For nearly two decades power metal titans HammerFall have held high the flag of heavy metal. Being known as one of the best in the genre, they’ve managed to stay true to themselves and to the fans with each album they’ve released. With their tenth full-length, Built To Last, they prove once again how easily they tower over the throngs of imitators. Each song is carefully crafted to ensure unending amounts of power, glory and fun. Simply put, this album is spectacular.
Ever since their first record, Glory To The Brave, the HammerFall formula hasn’t changed much. Yet they’ve still been able to create fresh and exciting tunes album after album. Built To Last is no different; anthemic, passionate songs with great tempo and slower paced tunes full of emotion that all combine to make this album a heavy metal winner. The record starts off on a high note with “Bring It!” It immediately gets the listener in a fighting mood and prepares them for battle. It’s the perfect song to start, especially when the next track “Hammer High” follows with a superb anthemic chorus. Other tracks, such as “Dethrone And Defy” and “Stormbreaker” combine speed and melody while singer Joacim Cans belts it out with power and range.
Not every song on this album is fast-paced, but even when they slow it down the band still keeps it heavy and strong and the title track is a perfect example. The speed is taken down a notch yet it turns out to be one of the most passionate and anthemic tracks of the entire album. A big reason for this is the stellar teamwork from guitarists Oscar Dronjak and Pontus Norgren. Of course, no HammerFall album would be complete without an epic ballad and “Twilight Princess” has just the right balance of strength and calmness. It’s also placed right in the middle of the album so it gives the listener a nice break in between the heaviness.
HammerFall have been vehemently consistent throughout their 20 year career. And while they prefer to be called a heavy metal band, their impact on the power metal scene has been unparalleled. Just when you think you’ve heard it all they return and deliver, yet again. Built To Last is another notch on the HammerFall belt. They believe in heavy metal…and that’s what makes them successful. HAMMER HIGH!!!