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Hammerfall/ Powerglove/ Arctic Flame


Date: 3/7/10
Venue: Irving Plaza, New York City
Reviewed By: Rich Catino
 
 

When it comes to local openers in the New York/New Jersey area for European Power Metal bands like Hammerfall, Arctic Flame are usually regulars. I missed their set but can tell you the band have been at it for around 7 years now (that cheesy mascot on stage has to go. its like a really poor mans Eddie) and released two albums of early 80s Fates Warning/Running Wild/Iron Maiden influenced metal. Video game inspired youngsters Powerglove were next playing an all instrumental (which is what they do) set of Drangonforce meets Manowar power metal. Musically, pretty solid, but with song titles like ‘Metal Kombat for the Mortal Man’, ’Power Rangers Theme’, and ‘Tetris’, this is why the genre gets made fun of. And do we need another band that not only plays the soundtrack to Conan the Barbarian, but dresses like a barbarian? Really, these kids looked so silly wearing spiked shoulder pads and loin cloths. It was so over the top and selling merchandise that included foam swords was no help.

Clearly the leaders of the 1990s New Wave of Traditional Heavy Metal, Sweden’s Hammerfall made a triumphant return to the States after five years, playing to a packed house at Irving Plaza in New York City. It boggles my mind still to this day how (at least in the States) Hammerfall, Blind Guardian, Stratovarius, Edguy, and Primal Fear were not groomed by the media to be the second generation successors to the Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Dio, and Motley Crue thrones. Hopefully someone, someday, will wake up!

‘Punish and Enslave’, off their latest album "No Sacrifice, No Victory", followed by the title tracks to "Crimson Thunder" and "Renegade" were all strong openers and received a rousing response from the fickle New York crowd. Instantly, vocalist Joacim Cans, guitarists Oscar Dronjak and Pontus Norgren, bassist Fredrik Larsson, and drummer Anders Johansson musically lassoed the people with catchy crunchy guitars, pounding drums, and soaring vocals.

Filling the hall with anthems ‘Blood Bound’, ‘Hearts on Fire’, and ‘Let The Hammer Fall’ instantly led to the crowd raising their fist and banging heads. ‘Hallowed Be Thy Name’, off the latest album "No Sacrifice, No Victory", and ‘Riders of the Storm’ (from "Crimson Thunder") were crowd favs. Take one part Accept and one part Manowar and you can’t lose. Helloween fueled double bass freight trains ‘Heading the Call’ (where frontman Joacim rallied the people into chants of whoo…hooo…whoo…hooos) and 'The Dragon Lies Bleeding’ got the crowd surfers in the air sending many over the barricade. And ‘Between Two Worlds’ was the perfect power ballad as it brought down the energy a bit without losing anyone’s interest as a few stragglers crowd surfed (which the band said they had never seen before).

At the end of the show Joacim expressed the band’s happiness for such an enthusiastic response and said hopefully a few more New York area shows will happen surrounding Hammerfall’s appearance at the ProgPower festival in Atlanta this September.

Hammerfall are on the road in the U.S. until the beginning of April out supporting their latest album "No Sacrifice, No Victory". Go see them…NOW!

Hammerfall setlist:

Punish and Enslave
Crimson Thunder
Renegade
Hallowed Be My Name
Last Man Standing
Blood Bound
Life Is Now
Heeding The Call
Rebel Inside
The Dragon Lies Bleeding
Between Two Worlds
Any Means Necessary
Stronger Than All
Riders Of The Storm
Secrets
Let The Hammer Fall
Hearts On Fire

 
 
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