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Review: Hammerfall - No Sacrifice, No Victory
No Sacrifice, No Victory

Label: Nuclear Blast Records
Year released: 2009
Duration: 49:49
Tracks: 11
Genre: Heavy Metal


Review online: July 9, 2009
Reviewed by: Sargon the Terrible
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Rated 2.59/5 (51.76%) (68 Votes)

Here we have the new HammerFall, and I have to say I don't really understand why they bother recording new albums when they are just going to sound like a lamer version of the last one. This is exactly what I expected from a new HF album: slick production, pro playing and songwriting, and nothing even remotely interesting in sight. I thought their last disc Threshold was remarkably boring, and I have to admit that while this sounds almost exactly like it, it is noticeably worse.

First: a title taken from Transformers? Seriously? I might have thought that was cool when I was eleven, but now it just tells me that HammerFall are not taking this even remotely seriously anymore. The production on this album is a disgrace. The guitars are warm, fuzzy, and worthlessly happy sounding, the vocal recording proves that Joachim cannot function without the vocorder, and the three-part harmonies on the backing vocals almost made me throw up several times. The whole sound is cleaned-up, limped-out, and poppy to the extreme. Seriously, when you are out-heavied by "More Than A Feeling" it is time to fire your producer.

The songwriting is even more of a disgrace, as HammerFall have traded in any semblance of heaviness or coolness for power-pop melodies that are either embarrassing or sucky. Sometimes they can't even be arsed to write a real chorus and just have heavily effects-laden backup singers yell the song title. When Joachim actually sings a chorus it is somehow worse, as he seemingly cannot write a vocal melody that does anything besides annoy. These songs are so predictable you can turn them off halfway through and still not miss anything, as by the halfway mark you have heard everything the song is going to do, and besides you are sick of it by then. Even when a song shows some promise, like on "Hallowed Be My Name", it gets wasted by relentless repetition and weak vocal melodies that make you yearn to smack Joachim Cans in the face.

So much wasted opportunity. HammerFall aren't expected to be artful or grandiose – our expectations are low – all we ask for is a decent metal album. Not great, not genre-defining, just decent, but they cannot even deliver on that. The bar is low, and they still miss it. They can have all the money and time they need to rehearse and write and record…and this is the best they can do? Capping the album off with a fucking cover of "My Sharona" is as close as I think they could get to adding a goatse picture to the tag end of the disc. Basically a big ‘fuck you' to the fans they obviously hate. Do not waste money on this album, do not listen to it, and slap anyone who attempts to give it to you as a present – they are not your friend. Power-Pop trash music right from the toilet.

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