Markus' Heavy Music Blog

My world of music - est. 2013


Live review HAMMERFALL/GLORYHAMMER/LANCER, TivoliVredenburg, Utrecht, 16.01.2017

Veröffentlicht am 17. Januar 2017 von Markus W. in Hammerfall, News, Live Review, Live, Heavy Metal, Power Metal, Gloryhammer, Lancer, Napalm Records, Nuclear Blast, Speed Metal, Fantasy Metal, Melodic Metal, NWoBHM, TivoliVredenburg

A 66% Scandinavian metal package brought a cold breeze and hot metal to Holland. Swedish metal Templars HammerFall embarked on a headliner tour through Europe, supported by their label companions Gloryhammer and Swedish comrades Lancer - three bands that guaranteed a glorious metal night in Utrecht, The Netherlands.

Lancer from Arvika had to enter the stage first. The guys have a new album out, entitled "Mastery”. Their powerful speed metal was well appreciated and songs like the title track from the latest release as well as "Iscariot" are good song tunes done for being performed on stage. But also some gimmicks have been part of Lancer's 30 minutes gig, peaking on singer Isak Stenvall swaying around the mask that decorated the album's artwork.

Live review HAMMERFALL/GLORYHAMMER/LANCER, TivoliVredenburg, Utrecht, 16.01.2017

All this was the right introduction for what came next. Scottish/Swiss space invaders Gloryhammer filled the middle slot and their show was remarkable. First of all it was great to see how solid Gloryhammer's fan base in Holland seems to be. The moment the band entered the stage the room, at least the first rows, turned into a madhouse. 'Hoot' shouts filled the entire room. One can think about the costumes and concept of Gloryhammer whatever you want, the music and energy just rocks. The entire scenery made me smile more than ones but the epical sing-a-long power metal just puts a spell on you. The funniest Moment though was when singer Thomas Winkler aka Angus McFive gave the task to a fan to arrange a beer for the Hootsman by crowd surfing to the bar and back. Good music and entertaining show, embedded in a weird scenery.

Live review HAMMERFALL/GLORYHAMMER/LANCER, TivoliVredenburg, Utrecht, 16.01.2017

After such a performance it was up to the headliner to push even harder. Now, HammerFall is in business since two decades, they have tons of good songs and they have been a revitalizer of heavy metal in the grunge/modern metal 90's.

Next to the quality of hits like the new “Bring It!”, the great “Renegade” and the grande finale “Hearts on Fire” fans got with 90 minutes a full quantity headliner package. HammerFall left no doubt that they are the main act that night. Supported by a great stage set the guys obviously enjoyed playing in Holland, which was by the way their first show in Utrecht ever. A surprising moment though was Joacim Cans' rhetorical question about how many people are part of a Hammerfall show for the first time. I guess it was half of the crowd, something that wasn't to expect and a clear sign that Hammerfall should come back more often to Holland. Anyhow, regardless if new or longtime fan, everybody obviously had fun that night. Actually the amount of energy in the room was outstanding, esp. thinking about a Monday night.

Like mentioned earlier, the quintet can look back on a rich back catalogue which makes it hard to choose. One milestone that is effected by that is the ground-breaking "Glory to the Brave", the bands fantastic debut. HammerFall didn't went on the same road as many other bands, playing an entire album – not even as a 20 years special anniversary special show. The five-piece decided to promote the new longplayer and celebrate their classic with a "Medley to the Brave" featuring various songs from the debut. A good decision.

For the rest it was an entertaining and professional show that included Oscar's 'hammer guitar', Joacim Cans and Pontus Norgren kicking of "Glory to the Brave" acoustically while sitting in front of the drum kit and last but not least 90 minutes of authentic heavy metal with a strong traditional touch.

Seeing HammerFall live on stage is definitely a great thing. It might be that the latest longplayer was 'just' a good one, but HammerFall live on stage still shows the impact and power of the guys and their music. All in all it was a great way to spend a crispy Monday night with three bands that have us much in common by still being quite different. Horns up.

Live review HAMMERFALL/GLORYHAMMER/LANCER, TivoliVredenburg, Utrecht, 16.01.2017
Live review HAMMERFALL/GLORYHAMMER/LANCER, TivoliVredenburg, Utrecht, 16.01.2017

Setlist Lancer:

  1. Dead Raising Towers
  2. Future Milennia
  3. Mastery
  4. Iscariot
  5. Purple Sky


Setlist Gloryhammer:

  1. Rise of the Chaos Wizard
  2. Legend of the Astral Hammer
  3. Hail to Crail
  4. Questlord of Inverness, Ride to the Galactic Fortress!
  5. The Hollywood Hootsman
  6. Angus McFife
  7. Universe on Fire
  8. The Unicorn Invasion of Dundee


Setlist Hammerfall:

  1. Hektor’s Hymn
  2. Riders of the Storm
  3. Bring It!
  4. Blood Bound
  5. Any Means Necessary
  6. Renegade
  7. Dethrone and Defy
  8. Crimson Thunder
  9. Last Man Stnading
  10. Let the Hammer Fall
  11. Built to Last
  12. Medley to the Brave
  13. The Dragon Lies Bleeding
  14. Glory to the Brave
  15. Origins
  16. Punish and Enslave
  17. Hammer High (Encore)
  18. Bushido (Encore)
  19. Hearts on Fire (Encore)


Location: TivoliVredenburg, Utrecht, The Netherlands

Date: January 16th, 2017




CD review HAMMERFALL "Built to Last"

Veröffentlicht am 28. Oktober 2016 von Markus W. in Hammerfall, News, CD Review, NWoBHM, Power Metal, Speed Metal

(7/10) In days of constant change some continuity is a welcomed situation. Hammerfall provides such a stability with their releases and also the newest one, "Built to Last", doesn't change this situation.

In days of many different styles of metal it feels a bit strange to describe Hammerfall as being oldschool. It sounds like living in the past, playing music that is covered in dust. But that's wroung. It’s more that Oscar Dronjak re-vitalized traditional metal in the nineties when grunge, modern metal and nu metal took over, getting a lot of attention and support. Hammerfall, at that time, felt like a relief for metalheads that came from the NWoBHM days. The five–piece from Gothenburg blew in new life into a genre that had to suffer at that moment in time.

After the band released their debut “Glory of the Brave” a success story started that probably couldn’t have been foreseen at that time. The guys published nine albums and build up a more than solid fan base that’s still growing.

After the dark “Infected” album from 2011, Hammerfall returned to their more traditional sound with “(r)Evolution”, a journey which they continue on “Built to Last”.

It feels like ‘nomen et omen’ when it comes to the title. The new longplayer stands like a solid rock and it provides fans with 10 headbangers, most of them pretty good. OK, Hammerfall doesn't re-invent themsleves and their sound is also back to what the guys can do best - writing and playing traditional metal with good melody lines.

"Bring It!" is the fast opener, "The Scared Vow" is a typical Hammerfall hymn and "Stormbreaker" blows more than a metallic breeze right into your face. A song I really like is "The Star of Home" since it belongs to the more straight-forward ones.

I'm not really sure if the quiet "Twilight Princess" was needed though. At least I could have easily have lived without this tune that is a bit too cheesy. Something inbetween is "New Breed". The tune comes with an exciting solo part but sounds, besides the solo, a bit breathless. I almost had the feeling that Hammerfall, in some parts, wanted to write an 'Accept'-song, an endevour that wasn't too succesful.

To conclude: “Built to Last” is a very solid metal record that includes all the trademarks fans can expect from the band. It’s a well-crafted piece of heavy metal without frills. This is heavy metal in the best meaning of the word, placed on an album that is powerful and dynamic.





  1. Bring It!
  2. Hammer High
  3. The Sacred Vow
  4. Dethrone and Defy
  5. Twilight Princess
  6. Stormbreaker
  7. Built to Last
  8. The Star of Home
  9. New Breed
  10. Second to None


Label: Naplam Records

Genre: Heavy Metal

Release Date EU: October 28th, 2016

CD review HAMMERFALL "Built to Last"

"The Sacred Vow" - HAMMERFALL's new single

Veröffentlicht am 9. September 2016 von Markus W. in Hammerfall, News, Tour, Heavy Metal, NWoBHM, Power Metal, Classic Metal

"The Sacred Vow" is Hammerfall's new single and the first song from the upcoming album "Built to Last"

The band commented on their first single release “The Sacred Vow”:
“Choosing a track for this was not easy, as we had several suitable songs. But "The Sacred Vow” is a pretty classic HammerFall tune and very representative of the album as a whole: speed, power, energy and with a catchy chorus that oozes of heavy metal spirit!"

The album will be released on November 4th this year via Napalm Records and is now ready for pre-order.



And in case you want to see the swedes on tour, here are the dates:

"The Sacred Vow" - HAMMERFALL's new single

HAMMERFALL unveils album details

Veröffentlicht am 12. August 2016 von Markus W. in Hammerfall, Heavy Metal, NWoBHM, Power Metal, Speed Metal, News

HAMMERFALL unveils album details

Swedish heavy metal powerhouse unveiled details of their upcoming longplayer "Built to Last". The release date is November 4th. It will be their 10th album in 20 years and the first one that comes via Napalm Records.

Hammerfall guitarist Oscar Dronjak comments: "Built To Last is our 10th studio album in 19 years, incredibly enough, but I think we sound more alive and vibrant than ever before! We have worked our asses off to make sure this album is a worthy successor to (r)Evolution, and I have no doubt in my mind that we have created one of the strongest records we have ever done. I am immensely proud and excited about this album, and I am confident all our Templars of Steel will agree once they hear it in November."

Here comes the tracklist:

  1. Bring It!
  2. Hammer High
  3. The Sacred Vow
  4. Dethrone And Defy
  5. Twighlight Princess
  6. Stormbreaker
  7. Built To Last
  8. The Star Of Home
  9. New Breed
  10. Second To None

The band will be also on tour in January 2017 and here are the dates:



HAMMERFALL unveils album details

HAMMERFALL tour dates for Europe

Veröffentlicht am 12. Juli 2016 von Markus W. in Hammerfall, Heavy Metal, Power Metal, News, Tour

Swedish metal powerhouse Hammerfall will tour through Europe beginning of 2017, promoting the upcomong 10th album that is scheduled for November 4th. Here are already the tour dates and more info about the album will come...

HAMMERFALL tour dates for Europe

Oscar Dronjak adds guitar solo to WITCHBOUND album

Veröffentlicht am 28. April 2015 von Markus W. in Witchbound, Stormwitch, Hammerfall, News, Heavy Metal, Power Metal

That Hammerfall are fans of Stormwitch isn't a secret. That's why it isn't a big surprise that Oscar Dronjak contibuted with a guitar solo to the upcoming album from Witchbound. You will hear him on "Keep the pyre burning".


Photo by Tallee Savage

Photo by Tallee Savage


CD review LANCER "Second storm"

Veröffentlicht am 10. April 2015 von Markus W. in Lancer, Hammerfall, Helloween, Power Metal, Heavy Metal, News, CD Review, Melodic Metal

(7/10) Lancer are from Sweden, from Arvika to be precise. The band was founded in 2009 and the guys found their passion in melodic power metal. After having had their demo "Reaching higher" in 2010 the five piece band released an EP called "Purple sky" in 2012. One year later the debut was available in the record stores, followed by the brand new longplayer "Second storm".

"Second storm" can live up to what the title promises. Lancer found their passion in powerful classic metal that is filling the gap between the older Helloween and Hammerfall. The nine new tracks, that give you a 50 minutes metal experience, might not be pure musical innovation, but this isn't important in this case. The big benefit is that fact that Lancer playing their music with passion and it feels like the guys are living for their songs.

The opener "Running from the tyrant" is setting the tone of voice for the entire album. Fast guitars and a merciless beat are the main caracteristics of the tune that is an pure energizer. The pace gets more moderate with songs like "Iwo jima" and the dramatic "Eyes of the liar". At this stage I also must mention the singer Isak Stenvall who has a classic metal voice that covers also the high screams.

"Aton" is in the centre of the record and is with nine minutes extraordinary long. Starting with a typical Dokken riff the epical long track stays in midpace. The tune comes with good hooks and the guitar solos spice it up. I felt a bit reminded to Iron Maiden, at least in some parts. And there is the bluesy middle part which is a well placed break that adds something extra to the track.

Since I mentioned Iron Maiden - listen to the twin guitars on "Children of the storm" and you know what I'm talking about.

The thing that gave me a smile was the cover. The metallic robo-bird looks a bit funny, but however - the cover reflects the album very well and there are far worse ones.

All in all I must say that Lancer released an album that should be checked by fans of melodic power metal. This album is true.





  1. Running from the tyrant
  2. Iwo jima
  3. Masters and crowns
  4. Behind the walls
  5. Aton
  6. Children of the storm
  7. Steelbreaker
  8. Eyes of the liar
  9. Fools marches on


Label: Despotz Records

Genre: Power Metal

CD review LANCER "Second storm"

CD review THE STORYTELLER "Sacred fire"

Veröffentlicht am 10. März 2015 von Markus W. in The Storyteller, Hardrock, Power Metal, Heavy Metal, News, CD Review, Saxon, Helloween, Hammerfall

(7/10) Hmmm. What should I say about this album? That was and still is my question after several rounds of listening to the twelve songs.

The Storyteller comes from Sweden and is playing power metal with a very melodic component. Sometimes they remind a bit to Helloween and the vocals of L-G Persson sound in certain parts even like Andy Deris. But I had to think about Saxon's Biff Byford as well. The crosslink to Saxon is not by coinsidence since The Storyteller add also some traditional heavy metal to their sound too.

The sixth album of the band from Gävle, Sweden is called "Sacred fire" and as I said in the beginning it is a hard cookie. In almost all meanings of the word.

The twelve tunes on the album are well crafted and sound powerful. We are talking about real headbanging stuff based on heavy riffs, rough but melodic vocals and a rhythm section that comes across very pushing. Sometimes the guys speed up to some doublebass parts and on the other hand the ballad takes care about the emotional moments on "Sacred fire". So, all right you might think.

But there is something that still limits my enthusiasm. It's hard to describe, but I think it is a certain kind of diversity that is missing. The songs, except the ballad, sound very similar and follow a same kind of structure. Except of the ballad it's not easy to differentiate between the different tunes on "Sacred fire". This takes out the tension  and gives the album some length after a while. Maybe less would have been more in this context or a bit more courage to try out new elements would have been benefitial.

However, fans of melodic power metal should give this album a try since it has its moments and is a solid piece of metal. 





  1. As I die
  2. One last stand
  3. Sacred fire
  4. Ferryman
  5. Serpent eyes
  6. Sons of the North
  7. In search for treasure, stones and gold
  8. Coming home
  9. The army of Southerfell
  10. Curse of the seven seas
  11. Let your spirit fly
  12. God of war


Label: Black Lodge Records

Genre: Power Metal

CD review THE STORYTELLER "Sacred fire"

CD review ORDEN ORGAN "Ravenhead"

Veröffentlicht am 18. Januar 2015 von Markus W. in Orden Organ, Heavy Metal, Power Metal, Folk Metal, CD Review, News, Hammerfall, Grave Digger

(7/10) German Orden Organ has released a new album called "Ravenhead". According to the label info the record will have "more metal, more chorusses, more Orden Organ". Something I can't say 'no' to. 

"Ravenhead" comes with ten song plus the dramatic intro "Orden Organ". The title song is the first real track on the album and set the tone of voice for the coming 50 minutes. It is speedy track with a hammering beat. The thing with "more chorusses" comes back in the opener and is a real red thread through the album.

"F.E.V.E.R." starts a bit more relaxed with a piano and a choir. After such a start the guitar take over, including a mighty riff in the middle part, and the band build in a backpipe as well. The song is busting with strength and rounds off a good beginning of the album.

Orden Organ could also convince two guest singers to contribute on "Ravenhead". Grave Digger bandleader Chris Boltendahl supported on the intense "Here at the end of the world" and Joacim Cans from Hammerfall had some vocal parts on "Sorrow is your tale". Both songs are well crafted and bring some diversity into the 50 minutes of Orden Organ metal. 

Further down the road you will meet "In grief and chains" which is a two minutes instrumental that leads the listener toward the final track on the album. "Too soon" marks the last step on "Ravenhead" and is the most soulful song on the longplayer. It can be described as the ballad. But this would be too easy. It is the more silent tune on the album, but it becomes more heavy towards the end. The melodies are catchy, the choir gives the song some more bombast and the folk elements add something to the positive impression too. Well done.

Fans of German metal and power metal should check "ravenhead". You will get solid metal made in Germany.





  1. Orden Organ
  2. Ravenhead
  3. F.E.V.E.R.
  4. The lake
  5. Evil lies in every man
  6. Here at the end of the world (feat. Chris Boltendahl)
  7. A reason to give
  8. Deaf amongst the blind
  9. Sorrow is your tale (feat. Joacim Cans)
  10. In grief and chains
  11. Too soon


Label: AFM Records

Genre: Heavy Metal

CD review ORDEN ORGAN "Ravenhead"

CD review TRIAL "Vessel"

Veröffentlicht am 5. Januar 2015 von Markus W. in Trial, Heavy Metal, Power Metal, US Metal, CD Review, News, Liege Lord, Hammerfall

(9/10) Heavy metal from Trollhätten the way I like it - that's Trial. They started in 2007 in 'Saab city' and released the first demo in 2010. They moved forward and a year later their debut was in the stores. It took Trial another four years to come back with their seecond album. "Vessel" will be released mid January and the album is something to look forward to - at least for traditionalists.

The five-piece band wrote and recorded seven new tracks for the album. This doesn't sound like a lot, but since the tracks have a running time between 3 and 13 minutes it delivers a lot of metal

The title track is also the opener. "Vessel" starts with acoustic guitars that could be a prelude before a slow riff joins in. What is remarkabel are the vocals from Linus Johansson. His voice is a real power metal siren that impressed me a lot.

"To new ends" is much faster than the title track. It's a mix of NWoBHM bands like Iron Maiden and US metal bands like Liege Lord. The twin guitars make the song, actually all the songs, damn heavy.

"Ecstasy waltz" shows another facette of Trial's sound. It starts as fast as "To new ends" before an acoustic section accompanied by only vocals takes over. The pattern between silent and loud continues throughout the song. While listening to the tune I had to think about Hammerfall. This impression got even stronger with "Through bewilderment". This isn't meant negative at all since Trial sound still very authentic and have their own trademarks in their music.

The galloping heavy anthem "A ruined world" is followed by the "Where man becomes all". This track is for me definitly one of the best songs on the album. 

But the real highlight is the 13 minutes long "Restless blood". It's not easy to write such a long track by keeping it exciting till the end. Trial manages this challenge. It seems to me that the band put all their strengths into this epos. It is full of tempo breaks, has the silent and the heavy roaring sections, is sometimes strong as a rock and partly vulnerable and fragile.

This album is a must for all fans of traditional heavy metal and US power metal. If you like bands like Liege Lord, Omen,... you have to listen to Trial. I love it!





  1. Vessel
  2. To new ends
  3. Ecstacy waltz
  4. Through bewilderment
  5. A ruined world
  6. Where man becomes all
  7. Restless blood


Label: Holy Roller

Genre: Heavy Metal

CD review TRIAL "Vessel"

CD review HAMMERFALL "(r)Evolution"

Veröffentlicht am 29. August 2014 von Markus W. in Hammerfall, Heavy Metal, Power Metal, CD Review, News

(8/10) It was three years ago when Hammerfall from Sweden released their latest album "Infected", a record which still reflected some of Hammerfall's trademarks, but sounded a bit darker than expected. 

"(r)Evolution" is the name of their newest output which brings the quintet from Gothenburg back on stage. The inspiration for the album title came from the second remake of the "Planet of the apes" movie. Since guitarist Oscar Dronjak has seen the film and read the name he thought that this could be a cool name for Hammerfall. And here it is.

Another thing which changed compared with the predecessor is the fact that Hector, the mascot, is back on the cover. Hector was missing on "Infected", but now he's alive again. Good. 

But it's also the music that is back with all the trademarks of Hammerfall. Since "Infected" embedded some try-out element and sounded darker than the other Hammerfall records "(r)Evolution" mirrors the Swedish quintet as we know them.

The opening triple makes this already very clear. I don't think that it is a coinsidence that the first track is called "Hector's hymn". All three song, the furious opener, the title track with its hymn-like character and the first single release, the pounding "Bushido", show in a good way what we can expect (again) from the band. Straightforward traditional heavy metal in a modern production dress. "(r)Evolution" is the promised step back to old strength and power.

But it's also the low pace rocker "Ex inferis" with the pumping bassline and a mighty but simple riff that convinced me again. The tune made me think about the old Stormwitch times. If you listen to this song you're not surprised that the Swedes show a lot of respct to the 'masters of black romance'.

"We won't back down" assures that the speed increases again. The raging song has a big melody and a straight-forward beat. This track has all the trademarks of Hammerfall and could also have been on the band's debut. More tracks like this needed. No problem. "Origins" and the bouncer "Wildfire" have exactly the same  expression. Furious metal based on a powerful rhythm section and an classical guitar line.

If the power ballad "Winter is coming" was necessary, I don't know. It was maybe needed to create a nice flow on "(r)Evolution", but it's not one of the strong ones on the album.

All in all I like the album. It is Hammerfall as I know the band. They left the experimental path they walked on with "Infected" and bethought themself on their real strength - melodic heavy metal songs. Good decision and well done.





  1. Hector's hymn
  2. (r)Evolution
  3. Bushido
  4. Live life loud
  5. Ex inferis
  6. We won't back down
  7. Winter is coming
  8. Origins
  9. Tainted metal
  10. Evil incarnation
  11. Wildfire
  12. Demonized (Bonus track)


Label: Nuclear Blast

Genre: Heavy Metal

CD review HAMMERFALL "(r)Evolution"

HAMMERFALL uploaded with "Bushido" a new song

Veröffentlicht am 27. August 2014 von Markus W. in Hammerfall, Heavy Metal, Power Metal, Video, Ne

Hammerfall, Swedens traditional metal institution, uploaded with "Bushido" a new song on YouTube. It's the single of the coming album "rEvolution". Do you like it?

HAMMERFALL uploaded with "Bushido" a new song
Photo: Tallee Savage

Photo: Tallee Savage


WACKEN 2014 as live stream!!!

Veröffentlicht am 1. August 2014 von Markus W. in Wacken, News, Hammerfall, Steel Panther, Saxon, Accept, Kreator, Apocalyptica, Motorhead

German news side Spiegel Online streams some shows of the mighty WACKEN Open Air 2014 in cooperation with ARTE Concerts. Here comes the preliminary list of broadcasted shows.



17.00 - 17.45  Skyline 

18.00 - 19.15  Hammerfall

19.30 - 20.45  Steel Panther

21.00 - 22.15  Saxon

22.30 - 24.00  Accept



from 16.45  Heaven Shall Burn

from 18.00  Children of Bodom

from 19.30  Apocalyptica

from 21.15  Carcass

from 00.00  Saltatio Mortis



17.30 - 18.45  Emperor

19.00 - 20.15  Amon Amarth

20.30 - 21.45  J.B.O.

(23.30 - 00.00  Motörhead - probabaly as Video on Demand)

00.15 - 01.30  Kreator

01.45 - 02.45  Schandmaul

WACKEN 2014 as live stream!!!