Rating:
8.6
HammerFall - No Sacrifice, No Victory
20 February 2009


01. Any Means Necessary
02. Life Is Now
03. Punish And Enslave
04. Legion
05. Between Two Worlds
06. Hallowed Be My Name
07. Something For The Ages
08. No Sacrifice, No Victory
09. Bring The Hammer Down
10. One Of A Kind
11. My Sharona [The Knack cover]


Hammerfall have been around a while now, but even though weren't spawned out of the century they take most of their influence from, they have the number of followers to match of a top one who has. Album number seven, a tenaciously titled "No Sacrifice, No Victory" and is the first album with previous bassist Fredrik Larsson back on the thick strings, and new guitarist Pontus Norgren. A new Hammerfall, a refreshed lineup - a fantastic album.

For a power metal band, Hammerfall have never been the fastest around, and neither have they been swayed by the harder and punchier American style, and while clearly taking huge influence from Helloween and such bands, Hammerfall have always been one of the most solid and compact power metal outfits on the scene. "No Sacrifice, No Victory" is no different as the band stick to what they do best; making infectious and catchy heavy metal that is both modern but also with a chunky kick of the eighties. The album is Hammerfall back to making top quality metal of the highest and most confident order.

Typical heavy metal plodder "Any Means Necessary" kicks proceedings off and sets the pace for a generally solid and mid-tempo album with the odd exception of fast-paced, galloping songs like "Legion", whose chorus can be heard for weeks clinging onto your neurons, and clearly shows the Helloween influence, and also "One Of A Kind" to finish off the best part of the album. "Between Two Worlds" takes the ballad slot with no competition and "Something For The Ages" takes the role of instrumental with a five minute piece of lovely guitar melody and soloing with the rest of the band backing up this genuinely great piece of metal instrumental music. "Bring The Hammer Down" completes the album in typical, strong Hammerfall form with again, wonderful guitar melodies and a chorus to get your mouth around and sing along to with your fist in the air.

One or two tracks slip slightly under the radar, but on the whole "No Sacrifice, No Victory" is a very typically solid album and arguably shows the best form Hammerfall have been in for many years. Perhaps not very original, but that should come to no surprise, the quality in the album lies within what Hammerfall do so well, sticking greatly to a consistent heavy metal stomp. The instrumental song is a highlight of the album and serves as a refreshing break from constant wailing vocals, and the ballad likewise. Production as you can expect from a Nuclear Blast release is top notch and clearly displays to your ears every musical component to this heavy metal slab of classic, turned modern metal. "No Sacrifice, No Victory" is a superb album showing Hammerfall back on top of their game and a band ready to bring their hammer down on anyone who thinks otherwise.


Band profile: HammerFall
Album: No Sacrifice, No Victory


 



Written on 20.02.2009 by
Baz Anderson
Member of Staff since 2006.
More reviews by Baz Anderson ››



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annodomini - 20.02.2009 at 15:19  
I could neer get into Hammerfall, and this didnt warked for me as well. 6 points from me.
hard_tom - 20.02.2009 at 16:59  
I think this couldn´t be the best heavy metal album of the 2009, but what can we await more from Hammerfall ? Eight points, and a half more due the coversong "My Sharona" - originally performed by power pop band THE KNACK - bestseller in 1979.... an unforgettable song.
Herzebeth - 20.02.2009 at 17:01  
I think I fell asleep while listening to this album...it's really boring.
Ellrohir - 20.02.2009 at 17:13  
In my opinion it is pretty cool album...Any Means Necessary, Bring The Hammer Down...cant wait to see those two live in april
munson - 20.02.2009 at 18:08  
Written by Herzebeth on 20.02.2009 at 17:01

I think I fell asleep while listening to this album...it's really boring.


I'll second that. Last couple songs on the album are pretty good though.
Herzebeth - 20.02.2009 at 20:22  
Written by munson on 20.02.2009 at 18:08

Written by Herzebeth on 20.02.2009 at 17:01

I think I fell asleep while listening to this album...it's really boring.


I'll second that. Last couple songs on the album are pretty good though.


Oh yeah, the cover of My Sharona was the track that woke me up...that one is bad ass!
Giok99 - 20.02.2009 at 21:32  
As a big fan of power metal, i really enjoy this album. It has everything i want. It's even refreshing.

Keep going, Hammerfall ! This one is a strong one.
The Shape 1973 - 20.02.2009 at 21:36  
Good review, looking forward to it now, no surprises but what did you expect....originality, come on its power metal. Dragons,swords and high pitched metaaaallll vocals and i'm happy.
Ellrohir - 20.02.2009 at 22:47  
So after second listening - at least four tracks from this album i like quite much...that is pretty decent score for album of band which isn't my topmost
necrovamp - 21.02.2009 at 00:25  
I heard it was boring and uninspired, i may check it out when i get money though.
juanopereira - 23.02.2009 at 17:10  
I think this album is great! the music is really good and the lyrics are more original than in their previous albums. No more templars and steel.... that's a good thing. Also it has incredible songs like Any means necessary, Legion, No sacrifice no victory, Bring the hammer down and One of a kind. 5 excellent songs of 10, that's a great mark.
Elio - 23.02.2009 at 23:22  
The songs are good BUT come on, always the same generic shit, I'm bored of that.
dismaleuphony - 23.02.2009 at 23:37  
I don't know, I just don't feel this same this time around... I have always been able to find a killer Hammerfall song with each album, even if the album was mediocre overall. But I just don't like the single they used for their video I truly miss their days of "Legacy Of Kings" or killer tracks like "Blood Bound". I wouldn't rate this album that low, but somewhere in the 7s, but with feigning interest. Love the band, but I'll wait til next time... I wish I could hear what you hear in this disc, the review seems so promising!
Marcel Hubregtse - 24.02.2009 at 01:16  
Written by Elio on 23.02.2009 at 23:22

The songs are good BUT come on, always the same generic shit, I'm bored of that.



Finally a GOOD and honest coment here.

Like you saiod good song songs but the same generic shit as always. So 8.8 is way too high for this. I would say 7.5 max.
The Shape 1973 - 24.02.2009 at 14:03  
Turn it up to 11. Then you will understand.

Music to get speeding tickets to.
Nardy7 - 25.02.2009 at 04:46  
I believe this will be one of the best power metal albums of th year. HammerFall has continuously made solid albums and I see this as any different. Great review, and I can't wait to check it out.
Hrothdane - 25.02.2009 at 05:39  
Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 24.02.2009 at 01:16

Written by Elio on 23.02.2009 at 23:22

The songs are good BUT come on, always the same generic shit, I'm bored of that.



Finally a GOOD and honest coment here.

Like you saiod good song songs but the same generic shit as always. So 8.8 is way too high for this. I would say 7.5 max.


Hammerfall for me is like the Taco Bell of music: grade D meat drowned in processed cheese. That doesn't keep me from craving a steak quesadilla now and then though (especially if I can get it for free ).
bard - 25.02.2009 at 07:32  
This is becoming pretty routine for them. I enjoyed the album, particularly the track Legion. Also, for the third time in a row I think the instrumental track was the peak of the album.
Zmaj Ognjeni Vuk - 25.02.2009 at 09:45  
Written by Nardy7 on 25.02.2009 at 04:46

I believe this will be one of the best power metal albums of th year. HammerFall has continuously made solid albums and I see this as any different.

Bite your tongue! It's a solid piece of work, but best in 2009? Hopefully not.
Elio - 25.02.2009 at 11:21  
Written by Zmaj Ognjeni Vuk on 25.02.2009 at 09:45

Written by Nardy7 on 25.02.2009 at 04:46

I believe this will be one of the best power metal albums of th year. HammerFall has continuously made solid albums and I see this as any different.

Bite your tongue! It's a solid piece of work, but best in 2009? Hopefully not.


Come on, he said the best POWER metal album of the year. It's very likely after all...
Zmaj Ognjeni Vuk - 26.02.2009 at 00:07  
Written by Elio on 25.02.2009 at 11:21

Come on, he said the best POWER metal album of the year. It's very likely after all...

Well, there's Rebellion, Primal Fear, Stratovarius, Gamma Ray, Avantasia, Masterplan, Persuader, Revolution Renaissance, maybe Kamelot and Savage Circus ...So no.
Nardy7 - 01.03.2009 at 17:18  
Written by Zmaj Ognjeni Vuk on 25.02.2009 at 09:45

Written by Nardy7 on 25.02.2009 at 04:46

I believe this will be one of the best power metal albums of the year. HammerFall has continuously made solid albums and I see this as any different.

Bite your tongue! It's a solid piece of work, but best in 2009? Hopefully not.


Well, I said one of the best, not the best.
TheCybershifter - 03.03.2009 at 18:10  
Very good album but I am slowly getting tired of the same old recipe...
LexIcoN - 15.03.2009 at 13:10  
to Hammerfall
Galdraföðr - 21.03.2009 at 03:04  
It's far from be as good as the best Hammerfall's albuns but It's not bad at all!
BORT - 12.04.2009 at 04:31  
Well its better then the last 2 albums lol
Lord_Regnier - 12.04.2009 at 06:02  
I heard only a few samples and songs from this album and it was enough to tell me it's not something I could enjoy. Hammerfall's first 3 albums were good (though nothing original) but after "Renegade" this band became quite boring. "Crimson Thunder" was below average, "Chapter V" and "Threshold" just plain sucked, imo.

This band is way too generic and cheesy. I believe even many people who are really into Powermetal are slowly getting bored of this lack of originality.
Valentin B - 21.05.2009 at 16:30  
This album has been growing on me, sure it's not anything new but who the hell cares. the only killer track imo is Punish and Enslave, the chorus is extremely good. some other good tracks are Between Two Worlds(great ballad, but complete shit compared to Always Will Be or Glory To The Brave) and Hallowed Be My Name.
Felipe04sm - 07.06.2009 at 22:03  
I really enjoy No Sacrifice, no Victory. It's traditional power metal, if you like that, you'll like this album, I think.
silenius - 07.12.2009 at 01:06  
Any Means Necessary made me laugh my as of, they still sound like a joke band for kids, always have and always will
Angel Of Mercy - 07.12.2009 at 01:48  
It;s good but it's a hit and miss power metal album.
treptolemus - 29.12.2009 at 00:38  
I really enjoy this album! All songs are already familiar to my ears and i'm used to the guitar melodies. Hammerfall is a band that i can always trust, i mean i was never dissapointed with their songs and i can easily listen to them.

The new guitarist is doing a great job and i expect impatiently to see the next steps of the band. They're one of my favourite bands after all

P.S: If only they quit this warcraftish artwork!!! I cherish the artwork of the 3 first albums! Guys ... mr. Sam Didier should at least try to imitate the style of legendary mr. Marschall...if that is ever possible...

Well that's never gonna happen & i do not believe such miracles can happen but you never know!
Thor arise - 10.02.2010 at 01:55  
Legion and any means necesseary are the only songs that reminds me of old hammerfall, the instrumental song were also good...but the rest of the album...just bad riffs and quite boring...7/10 or 6/10!
Lord_Regnier - 10.02.2010 at 04:48  
Written by Thor arise on 10.02.2010 at 01:55

Legion and any means necesseary are the only songs that reminds me of old hammerfall, the instrumental song were also good...but the rest of the album...just bad riffs and quite boring...7/10 or 6/10!


"Any Means Necessary" doesn't remind me at all of old Hammerfall. Way too hard rock-ish and slow compared to the first two albums.
Their music is just a mediocre cheesefest nowadays. Some kind of pop-metal.
Andreas - 04.05.2010 at 15:38  
Very good album, I love midtempo metal like HF makes. Maybe my 2nd favourite after Crimson Thunder. The only tracks I tend to skip are Between Two Worlds and Something For The Ages, even though I like those songs.
Angelic Storm - 31.05.2010 at 17:19  
I wrote a review for this album a while back, and gave it 80 out of 100. And I pretty much stick by that score. I think its easily one of their most consistent albums, as there's only a couple of fillers on it. And ''Between Two Worlds'' is by far the best ballad they've ever done. Is it original? No, Is it awesome? Most definitely!
vezzy - 31.05.2010 at 19:01  
It's a decent album, nothing spectacular, but it has its moments.
Valentin B - 08.06.2010 at 21:59  
Written by Lord_Regnier on 10.02.2010 at 04:48

Some kind of pop-metal.

i think this is the first time we ever agree on something. there's something distinctively fishy about their last two albums, i can't really put my finger on it but they just sound very uninspired and commercial, abandoning the absurdly catchy, epic and heavy choruses and riffs of their first 3 albums in favor of melodic sing-along crap. and even when it sounds mildly heavy and dramatic like in Any Means Necessary, the lyrics are just far too cheesy and vague to possibly be taken seriously and the riffs are impossibly generic. for some reason HF's first three albums work with pretty much the same formula, but now they don't. something is definitely FAKE AS FUCK in HF's last albums.

it all started with Hearts On Fire for some reason, that's when HF started going down the toilet, with very few redeeming moments in their later albums, the only good track on this album at least is Punish and Enslave, even in Between Two Worlds there's something simply not right there.
Lord_Regnier - 09.06.2010 at 00:50  
Written by Valentin B on 08.06.2010 at 21:59

Written by Lord_Regnier on 10.02.2010 at 04:48

Some kind of pop-metal.

i think this is the first time we ever agree on something. there's something distinctively fishy about their last two albums, i can't really put my finger on it but they just sound very uninspired and commercial, abandoning the absurdly catchy, epic and heavy choruses and riffs of their first 3 albums in favor of melodic sing-along crap. and even when it sounds mildly heavy and dramatic like in Any Means Necessary, the lyrics are just far too cheesy and vague to possibly be taken seriously and the riffs are impossibly generic. for some reason HF's first three albums work with pretty much the same formula, but now they don't. something is definitely FAKE AS FUCK in HF's last albums.

it all started with Hearts On Fire for some reason, that's when HF started going down the toilet, with very few redeeming moments in their later albums, the only good track on this album at least is Punish and Enslave, even in Between Two Worlds there's something simply not right there.



On this matter, I would say it depends on your standards. Personally, I like metal heavy, fast and aggressive, with dark lyrics. I would say I have heavy standards. So what happens is lots of bands people consider as metal sound like some kind of pop to me.
Also, lots of people label music as 'heavy' or 'metal' only because it has a weighty sound, which plays only a very small part as to decide if something is metal or not for me. What makes music metal is much more a matter of attitude in music (aggressivity, intensity, rawness, dark lyrical themes and not sounding commercial or mainstream at all- not something those people who barely know any metal band other than commercial bands like Maiden, Metallica and Hammerfall would like).

Some people are trying very hard to deny it but nowadays, there is metal and there is mainstream metal. And what most people consider as metal is surely not 'pure metal to the bone' (if you allow me to use this expression) but mainstream metal even tons of non-metal fans know.

I would add that tons of albums released nowadays sound way too polished, with barely any roughness (or no roughness at all), which is an element that belongs to mainstream music and not to metal, from my point of view. And, imo, when metal sounds 'too good', it just plain sucks most of the time.

I think the problem with traditional Heavy Metal and Powermetal is both genres can be enjoyable if done in a rougher way but they easily become damn boring and cheesy as soon as you slow the music down and remove the sharpness or roughness in the sound and vocals. As soon as it is not done with enough intensity, it becomes some kind of a joke. I mean, more extreme genres (Thrash, Death and Black Metal) can be done quite bad too but it usually won't sound commercial and mainstream. It will sound bad but not 'pussified'.
It will still sound like metal, though bad metal, and not like commercial music.
Andreas - 29.07.2010 at 16:24  
Written by Valentin B on 08.06.2010 at 21:59

lyrics are just far too cheesy and vague to possibly be taken seriously

You really think that any of the fans (like I am) take the lyrics seriously?
Valentin B - 30.07.2010 at 08:42  
Written by Andreas on 29.07.2010 at 16:24

Written by Valentin B on 08.06.2010 at 21:59

lyrics are just far too cheesy and vague to possibly be taken seriously

You really think that any of the fans (like I am) take the lyrics seriously?

if you like the newer material sure be my guest, but my nausea comes from the band going from:

"flying on wings of steel
thundering we are breaking the seal
fighting for the oath we sworn
we spread the word of a legend reborn"

to

"Our life is not a fashion - Life is Now
Pedal to the metal - Life is Now
Our life is based on passion
And we live our lives the way we want"

now don't get me wrong i love new Edguy for example, but that's only because they never really pussified their style, they always were cheesy and light-hearted but new Hammerfall(apart from a few select songs) sucks badly imo.
Andreas - 30.07.2010 at 11:45  
Written by Valentin B on 30.07.2010 at 08:42

if you like the newer material sure be my guest, but my nausea comes from the band going from:

"flying on wings of steel
thundering we are breaking the seal
fighting for the oath we sworn
we spread the word of a legend reborn"

to

"Our life is not a fashion - Life is Now
Pedal to the metal - Life is Now
Our life is based on passion
And we live our lives the way we want"

now don't get me wrong i love new Edguy for example, but that's only because they never really pussified their style, they always were cheesy and light-hearted but new Hammerfall(apart from a few select songs) sucks badly imo.

Ah I see where you're coming from. Maybe it's because I never witnessed that lyrical shift, because when I got into HF, it was not even a year before this album. And when you're into Rhapsody like I am, you achieve a certain extent of immunity for cheese
Angelic Storm - 30.07.2010 at 14:02  
Written by Valentin B on 30.07.2010 at 08:42
if you like the newer material sure be my guest, but my nausea comes from the band going from:

"flying on wings of steel
thundering we are breaking the seal
fighting for the oath we sworn
we spread the word of a legend reborn"

to

"Our life is not a fashion - Life is Now
Pedal to the metal - Life is Now
Our life is based on passion
And we live our lives the way we want"


Come on now, the former set of lyrics are hardly ones that anyone could take seriously. And a lot of people would find them just as cheesy as the 2nd set of lyrics. :\ I can kinda see what you mean, but its hardly as if they went from writing serious songs to writing silly ones. The topics Hammerfall have always written about would be classed as cheesy by most people.

There is a time and place for serious lyrics, but I definitely have no problem with less serious/cheesy lyrics so long as the music is good. xD
Valentin B - 30.07.2010 at 19:36  
Written by Angelic Storm on 30.07.2010 at 14:02

Come on now, the former set of lyrics are hardly ones that anyone could take seriously. And a lot of people would find them just as cheesy as the 2nd set of lyrics. :\ I can kinda see what you mean, but its hardly as if they went from writing serious songs to writing silly ones. The topics Hammerfall have always written about would be classed as cheesy by most people.

There is a time and place for serious lyrics, but I definitely have no problem with less serious/cheesy lyrics so long as the music is good. xD

okay, they ARE cheesy when you look at them in depth but imo it's like this:
-old hammerfall: epic, dramatic cheesy
-new hammerfall: silly, pop-ish cheesy

when it comes to riffs the decline isn't as steep but there's still a noticeable difference.
ErnilEnNaur - 03.03.2011 at 22:14  
I was way to hard on this album, so here's a new, better comment. Some parts of the album are boring and uninspired, but as a whole, it's pretty decent. Funny how one's opinion may change after a second listen. I still wouldn't give this anything above a 6.5 or 7 at the most, but I am definitely enjoying it this time.
Mountain King - 20.09.2011 at 15:59  
Baz, i have no clue why u have given this album an 8.6. I mean an 8.6 to me would be Hammerfall's best album and that would be Legacy Of Kings. This album is average, but everyone's got his opinion in the end...
Baz Anderson - 20.09.2011 at 16:01  
It was two and a half years ago. I'd review it differently now...
Andreas - 04.06.2012 at 11:08  
Still way better than Infected.

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