Album Review: Hammerfall – Dominion

I’ve reviewed some pretty heavy, brutal albums recently. It’s nice to step out from the dust and blood of the more evil sub-genres and into the sunlight offered by Hammerfall! With their trademark upbeat sounds, Dominion was always going to be something to look forward to and it doesn’t disappoint.

Now Hammerfall have found their niche and they’ve stuck in it for some time now. Don’t go expecting anything new with Dominion, as you won’t find it. However… who cares? They do what they do damn well and what we have here are twelve (well, eleven and a brief instrumental intro posing as a full track) more songs to add to their impressive catalogue. The title track is epic (and refers to Paradise Lost which is indeed epic), though isn’t the best track on the album. I’m not sure which of the remaining eleven I’d give that honour to, though, as there are so many to choose from!

The cheesy yet wonderful “(We Make) Sweden Rock” will almost certainly have passed your ear-holes by now and I’m addicted to it. Already a live favourite, it shows how much fun a heavy metal band can be, especially one who name-check their influences and national flag. With its sing-along chorus, “One Against the World” is sure to go down well live once fans become familiar with it, but “Scars of a Generation” is more likely to exercise neck muscles alongside album opener “Never Forgive, Never Forget”.

“Bloodline” gets the blood pumping along with the fists, while Hammerfall have chosen well to end the album with “And Yet I Smile”. One of two balladic numbers on Dominion (the other being “Second To One”), it’s just bigger than its partner with hugely emotive lyrics and some cracking solos.

I’m looking forward to finally seeing them live at Wacken, and those in the US get the chance to see them touring with Sabaton in October / November. Hopefully a couple of these newer songs make it into the show.

Dominion is out on August 16th

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