Rating:
6.9
HammerFall - (r)Evolution
27 August 2014


01. Hector's Hymn
02. (r)Evolution
03. Bushido
04. Live Life Loud
05. Ex Inferis
06. We Won't Back Down
07. Winter Is Coming
08. Origins
09. Tainted Metal
10. Evil Incarnate
11. Wildfire


On the cover artwork, Hector is back. But, is HammerFall?

After failing while trying to darken their sound with 2011's Infected, (r)Evolution marks a blatant return to the roots, to the sounds of the late '90s/early 00's that forged HammerFall's name. Therefore, one could assume the logic, twisted as it is, behind the album name, but that's it.

HammerFall never released phenomenal albums: they always watered down four to five tracks of great content with as many just tolerable tunes, obtaining seven good albums in which, until Infected, the passable tracks had a glorious predominance. (r)Evolution is no exception. Despite "Hector's Hymn" being one of the best openers in their career, and "Bushido" and "Origins" gaining a sure place in every future live setlist, the rest of the album is a mixture of mediocrity, stereotypes and "already heard".

With musicianship that rarely pushes itself beyond the trivial, the foreseeable and the safe, and the same being for the songwriting, reduced to the bone, (r)Evolution is both a slightly subpar HammerFall album yet among the best they've released in some years. Because, let's face it: if some bands can last their whole career trusting their trademark sound, HammerFall can't, and the hype around their albums has been dropping in recent times. The band probably sensed it, and here is where Infected came in, trying to renew what was born already old, but failing. The only thing to do was rushing back to the roots, clinging to the popularity these Swedish guys have crafted.

As stated before, with a similar throwback, for a band like this falling in the "already heard" was almost inevitable. But, despite the attempt to dust the older style, (r)Evolution doesn't even remotely convey the sensations that classics as Glory To The Brave did. It pales in comparison, and feels… tired.

This said, long-time HammerFall fans will find what they've almost always found. Some great sing-along live tunes, a dramatic power ballad a la "Dark Winds, Dark Words" again based on the Game Of Thrones universe, a handful of decent tracks and others made to make sure that the "skip" button on the stereo still works.

(r)Evolution is not the ground-breaking return some were hoping for. Neither is it a good album for the band's standards. It's a safe, just satisfactory one. No more. But at least, many will say, it's HammerFall again.

Performance: 7
Songwriting: 7
Originality: 5
Production: 9


Band profile: HammerFall
Album: (r)Evolution


 



Written on 13.08.2014 by
R Lewis
Hopefully you won't agree with me, diversity of opinions is what makes metal so beautiful and varied.

So... critics and advices absolutely welcome.
More reviews by R Lewis ››



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R Lewis - 13.08.2014 at 12:47  
Btw, don't worry too much. This will surely be rated higher.
DreamingDesire - 13.08.2014 at 20:37  
Can't say I'm surprised to see average or below score for this, I lost faith in HammerFall ever since Elmgren left.
GonzaloNeoxx - 14.08.2014 at 19:24  
After the Renegade album nothing was the same with this band.
The Shape 1973 - 14.08.2014 at 21:10  
HammerFall have always been a meh! band. I think the reviews summing up of their career just about covers it. Safe, not crap, not great, predicable same old stuff.

I liked Infected because it least it was trying to go somewhere else. I'm actually more disappointed that they have gone back to their worn out sound.

Will give a listen before I buy...and then probably won't buy.
deadone - 15.08.2014 at 08:19  
Written by The Shape 1973 on 14.08.2014 at 21:10

HammerFall have always been a meh! band. I think the reviews summing up of their career just about covers it. Safe, not crap, not great, predicable same old stuff.


Pretty much my opinion as well. Glory To The Brave was decent but since then it's been a rather tedious ride.
Stunning Cactus - 15.08.2014 at 17:01  
I've always felt that their true prowess lay in their ability to write strong power ballads, namely Glory to the Brave, Always Will Be, Never Ever, The Fallen One (damn...), and Dreams Come True. Therefore, I am truly looking forward to hearing Dark Winds, Dark Words.
R Lewis - 15.08.2014 at 19:15  
Written by Stunning Cactus on 15.08.2014 at 17:01

I've always felt that their true prowess lay in their ability to write strong power ballads, namely Glory to the Brave, Always Will Be, Never Ever, The Fallen One (damn...), and Dreams Come True. Therefore, I am truly looking forward to hearing Dark Winds, Dark Words.

Actually Dark Wings Dark Words was in Threshold. The ballad in question is Winter Is Coming
Stunning Cactus - 16.08.2014 at 08:09  
Written by R Lewis on 15.08.2014 at 19:15

Written by Stunning Cactus on 15.08.2014 at 17:01

I've always felt that their true prowess lay in their ability to write strong power ballads, namely Glory to the Brave, Always Will Be, Never Ever, The Fallen One (damn...), and Dreams Come True. Therefore, I am truly looking forward to hearing Dark Winds, Dark Words.

Actually Dark Wings Dark Words was in Threshold. The ballad in question is Winter Is Coming


Oops. That's what I get for forumgoing at 6am. Thanks for clearing that up, going to listen to that song now!
Sepulnation - 31.08.2014 at 06:00  
I'm not agree.. The first three album are exceptional!

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