Hammerfall formed in 1993 and underwent numerous personnel changes before settling on their current lineup, which includes principal songwriters Joachim Cans (vocals) and Oscar Dronjak (guitars). Jesper Stromblad (In Flames) played drums on their debut but was soon replaced Patrick Rafling. Despite the fact that Hammerfall play a style of metal that is no longer considered cool, they are one of the top bands in the Eurometal scene and their first two albums both reached gold+ status. They even broke Germany's Top 100, remaining on the charts for well over two months. Their third album "Renegade" debuted on the pop charts in Germany.

Bring on the metal onslaught!

Glory to the Brave HammerFall-Glory to the Brave (Nuclear Blast) 1997

1. "Dragon Lies Bleeding" (4:23)
2. "Metal Age" (4:28)
3. "Hammerfall" (4:48)
4. "I Believe" (4:54)
5. "Child of the Damned" (3:43)
6. "Steel Meets Steel" (4:02)
7. "Stone Cold" (5:43)
8. "Unchained" (5:38)
9. "Glory to the Brave" (7:21)

A friend turned me on to this band by sending me one song on a tape; "The Dragon Lies Bleeding." Suffice it to say, I was blown away. Hammerfall play power metal in the tradition of Judas Priest, Manowar, and Iron Maiden, yet they remain fresh sounding. I heard at the time that this was one of Nuclear Blast's biggest sellers and I can see why. In a time when metal has been so blurred with other influences, it's refreshing to hear a band stay so close to their roots and put out a real HEAVY METAL album. "Glory to the Brave" is no frills heavy metal, not overly progressive, not even down-tuned, just speed-laden, melodic, grandiose anthems about honor, glory, and slaying dragons. "Children of the Damned" is a Warlord cover.

Glory to the Brave EP Hammerfall-Glory to the Brave (Nuclear Blast) 1997

1. "Glory To The Brave" (Radio Version) (5:02)
2. "Ravenlord" (3:31)
3. "The Metal Age" (Live in Wacken 1997) (4:33)
4. "Glory To The Brave" (album version) (7:19)

The first single to be released by Hammerfall. What makes this single a necessity is the excellent cover of Stormwitch's "Ravenlord." The live track is a nice addition as well. The cd is wrapped in a slim case.

Heeding the Call EP Hammerfall-Heeding the Call EP (Nuclear Blast) 1998

1. "Heeding the Call" (4:23)
2. "Eternal Dark" (3:10)
3. "The Metal Age" -live (4:24)
4. "Steel Meets Steel" -live (4:34)
5. "Stone Cold" -live (7:00)

This was the pre-release EP to the album "Legacy of Kings." The three live tracks are reason enough to own this EP. All three were recorded live at Musikens Hus. Goteborg, January 30th 1998. Hammerfall is a band that enjoys doing a lot of crowd interaction in their live sets. "Eternal Dark" is a studio track that did not make it onto "Legacy. 'Eternal Dark' was originally recorded by a band called Picture. (Thanks Kurt.)

Legacy of Kings HammerFall-Legacy of Kings (Nuclear Blast) 1998

1. "Heeding the Call" (4:30)
2. "Legacy of Kings" (4:13)
3. "Let the Hammer Fal"l (4:16)
4. "Dreamland" (5:42)
5. "Remember Yesterday" (5:05)
6. "At the End of the Rainbow" (4:05)
7. "Back to Back" (3:39)
8. "Stronger than All" (4:29)
9. "Warriors of the Faith" (4:45)
10. "The Fallen One" (4:23)

"Legacy" is an excellent follow up to the earth shattering "Glory to the Brave." Stronger, heavier, and plenty of sing-along, melodic vocal hooks. The lyrics continue in the Manowar tradition of the strength of metal. Songs like "Warriors of the Faith" speak of metal in an almost holy manner. Of course none of my local stores were stocking this, so I had to special order it. Paid a premium price, but it was worth it. "Back to Back" is a Pretty Maids cover.

I Want Out Hammerfall-I Want Out (Nuclear Blast) 1999

1. "I Want Out" (4:37)
2. "At the End of the Rainbow" (4:06)
3. "Man on the Silver Mountain" (3:24)
4. "Glory to the Brave" -video

Hammerfall team up with ex-Helloween/current Gamma Ray guitarist Kai Hansen to cover a couple of their favorites; Helloweens "I Want Out" and Dio-era Rainbow "Man on the Silver Mountain." The Dio song is also on the Holy Dio tribute. This is an enhance cd and contains a full video of "Glory to the Brave."

Renegade EP Hammerfall-Renegade EP (Nuclear Blast) 2000

1. "Renegade" (4:24)
2. "Run With The Devil" (3:39)
3. "Head Over Heels" (4:35)

This EP is essential for the excellent version of Accept's "Head Over Heels," in which Joacim and Udo share lead vocals. The two vocalists really stand out from one another, but the song sounds great. "Run With the Devil" is another unreleased track, and I assume is a cover. If someone knows who the song is by, let me know. Also has video material with "behind the scenes" footage from the "Renegade" recording sessions. This disc was released as a pre-release to the album to prime interest and sales.

The song "Run With The Devil" was done originally by Heavyload. Thanks for the update Chris.

Renegade Hammerfall-Renegade (Nuclear Blast) 2000

1. "Templairs of Steel" (5:24)
2. "Keep the Flame Burning" (4:39)
3. "Renegade" (4:21)
4. "Living In Victory" (4:42)
5. "Always Will Be" (4:49)
6. "The Way of the Warrior" (4:06)
7. "Destined for Glory" (5:09)
8. "The Champion" (4:56)
9. "Raise the Hammer" -instrumental (3:22)
10. "A Legend Reborn" (5:10)

This one was much anticipated after totally enjoying their first two true metal platters. I special ordered this disc so that I would have it the day it became available in the US. For me this is rare, as there are very few bands that I an that anxious to have. "Renegade" on the first few listens sounds like it is just as enjoyable as the past two discs, although I think they may have slowed down the tempo a bit on this disc. Hmmm, will have to see what I think after a month or two. Until then, all hail the new kings of true metal! Hammerfall!!! Have to add that new drummer Anders Johansson formerly played with Yngwie Malmsteen's Rising Force.

Always Will Be Hammerfall - Always Will Be (Nuclear Blast Germany) 2001

1. "Always Will Be" (4:49)
2. "The Fallen One" (4:21)
3. "Always Will Be" -acoustic version (4:49)
4. "Breaking the Law" (2:12)

Nice digi-pak EP single from Germany. The cd itself is strange in that you can see through it. The outer 2 inches of the cd is clear and only the inner inch or so is actually silver. Anyhow, "Always Will Be" is a ballad from "Renegade," "The Fallen One" is a ballad from "Legacy of Kings." "Breaking the Law" is a Judas Priest cover in which all the members of Hammerfall trade instruments. Unfortunately, this means that Oscar Dronjak does the vocals. Would have rather have heard Joachim Cans belt out this metal classic, but it's a fun rendition nonetheless.

Hammerfall also recorded a cover of Twisted Sister's "We're Gonna Make It" for the 'Twisted Forever' tribute.

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