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HammerFall bring the bombast as Hammer Of Dawn delivers big on action and small on surprises

It’s hammer time, as Swedish power metal heroes HammerFall deliver album number 12, Hammer Of Dawn

Hammerfall: Hammer Of Dawn
(Image: © Napalm Records)

Consistent, dedicated, uncompromising. You know what you're going to get from a HammerFall album, and studio outing number twelve delivers no surprises. 

Sticking these Swedes in the power metal pigeonhole might seem somewhat limiting, but they unfailingly tick those stylistic boxes. Drop the needle anywhere on Hammer Of Dawn and you’ll find uplifting, bombastic, sweepingly epic metal delivered at varying speeds – though mostly at full gallop – driven by an amazing kick drum sound.

Reveries stands out from the rest with its varied pacing, and Not Today is a sedate and laid-back tune by HammerFall standards. Otherwise, the likes of Brotherhood, Live Free or Die, No Son of Odin and Venerate Me – with King Diamond lending his supernatural wail to the vocals – all sound thunderingly powerful and effortlessly tuneful, with plenty of rousing choruses and tastefully harmonic shredding solos. 

HammerFall have hit the nail on the head again.

Whether it’s magazines, books or online, Essi has been writing about rock ’n’ metal for around thirty years. He has been reviews editor for Classic Rock and Metal Hammer, rock reviews editor for lads mag Front and worked for Kerrang!. He has also written the Rough Guide to Heavy Metal and contributed to the Rough Guide to Rock and Rough Guide Book of Playlists, and the Guinness Book of British Hit Singles (13th edition). Most fun interview? Tenacious D – Jack Black and Kyle Gass – for The Pick of Destiny movie book. An avid record/CD/tape collector, he’s amassed more music than he could ever possibly listen to, which annoys his wife no end.