posted on 10/2002 By:
Where the hell is my sword, I need to wield it with reckless abandon as I say this from my throne! This is classic power metal through and through. Honor and glory are infused within every fiber. This does obviously mean a mind-boggling amount of cheese, but you know what you're getting into when you pick up some HammerFall. I am actually not a very big HammerFall fan, but I have thoroughly enjoyed myself with plenty of their tracks. I was having fun throughout about ninety percent of this disc, so I believe that is a good sign. HammerFall is notorious for the classic power-metal-chant-refrain. This means you can sing along to just about any song when it comes up, but many people think this is very cheesy. It does give it sort of the anthem/stadium rock feel, which I find to be cool. I enjoy pumping a clenched fist to the beat of an heroic refrain, if you don't, then I question your very existence! It does however give off the distinct odor of CHEESE, though. Cheese and power metal are pretty much synonymous, so if you like power metal, than you don't mind the cheese. I obviously don't mind the cheese, however I can't listen to it for too long or else I become too inclined to embark on a heroic quest of some kind. As for specific things about the album, the production is excellent. As with most power metal, you can't deny the incredible musicians within the band, HammerFall is no exception. There are some awesome musicians in here, Jesper Stromblad of In Flames is a former member, so that should give you an idea of the kind of people involved in the entity that is HammerFall. They just have such a "huge" feel to them, meaning they sound so professional and polished, like they belong in a monster stadium blasting their tunes to thousands of rabid, fist-pumping fans. Of course the lyrics are cheesy, uplifting, heroic, glorious, etc. But that doesn't mean bad, as I've stated on many occasions. Not everything can be about death and disemboweling, people. My favorite tracks off of this one are the title track "Crimson Thunder", "Riders On the Storm", "Hearts On Fire", "Trailblazers", "The Unforgiving Blade", and "Hero's Return". Hey, that's almost all of them, but yes, I do love the album. My only gripe is the track called "Dreams Come True". Good lord is it sappy. A love ballad, how annoying. Seriously, it really could have been omitted and I would have been happy with the album in full. Unless of course you like to hear things like "Kiss me once and I'll surely melt and die, Kiss me twice and I will never leave your side. Dreams come true!". Aw, how sweet.. belch. I kid you not, those really are the lyrics. This track excluded, the album really shines. While not perfect or a masterpiece by any means, this album is really a great purchase for the fan of power metal. HammerFall is one of those bands that really doesn't span any genres, you really do have to be a power metal fan to like them, and Crimson Thunder is no exception. But for anybody out there who digs the Hammer, this is the album to have. Or if you have been feeling that your life has no direction lately and you need some inspiration to take up your blade and slay an evildoer of some kind, then of course go get your pathetic ass some Crimson Thunder. Just make sure you have already rescued some sort of beautiful maiden by the time you get to "Dreams Come True", otherwise you may end up in tears, either that or you'll be enraged to the point of nausea. You will surely melt and die!
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