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Hammerfall/ Delain

Date: 4/24/17
Venue: Stage 48, NY, NY
Report By: Rich Catino


Giving Nightwish a run for their money (and who they have to thank for paving the way) as the biggest female fronted European symphonic metal band, Delain have not only become popular overseas – but snagged a co-headline slot with Hammerfall…in America? Wow, good for them, and for the rest of the European metal scene. Having just released their fifth album, “Moonbathers”, in 2016, ‘Hands Of Gold’ kicked off their set with a flurry of raging riffs, rumbling drums and bass, backing keys, and a sexy siren with melodic vocals atop the orchestrations. Third song in, ‘The Glory and the Scum’, with other new tune ‘The Hurricane’, were sandwiched between crowd favs ‘Get The Devil Out Of Me’ and radio rocker ‘Army of Dolls’ from”The Human Contradiction”. Singer Charlotte Wessels is an excellent frontwoman, a feast on the eyes for the guys and a great role model for women as a voice and how a lady should carry herself. Keeping up with Hammerfall, Delain kept their set rocking but slowed things down during ‘Sleepwalkers Dream’.
For twenty years Hammerfall have been making music…and still they only play in large theaters to several hundred. Hello America!! Could the metalheads in this country be more blind to all these greats bands from Europe? And for years, fans of traditional hard rock and heavy metal have complained “where is the next Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Dio, Kiss, etc, etc? Well, they are out there, and have been making music since the late 90s – when you were following the rest of the sheepeople listening to grunge, alternative, and nu “metal”. Ha! O, I forgot, the majority (in the US) just buy into what is popular according to what the big labels and radio push, or what noisy screamo/metalcore bands are on Ozzfest, Rock Star Energy Mayhem, Rocklahoma, Lollapalooza, and other trendy events.
Anyway, I digress. Supporting their 10th album “Built To Last”, Hammerfall are just that. They don’t care what is cool, or popular, or what is sold in Hot Topic this week. Hammerfall play real heavy metal in the traditions forged by the architects from the 80s…one part Accept, Judas Priest, Manowar, and Helloween. ‘Hector’s Hymn’ (about the band’s mascot) and ‘Riders Of The Storm’ celebrates their roots and trademarks, as they always have. The guys are ‘Blood Bound’ to the music, and by ‘Any means Necessary’ will prevail. Guitarist Oscar Dronjak with singer Joacim Cans are the lone original members from the debut, rejoined by Fredrik Larsson on bass, and Pontus Norgren on second guitars since 2008. The title track to the new album, “Built To Last”, sandwiched between anthem ‘Let The Hammer Fall”, celebrating the anniversary of “Glory to the Brave” album with a medley (‘Stone Cold’, ‘Hammerfall’ & ‘The Metal Age’) letting ‘The Dragon Lies Bleeding’ ride things out, the Swedes were energetic and all smiles.
With ‘Hearts On Fire’, they still love what they do, and I love that they are one of the few still preserving classic Heavy Metal.

Hammerfall Setlist:

Hector's Hymn
Riders of the Storm
Blood Bound
Any Means Necessary
Dethrone and Defy
Last Man Standing
Let the Hammer Fall
Built to Last
Medley to the Brave
The Dragon Lies Bleeding
Hammer High
Hearts on Fire

Delain Setlist:

Hands of Gold
Go Away
The Glory and the Scum
Get the Devil Out of Me
Army of Dolls
The Hurricane
April Rain
Fire with Fire
Here Come the Vultures
Sleepwalkers Dream
Not Enough
Mother Machine
Don't Let Go
We Are the Others

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