I may or not be a spoiled power metal fan. Let’s face it I was bombarded by bands and albums in the mid to late nineties. I might not have been the biggest Power Metal fan back them (my older brother was) and it took me several years to truly appreciate some of the bands. I honestly have been out of the loop a bit in the last few years in the genre. I have broadened my horizons so to speak and I do listen occasionally to some Power Metal and I do crank my stereo sometimes while listening to some of the classics I grew up with. Like I said, I may have been too spoiled for my own good.
When you think of it, the original power metal fans were unaware back then they were spending the best days of their lives with the genesis of the genre. It’s been 25 years and bands have come and gone unfortunately. Some bands have attained mediocrity, but some bands have been the constant and Hammerfall is one of the few bands still true to the genre.
‘Hammer Of Dawn’ is already their 12th studio album in almost 30 years of existence, that is quite impressive. They are always working on new material, and they release albums on a very consistent basis compared to many other bands in the genre. You always look forward to an album from Hammerfall, you never know in what direction they will go but they keep the listener on their toes.
The first single is ‘’Brotherhood’’. This was the best song to preview their album and it was the right track to start off this new release. It’s a rousing and uplifting song that we all can relate to. This song feels like the sum of the attitudes or feelings associated to being part of the metal brotherhood. You feel like an underdog because heavy metal was never in the mainstream and was always relegated to the underground scene. There is a sense of positivity about this song, it’s the unspoken bond between metalheads, from every corner of the world. We are more than friends; we are brothers and sisters that love Metal.
I listened to the album several times and two songs really resonated with me, ‘’Too Old to Die Young’’, and ‘’Live Free or Die’’. The lyrics deal with self-reflection, an introspection of our own conscious thoughts and feelings. It’s a warning sign to a younger generation. Nothing is a given and no one is going to do everything for you. Keep waiting for someone to tell you to run and you never will. It’s a painful wake-up call for many. Its about the stresses and strains on our lives and the uncertainties of the future are one of many. Sometimes life won’t be easy and will not take you by the hand.
The most surprising track is ‘’Venerate Me’’ featuring King Diamond. Hammerfall always has a trick up their sleaves and this collaboration was something that caught me off-guard. The King is in rare form and demonstrates he hasn’t lost a step at all. This song is about being true to oneself. Someone that lived their lives their own way, practices what they preached about. So much has been lost, so much forgotten. So much pain, so much blood. And for what, we all wonder. The past tempts us, the present confuses us, and the future frightens us. And our lives slip away, moment by moment, lost in that vast terrible in-between. But there is still time to seize that one last fragile moment. To choose something better, to make a difference, as you say. Let what we do on earth be worthwhile and hope that people will remember us the right way.
The album always has something to say, and it always puts us in a reflective state. Listen to it at anytime and it will share with you a message worth hearing. ‘Hammer Of Dawn’ is a perfectly assembled album with themes that are inseparable from the human experience.
It is an exploration of life’s anxieties, finding your footing through the trials and tribulations of life. What is our purpose? Is there any purpose? When is the right time? Is there any time at all? What are we fighting for?