HammerFall – Built To Last

After all these years, HammerFall’s still going strong. “Built To Last” marks no less than the tenth studioalbum from the Swedish Heavy Metal crusaders from Gothenburg. As the, now, longtime HammerFall fan that I am, I was as usual looking forward to see what they could come up with this time. Ever since “No Sacrifice, No Victory” I have somewhat felt it going a bit downwards – “Infected” being a basic disaster, and “(r)Evolution” starting to pick up the pieces of a shattered era. So, will “Built To Last”, well, last?

To be honest… The album is a bit so-so. It’s still not really reaching the heights that I would want it to do. It starts off with a pretty bland song, for being HammerFall. After having albums open with songs as “Any Means Necessary” and even the more recent “Hector’s Hymn”, “Bring It!” feels very bland. It’s not exactly the punch in the face, or even the premonitions about an epic adventure that you’ve gotten used to over the years.

Right after the bland opener, it picks up the pace – and it’s essentially like all the interesting and good songs managed to find themselves chunked together in the beginning here – powerful anthem “Hammer High”, the “here I am, here I stand” in “The Sacred Wov”, the heavy, fast and anthem like “Dehtrone and Defy” as well as the beautiful, interesting and fairytale like “Twilight Princess”.

After this chunk though, the album loses its magic again and goes back to being a bit of a transport, and a bit bland. The songs melt together, no one really stands out and I find myself sitting there like “Ok.”, probably because I know they can do, and have done, better than this. But I guess it’s a good thing, on the one side, as it leads up to a very mysterious and interesting last song – that opens up with a keyboard solo, and evolves into a melancholic, yet at times aggressive dystopia kind of song. Very interesting and good end to an album that was otherwise a bit bland.

So, how do I conclude all of these shattered thoughts – while there’s a block of good songs in the beginning stretching to the middle, it’s still overall a bit bland, BUT, IT IS a step forward from “(r)Evolution”, so at least it’s going in the right direction after the painful “Infected”. So, well done in that perspective, and, still a little bit to go to get back to the REALLY good days.

hammerfall-built-to-last

CDON I Amazon I Ginza

// Sara

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