Stretching three years from their previous studio album, Hammerfall is back again with their ninth album called (r)Evolution. The title make it obvious that this album will be something between their root sounds and added some (r)evolutionary newer ideas. Indeed, Hammerfall's as in Infected (2011) did not works well with (die hard) fans. This album never again walk into less travel road, (r)Evolution is everything fans familiar with, power metal as we known from Hammerfall.
Of course the opener is perfect too, "Hector's Hymn" bring back power metal on the righteous path, epic attacking riff opener, legendary dragon slaying lyrics and Joacim Cans sad voices just fit every notes on the Hymn. The second track "(r)Evolution" is kind of goose-bumper with their most elementary drum enter, most basic power chord chops, the enjoyment falls to the simple song writing, must be. This is where the newer ideas seems kicks in. The most successful blending of re- and e-volution seems to be on "Live Life Loud", where the band success in creating new "groove" for its power metal. "We Won't Back Down" brings front Joacim Cans character singing, again not very usual stuff from the band. Of the many mid to slow tempo song, "Winter Is Coming" is the slowest ballad. And then we back to what we want, "Origins" is like the end of one long blizzard chapter from track #2 to #7, that is we return to fast and furious power metal conversations. It is a smooth road from here, only "Evil Incarnate" is still the song that bit of experimental but this one is good. The album ended with uncompromising fast and epic stuffs called "Wildfire".
Though the first song sounds like we will just step back to the good old '90s Hammerfall, but the majority of the album fit more into their newer ideas. Forget some of my words about Hammerfall returns, this is an album about 70:30 ratio of new and old sounds. Yet, I found most of ideas blend in correct ways, making this album has greater re-listening value. The production is top notch, you can hear the perfect guitar tones storming down your tympanic membrane and knocked down all your waxes. Joacim Cans is surely stars of the album with his warrior voices, with some new ideas presented, Joacim also gives fans new character to anticipated. (r)Evolution may not be the truest return to at least "No Sacrifice, No Victory" era, it contained caution portion of newer sounds. I like this album pretty well though.
Favorite tracks: Hector's Hymn, Live Life Loud, Wildfire
Metal Harem class: ********* eight stars out of ten
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Hammerfall - (r)Evolution (2014)
1. Hector's Hymn
2. (r) Evolution
4. Live Life Loud
5. Ex Inferis
6. We Won't Back Down
7. Winter Is Coming
9. Tainted Metal
10. Evil Incarnate
Joacim Cans – Vocals
Oscar Dronjak - Guitars, Backing Vocals
Pontus Norgren - Guitars, Backing Vocals
Fredrik Larsson - Bass, Backing Vocals
Anders Johansson – Drums