Archive for napalm records

Civil War – The Last Full Measure

Posted in CDs, Music, Uncategorized with tags , , on November 29, 2016 by Sara Hammerzmith

Swedish metalband Civil War is FINALLY back with their third album – “The Last Full Measure” following up the success of “Gods and Generals”. I have personally waited for this day to come, as I couldn’t exactly get enough of “Gods and Generals”, so this album could not have come sooner. And with the teaser in “Road to Victory”, the anticipation grew even bigger.

And I was not disappointed, or at least not exactly. While there were maybe one or two tracks, three if you include the bonus track, that felt a bit like transport, the rest of the album was well pleasing! The album has an epic opening with keyboards before launching into heaviness – bringing your thoughts back a bit to “USS Monitor”, at least to begin with. But seriously, I can’t get over the pre-chorus – I have a tendency to get stuck on small things that I like in songs, and for “Road of Victory” it’s the pre-chorus. Cannot love it enough.

Most of the songs are in the same vein as in “Gods and Generals”, and also “The Killer Angels” – it’s the big, epic songs with amazing vocals that we are used to. Some are heavier – some are a bit calmer, and the whole album is very enjoyable and most importantly – most of the songs are very headbang friendly, which is something that has become more and more important for me over the years as someone who loves going to live shows.

Then we have the two couple of songs that had me startled a bit – starting with “Savannah”. It’s a very good song – trust me, I enjoyed it a lot, but that vocal work Nils Patrik has going on in the beginning had me startled. I can’t exactly fingerpoint what it is – but it brings me back to those cocky 90’s kind of teenage singers when I hear, and I absolutely love it.

The second one is, as most of you might be able to guess – “Tombstone”. I literally sat wide-eyed when this song began. Sure it’s not superoriginal-never-ever-been-done-before, but seriously hearing Civil War go that distance, put a BIG smile on my face. I found myself bouncing around with a wide, very wide smile on my face and if that isn’t an accomplishment, then I don’t know what is. I love it.

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// Sara

HammerFall – Built To Last

Posted in CDs, Music, Uncategorized with tags , , on November 23, 2016 by Sara Hammerzmith

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.

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// Sara

Delain – Moonbathers

Posted in CDs, Music, Uncategorized with tags , , on August 30, 2016 by Sara Hammerzmith

Delain, the Dutch metalband most famous for “We are the Others” are finally back with their fifth studioalbum “Moonbathers”, following up the success of “The Human Contradiction” and EP “Lunar Prelude”. For me personally, since I heard “The Glory and the Scum” I’ve been waiting like crazy for this album, and it’s finally here!

Listening to “Moonbathers” is like watching a movie – it’s start off with it’s opening track “Hands of Gold” which is a foreboding song about the adventure yet to come, introducing our hero and perhaps also our villain – in this case portrayed by Alissa White-Gluz. Our first encounter with the hero and the conflict is shown in the second track – “The Glory and the Scum”, giving us an idea what is about to come, and the conflict just culminates in “Suckerpunch” before it’s slowed down and dawned upon us in “The Hurricane” and “Chrysalis: My Last Breath” where our hero gets betrayed.

The climax of the movie, the battle of the movie, starts off with “Fire with Fire” where our hero sees red in her eyes and gets prepared for the ultimate showdown which takes place in “Pendulum”. But then it happens. “Danse Macabre”. Our hero lost. Heroes don’t always win, and heroes don’t always wear capes. A shot at redemption is given with “Scandal”, despite being a Queen cover fits the narrative perfectly, before our hero and the villain break down in “Turn the Lights Out” and finally reach the settlement, and let the credits roll with “The Monarch”.

Not only are the songs placed the way they are to give you this kind of narrative, but the musical arrangements of this albums help enhancing the image of yourself watching a movie, where you let your imagination paint the graphics.

With all of that being said, it’s a very very good album. What gets me the most is all the arrangements. Every single song, every single arrangement behind it just leaves you speechless, sitting there not sure what to feel – you follow the feeling of the music and takes you both up and down, without even paying attention to the lyrics at first. And once you do, you get drawn into a dark world, but not without the little light in the dark – which was also the inspiration for the title, “Moonbathers”, for those of us who find comfort in the dark rather than the light.

I can’t put my finger on exactly what it is – but this album simply speaks to me. Perhaps it’s on a more personal level rather than anything, but I can only salute Delain for bringing us this musical masterpiece of an album for us all to enjoy, laugh and to cry to. Thank you Charlotte, for understanding all of us moonbathers.

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// Sara