HAMMERFALL - Dominion
September 4, 2019, 8 months ago
22 years since their now classic debut, Dominion is the 11th studio album from the Swedes. Always tried and true to their traditional power metal guns, original members singer Joacim Cans, guitarist Oscar Dronjak, Fredrik Larsson on bass, with Pontus Norgren on second guitar, and David Wallin, stickin’ to the plan. First single "(We Make) Sweden Rock" had me nervous, too pedestrian and predictable, but album opener “Never Forgive, Never Forget” hits with speed and gritty guitars. Title track follows hard with a great mid-tempo punch they are always great at doing, and big gang vocals punctuate the chorus for “Testify”. Half way through, piano ballad “Second To One” is just fine. “Scars Of A Generation” is the usual double bass romper, “Dead By Dawn” slows down carried by that dirtier guitar tone. “Battleworn” is a useless intro, “Bloodline”, “Chain Of Command” are standard fair, nothing special.
So, as fellow countrymen Sabaton cornered the historical wars angle, Powerwolf celebrate werewolf and vampire tales, it is a time when European style power metal is recognized by more gimmicky, cheesy, bands like Dragonforce, Gloryhammer, Twilight Force to now Wind Rose, and Victorious (dinosaurs, really?). It’s nice to see at least the big boys Helloween, Hammerfall, Blind Guardian, Stratovarius, Gamma Ray, and Rhapsody of Fire are still around to balance things out.