Written by: MH on 20/05/2011 12:28:26

When I heard that Hammerfall was releasing a new album I didn't hesitate to claim it for a review, these Swedish power metallers have never disappointed with their songs of glorious adventures. In my eagerness to be overwhelmed by another great Hammerfall album, I caught myself being extremely dissapointed after the first but not carefully listened spin, but it only took a second listen for the album to begin growing on me.

The album opener "Patient Zero" felt weak with the rather annoying cliché of an intro with alarm noises and a countdown. The song itself is ok, but it bugged me that the chorus ends with a sudden three-second stop in the music because it totally removes the intensity from the rest of the song. Luckily for Hammerfall they have a talent for saving any disappointing song with a great guitar solo, so it doesn't seem completely dull. The intro and chorus riff in the song "Bang Your Head" hits you in the face with its extreme similarity to their earlier song "The Metal Age" from "Glory To The Brave", and it is up to the listener to decide whether it is good or bad. Personally I find it great that they are trying to dig up some of their old style.

Mostly "Infected" is a strong album though, it provides catchiness both in lyrics and riffs, and it is packed with guitar solos that you've got to love if you're a fan of power metal. And in good old Hammerfall manners they've sneaked in a ballad, "Send Me A Sign", onto the album, which shows the beauty of singer Joacim Cans's voice. There are a few surprises as well, "Dia De Los Muertos", for instance, is sung in both English and Spanish, and has snuggled itself into being one of my personal favourite Hammerfall songs of all time with its fast tempo rushing with full force throughout most of the song, and the part sung in spanish just adds the finishing touch of excellence.

Speaking of surprises, "666 - The Enemy Within" has some pretty dominating keyboards in parts of the song, it works all right, but frankly I think it would have been better off without it. The seven minute long album closer "Redemption" is annoyingly good and bad at the same time, most parts of the song are just fantastic, but it is ruined with keyboards that seem so misplaced as it attacks a perfectly good power song with noise. Despite these three songs and their flaws I still have to say: listen to this album, give it a chance before you turn it off, it is fantastic!

Download: Bang Your Head, Dia De Los Muertos, The Outlaw
For the fans of: Stratovarius, Manowar, Sabaton, Iced Earth
Listen: MySpace

Release date 20.05.2011
Nuclear Blast Records

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