|Review: Hammerfall - Steel Meets Steel - Ten Years of Glory|
|Steel Meets Steel - Ten Years of Glory|
Label: Nuclear Blast Records
Year released: 2007
Genre: Heavy Metal
Review online: March 14, 2008
Reviewed by: Bruce Dragonchaser
for:Steel Meets Steel - Ten Years of Glory
There's no disputing HammerFall's incredible influence in the Power Metal resurrection of 1997, but doesn't it seem a tad premature to be releasing a best of collection already? True, the band are six albums deep into their career and have created an enormous amount of interest in the genre since their fabulous Glory To The Brave debut, but instead of picking actual highlights, Steel Meets Steel — Ten Years of Glory merely takes four songs from each album, adds a couple of unreleased tracks, and simply hopes for the best.
Considering the 'templar flame' seemed to burn out after 2000's Renegade, the first disc of this compilation is superior to the second, which focuses on latter day material. All the fan favourites are here; "The Dragon Lies Bleeding", "Heeding the Call", "Templars of Steel", "Riders of the Storm", "Blood Bound", "At the End of the Rainbow", "The Fire Burns Forever", "Always Will Be", "Hearts On Fire"; the list is endless, and anyone discovering HammerFall for the first time would have plenty to get acquainted with, but I'd still suggest to any power metaller oddly unfamiliar with the Swedes to pick up their first three records immediately, as they show the band in a better light than this commercial 'greatest hits' package.
The new tracks are disappointing but interesting, with a pointless instrumental in the shape of "The Abyss", a re-recording of the Power Metal classic "HammerFall", a couple of live tracks from 1998 — which are superb, by the way — and two brand new songs, "Last Man Standing", and "Restless Soul", both of which are ballad-like, with humongous choruses and boring verse patterns, but show a darker, more majestic side to modern HammerFall, which could certainly be an indication of what's to come. Steel Meets Steel — Tens Years of Glory is a worthy addition to any metaller's collection, but one that should be substituted for the actual albums if given the chance.
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