metal talk
instagram Facebook Twitter RSS
metal talk

2nd June 2011

jonathan churchill

hammerfall infected

There's great excitement this week as I've been listening to Hammerfall's brand new album, 'Infected'. And first impressions show that this zombie-themed epic definitely has a pulse, entering the Swedish charts at #2!

My column is dedicated to proper Metal bands and Hammerfall fit the template perfectly with roaring double-kick drums, soaring melodic vocals and some of the finest twin-guitar work you'll hear outside of a Megadeth album. The problem recently is that the band had battled their way into a Knights-Templar themed dead end, musically and creatively. But for 2011 the band have realised this and raised their game significantly.

'Infected' delivers a new visual style and musical direction, supported by a viral marketing campaign, which includes iPhone and Android Apps! But behind all the clever marketing and promotion there's plenty here for old-school Hammerfall fans to get their teeth into. It's also a major step forward from the repetitive and slightly embarrassing Battle Metal template and will deservedly infect a horde of new listeners.

The first half of the album delivers a mix of proper Hammerfall moments including 'Bang Your Head' and the superb Renegade-inspired 'Outlaw', but it's opener 'Patient Zero' and the fist-pumping new single 'One More Time', which standout as a new twist on the distinctive Hammerfall sound. The cleverly named single is real grower and like a virus, once it gets under your skin you'll keep going back for One More Time! It's got a powerful hook and exceptional vocals, like a 1980s Joey Tempest at his very best!

After the slightly turgid power ballad, 'Send Me A Sign', (one for the fan-club) it's heads down to the finish and some of the finest classic Metal tracks you'll hear this year. I can't wait to hear these live! The ballistic 'Dia De Los Muertos', for me, has an addictive feel of 'Legacy Of Kings' in the riffs and is Hammerfall at their very best, but it's the experimental 'I Refuse' which really catches the attention.

It's a powerful statement: a brave and classy modern Metal number, proving Hammerfall has a lot more to offer than most power-Metal bands. This is worth downloading to check out the incredible vocals from Joachim Cans who has really pushed himself on this album.

The last three tracks are just sublime. 'Immortalized' is epic, grand power-Metal with seamless powerhouse drumming from Anders Johansson. And it has the classic deep Hammerfall backing vocals, with a definite hint of Maiden's 'Seventh Son' and Priest's 'Nostradamus' in there too! You only have to hear Pontus Norgren and Oscar Dronjak's lead guitar work on this record to see that they're becoming a major force in Metal.

'Let's Get It On' however is my favourite so far. It kicks off with a retro galloping Iron Maiden-style riff, has a cheesy repetitive chorus, and just works because it is so simple. Like Green Day's 'Know Your Enemy' this just gets under your skin and will be immense when played live.

Like all good zombies, there is life until the very end and Hammerfall definitely save the best 'til last. Final track, 'Redemption', is the most adventurous the band have been – I can hear elements of Queensryche and, again, 'Seventh Son' and 'Nostradamus', but it always sounds new and distinctly Hammerfall. There's even some Sabaton thrown into the mix with the keyboard sounds and double-kick drumming at the start. This is an epic finale and just leaves you wanting more.


The best classic Metal album of 2011 so far!

I wasn't sure at first, but after a few listens this just suddenly came to life and I can't stop playing it. Overall this is a great album – not just musically – but because the band have genuinely tried to move themselves forward and raise their game. It's hard to live up to their immense back catalogue of tracks like 'Legacy of Kings' and 'Riders of the Storm' and after a patchy last album they have taken the brave step of moving in a new direction and it's a huge success.

The concept theme is strong, the artwork and story elements are well thought out and the social media element enables easy-access to information about the band which is often lost thesedays as nobody buys CDs any more!

In terms of pure melodic power metal, Hammerfall reign supreme but what this album does is re-invigorate the band and whet the appetitie for what they can do next. Let's hope they try to up their game again as I think they have the talent and the potential to really create something special.

Don't miss seeing them live this summer.

What do you think of the latest Hammerfall album? Check out the MetalTalk Forum and let me hear your thoughts.



Wacken Winter Nights 2018 takes place between February 23rd and 25th 2018 and the great news is that you can now experience a full-on, top class German Metal Festival easily and affordably.

It only takes an hour to fly to Hamburg from London and we've had longer journeys than that within the capital and they were certainly more expensive than the £33 air ticket that just appeared in our 'flights to Wacken Winter Nights' search.


Wacken Winter Nights is organised by the same team who are responsible for the world's greatest Metal festival, Wacken-Open-Air and the 2018 bill includes Skyclad, Orphaned Land, Elvenking, Finntroll, Grave Digger, Aeverium, Comes Vagantes, Coppelius, Corvus Corax, Die Pressgëng, Elvellon, Heimataerde, Hell-O-Matic, Ignis Fatuu, Ingrimm, Irdorath, Johnny Deathshadow, Krayenzeit, Letzte Instanz, Mr Hurley und die Pulveraffen, Pampatut, Pat Razket, Schandmaul, Sündenrausch, The Aberlour's, The Moon And The Nightspirit, Torfrock, Visions Of Atlantis, Vroudenspil, Wind Rose and more.

Besides this rich billing of superb Metal bands, there is so much more to see in the festival area including the medieval market and also the walking acts and jugglers you will meet at the theme worlds, including Robert Blake, three-time World Cup winner of street magic.

Wacken Winter Nights is something not to be missed and you can check out the amazing ticket and accommodation prices right here.

We just priced up the whole four day trip with hotels, flights, shuttles and festival tickets for less than £300 and we don't think you will get a better value festival than that, anywhere.


MetalTalk recently sat down with Wacken founder and owner Thomas Jensen and that interview will be online next week and it's a fascinating insight into how Wacken originated from nothing to become the world's premiere Heavy Metal event.


Wacken 2018 takes place from 2nd to 4th August 20218 and as with Wacken Winter Nights, if you have never experienced all it has to offer, then you owe it to yourself to remedy that.

Already announced for Wacken 2018 are Judas Priest, Nightwish, Running Wild (exclusive), Arch Enemy, Dirkschneider, Doro (Special Anniversary Show), In Extremo, Sepultura, Amorphis, Amaranthe, Firewind, W.A.R., Belphegor, Mantar, Knorkator, Deserted Fear, Watain, Night Demon, Epica, Knorkator, Belphegor, Firewind, Deserted Fear and many more and we'll have more Wacken 2018 announcements during December.

As well as being the greatest Heavy Metal festival in the world, it is without a doubt the Mecca of Metal and the one thing that every single person who loves our music should have on their bucket list.

For 2018, MetalTalk have joined forces with Wacken-Open-Air to help you get to Wacken easily and inexpensively and you can peruse the ticket and travel options right here.

If you are interested in going to Wacken 2018 and have questions, please fill out the form below and we will contact you with answers to all your enquiries. You are under no obligation whatsoever by filling this form out. We won't add you to any mailing lists or send you loads of spam - all we will do is help you get to Wacken as easily and inexpensively as possible.



Your Email Address:

Travelling To Wacken From:

Your Telephone Number:

Your Enquiry:


metal talk © All written site content is copyright 2008-2017, unless otherwise stated, and is not to be used without prior permission.