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Album Reviews : HammerFall – No Sacrifice, No Victory

By on February 5, 2009

No Sacrifice, No Victory is HammerFall‘s seventh studio album and sees the boys from Sweden return to form yet again. Embracing all the well known attributes that make HammerFall such a profound and defining power metal band in the genre’s ever growing universe.

The structure of the new album is on par with such other classic HammerFall albums as “Crimson Thunder” or “Chapter V: Unbent, Unbound, Unbroken”, albeit with more power and uplifting emotion then ever before.

The album opens with the track ‘Any Means Necessary’ and gets you straight into action as it kicks you in the face with its powerful delivery of chunky riffs and soaring, yet flamboyant vocals by that of Joachim Cans. He seems to wield the midas touch when keeping everything together in the vocal department and makes every song on the album sound so good with his finely tuned singing apparatus.

The majority of the album is fast paced in it’s attack, yet still hold a certain melodic tone. Tracks like “Legion”, “Punish and Enslave” and “Life is Now” all carry the trademark HammerFall sing-a-long chorus which has made the band what it is today.  Each song holds that distinctive feeling of raising your metal fist in the air as you scream out the lyrics at the top of your lungs.

The album does seem to be overwhelmed with its plethora of fast paced metal, yet there are moments when it gets pulled back completely. The song ‘Between Two Worlds’ is a perfect example as it introduces the band on a more pop rock level.

The track opens to an atmospheric overture of organs which set a bleak tone, yet are brushed aside once the acoustic guitars settle in to welcome  a more mature sounding HammerFall. Oppose to trying to hard to make an acoustic song sound too cheesy in a power metal vain.

I’m sure many HammerFall fans would relate to this “cheesy” ideal, with the bands previous work, or power metal in general for that matter. ‘Between Two Worlds’ just has a great atmosphere and is quite well fitting to its composition on the album.

Having said that, you’ll be quite taken back at their latest instrumental ‘Something for the Ages’. The track utilizes that trademark 80’s sound of mixing fast electronic keyboards with lavish guitar solos, a la Yngwie J. Malmsteen.  Still keeping things fresh, the band dont recycle solos or just go in head first for the generic guitar wank fest.

The song just screams with power and really embraces the bands musicianship on all fronts. Each member adds their own flavorsome twist to the albums only instrumental track, and the final result is quite uplifting to say the least.

As with any HammerFall release the band always implement the means to introduce a cover song throughout their albums and this time round they have gone for none other then ‘My Sharona’ by The Knack.

The song fits well to finish off an already amazing album with its mature and heavy sound that brings a classic rock song into a fresh new look for the 21st century.

The album just seems to flow exceptionally well,  not only with the band playing at their strongest to date but production is top notch. “No Sacrifice, No Victory” is truly impressive in terms of production value and musicianship and really separates it from the bands previous albums.

It will not only satisfy long running HammerFall fans but will also please newly acquired fans to the power metal genre.

For fans of: Helloween, Dragonforce, Stormwarrior, Kamelot, Sonata Arctica, Blind Guardian

9/10

Band: HammerFall
Album: No Sacrifice, No Victory
Year: 2009
Genre: Power Metal
Label: Nuclear Blast
Origin: Sweden
www.myspace.com/hammerfall

Tracklisting:

1. Any Means Necessary
2. Life Is Now
3. Punish and Enslave
4. Legion <- Reviewers choice
5. Between Two Worlds
6. Hallowed Be My Name
7. Something for the Ages
8. No Sacrifice, No Victory
9. Bring the Hammer Down
10. One of a Kind
11. My Sharona (The Knack cover)

About

Anwar is the editor-in-chief of Metal Obsession.net. When Anwar isn't busy promoting tours, interviewing bands and reviewing awesome music, he loves to collect metal vinyl and play video games. Follow Metal Obsession on Twitter and Facebook