ALBUM REVIEW: HammerFall – Dominion

No introductions are required here. Whether you are a diehard fan or a casual listener, the name HAMMERFALL is hard to miss. They are due to release their eleventh studio album Dominion this Friday and it proves that HAMMERFALL are not planning on quitting anytime soon.

The album opens with the track Never Forgive, Never Forget. Those who have been following the band for a long time may notice the similarity between this track and Hector’s Hymn, the first track on their album (r)Evolution. It’s similar in terms of structure; the soft guitar riff at the beginning before being blasted with Heavy Metal goodness. The important thing they have in common is they are both strong openers.  

HAMMERFALL have a sterling reputation for producing solid albums and Dominion is no exception. Joacim Cans says himself that they don’t write just songs, they write albums and Dominion is strong proof that this is the case. There is an eclectic collection of tracks. You have the pounding tracks such as the title track and anthemic melodies such as the triumphant (We Make) Sweden Rock. Even the ballads such as Second To One provide just as much power as the faster tracks on the record.

Within seconds of hearing the title track, you already feel ready to conquer anything that comes your way. From the pounding rhythm to the chants crying Dominion, everything about this track screams power. When you press play, you know what the track is. It’s already becoming an anthem.

HAMMERFALL have composed some top class ballads within heavy metal and Second To One is no exception. This striking ballad contains stunning lyrics, impeccable vocal work, a passionate guitar solo and a beautiful piano melody. Often ballads are a good chance to take a breather and relax before experiencing more power and punch from the rest of the record. In the case of Second To One, it’s provides the same amount of full blown passion as it’s heavier predecessors.

Dead By Dawn is the fist pumping belter that will be enjoyed by metal heads from all walks of life. The lyrics in the chorus “You will be dead by dawn, when the bells of hell strike 666” couldn’t be more metal if they tried and it’s a line that will be swimming around your head days after listening to the track.

And Yet I Smile is the closing track on the album and it’s the ideal one to do so. It gives the listener one last blast of the passionate sounds from Dominion yet leaves them wanting more. The chorus of this song is uplifting and empowering, reassuring the listeners that they are still here and they mean business.

If the compelling and prevailing songs on Dominion are anything to go by, HAMMERFALL still stand strong and hopefully don’t plan on quitting any time soon.  Whether you are a long time fan or a new listener, the outcome from listening to this album will be the same: the urge to take on anything and conquer the world.

Rating: 9/10

Words: Lotty Whittingham

Dominion will be unleashed 16th August 2019 via Napalm Records.

Find HAMMERFALL on Facebook, Twitter and their official website.

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