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Crimson Thunder

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Album Review

Hammerfall's grandiose heavy metal posturing only narrowly avoids the type of self-parody exhibited by Manowar (for that matter, the bandmembers' outfits are only slightly less ridiculous than Manowar's swords-and-loincloths look). But fans of the genre probably won't care — the band performs its soaring power metal anthems with spirit, dedication, and heroic execution on Crimson Thunder. This is pure classicism here; Hammerfall devotedly adheres to the genre guidelines of '80s power metal, without any attempts toward innovation. Includes an inspired cover version of Chastain's obscure "Angel of Mercy" and a rather pointless take on Kiss' already overdone "Detroit Rock City."

Customer Reviews

So Dreams Do Come True!

'Crimson Thunder' was easily the best power metal album ever recorded when it was released in 2002, and almost 10 years later, no other album has even nearly come close to its level of perfection. It is an album full of instant classics and unforgetable masterpieces, from start to finish. The brilliant 'Riders of the Storm' opens the record in a hail of fire, blasting heavy power metal riffs and epic vocal lines from all sides. The album's incredible single, 'Hearts on Fire', follows it, and highlights the aspects that make Hammerfall so great; the brilliantly heavy guitar riffs, awe-inspiring solos and melodic, powerful vocals. 'On the Edge of Honour' is a fairly standard Hammerfall track (despite featuring lyrics about a unicorn); title track 'Crimson Thunder' involves a slow but effective chorus; the atypical love/hope ballade 'Dreams Come True' stands out as a beacon of softness in a sea of relentless power metal. 'The Unforgiving Blade' is a very heavy track with an incredibly powerful chorus that makes brilliant use of Hammerfall's backup and lead vocals overlapping. 'Lore of the Arcane' is an odd vocal piece that can't really be described as an instrumental, and leads into 'Trailblazers', another typical power metal song. 'Angel of Mercy' is difficult to describe, at times heavy and at times soft. The epic instrumental track 'In Memoriam' must be recognised as one of the greatest guitar masterpieces of all time. The album ends on 'Hero's Return', a generic power metal piece if ever there was one. 'Crimson Thunder' remains as Hammerfall's greatest work ever, and proudly sits on the throne of power metal as a whole. Let the hammer fall on the non-believers!


Formed: 1993 in Gothenburg, Sweden

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

One of the leading lights of the European metal resurgence in the mid- to late 1990s, Sweden's Hammerfall helped to bring melodic power metal back to the forefront of a scene that was struggling to find its footing amidst the alt-rock/grunge boom. Founded in Gothenburg in 1993 by ex-Ceremonial Oath guitarist Oscar Dronjak -- the dissolution of that band would also help launch another influential group, In Flames -- Hammerfall took some time getting off the ground. Many of its then-members were...
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Crimson Thunder, HammerFall
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