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Hammerfall: Metal keeps us young

Oscar Dronjak says his passion for writing and playing heavy metal makes him feel young – and keeps Hammerfall’s sound fresh.

The Swedish group release ninth album ®Evolution on September 1 via Nuclear Blast – their first recording since returning from a year-and-a-half hiatus.

The guitarist previously stated the album had “more quality songs than any we’ve done before” and reveals it’s his love of making music that drives the band forward.

He tells Spotlight Report: “I love heavy metal – that’s why I started playing. It’s something that makes me feel young all the time. When I’m writing heavy metal, it makes me feel like I’m the same fan of the music as I was 20 or 30 years ago.

“If you write the music you love, it makes it so much easier and I’ve been fortunate enough to be able to do it for a long time.”

Dronjak also reveals the new album’s title has something in common with the Swedish release of Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes.

He says: “In Sweden, they sometimes take liberties with the translation of movie titles. When Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes came out in Swedish theatres, it was called Planet Of The Apes: ®Evolution.

“For a long time I thought that was the original title. I realised when we had decided to use ®Evolution, it was just the Swedish title, so it made it even better because it wasn’t available to many people.

“It also has meaning for us. For me, it means an on-going revolution that we’ve had since 1993. There’s been a revolution in heavy metal because in those days, heavy metal was uncool and not popular, so it’s always been a battle for us.

“The Evolution part of the title is linked to the music on the album, because it reflects the elements of old Hammerfall and the way our sound has evolved through 2014.”

Meanwhile, the guitarist has taken part in a Monty Python quiz, organised by the band’s label Nuclear Blast.

Dronjak, a huge fan of the seminal comedy group, travelled with Hammerfall frontman Joacim Cans to see Python’s live show at the O2 Arena in London in July – an experience he described as “magical.” See the video below.

Along with the September 1 launch of ®Evolution, the band will release a limited edition double blue vinyl of the album on September 22. It’s available to pre-order from the Nuclear Blast store.

®Evolution tracklist

  1. Hector’s Hymm

  2. ®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 Incarnate

  11. Wildfire

Scott looks after and updates Louder’s online buyer’s guides and also scouts out the best deals for music fans from every corner of the internet. He's spent more than 28 years in newspapers and magazines as an editor, production editor, sub-editor, designer, writer and reviewer. Scott joined our news desk in the summer of 2014, where he wrote extensively about rock, metal, prog and more, before moving to the eCommerce team full-time in 2020. Scott has previous written for publications including IGN, Sunday Mirror, Daily Record and The Herald covering everything from daily news and weekly features, to video games, travel and whisky.