue piece that should please fans and grow a few more. At some point though the band may need to stop taking themselves so seriously. A little variety may be the key to long term survival.



--EC 10.02.06

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 contributed to MaximumMetal.com since it's conception in 2003. 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. You can also find him on his paperbackwarrior.com blog discussing all things action and adventure.

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
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InfectedHammerFall
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No Sacrifice, No VictoryHammerFall
2009
Hail and Kill5/15/2009
Steel Meets Steel: 10 Years Of GloryHammerFall
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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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