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Hammerfall: Glory To The Brave

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Last Updated on 11:55 AM by Giorgos Tsekas

1997. Metal has begun taking off after the silent disappearance of the germ called grunge. Dozens of bands pop up from every corner of the globe ready to offer any kind of metal note to fans who look like zombies thirsty for music thirsty for pure heavy metal. Too many debuts, too much material, great amount of variety and for most of them we are talking about remarkable efforts. But there were also some who made a big bang like a napalm bomb burning everything in its passage. A fossilized forest on the cover and a pale-faced man banging his hammer, ready to smash everything. Of course we are talking about Hammerfall. The Swedes, who for many years existed as a project group consisting of Oscar Dronjak, Jesper Stromblad, Niklas Sundin, Mikael Stanne and mainly appearing in a local musical competition called Rockslaget, their time has come in 1996. After releasing the singer M.Stanne at the semifinals of the competition, they grabbed Joacim Cans through common acquaintances who became instantly a member. The rest is History. A history written when Nuclear Blast appeared in 1997 offering a four-disc deal to the band and the Glory to the Brave album became a reality. One hundred thousand sales and a Swedish Grammy as the best hard rock band. Recognition didn’t take long to arrive. And how could it take long, we are here in 2017 and 20 years later, the fans are still trying to realize the displacement of this album. We’re talking about a debut that sat a new course in power metal of the time. A debut so fresh, so complete, with its own character from the beginning. A debut that stood on the heavy metal scene, which made its own ravishing wall protecting and showing that heavy metal is alive and has much more to give(see title-track and then at Metal Age). “Glory to the Brave” managed to stand out, be loved, to be sang, as no other debut of a new power-band of the 90’s, stay in the hearts of the fans endlessly, and Sweden gained a place in the power metal pantheon . This is an achievement by itself, when in the year of 1997 there were monster releases such as Bruce Dickinson’s ‘Accident of Birth’, Fates Warning, ‘Somewhere Out in Space’ by Gamma Ray, ‘A Pleasant Shade of Gray’ Jugulator ‘by Judas Priest,’ Outcast ‘by Kreator,’ Cryptic Writings ‘by Megadeth,’ Visions ‘by Stratovarius,’ Divine Wings of Tragedy ‘by Symphony X etc. I remember characteristically two of the great debuts of that year,’ Glory To The Brave ‘and’ Legendary Tales’ by the Italians Rhapsody. Being young trying to figure out which one is the best. History has proved it. 20 years after “Glory to the Brave” united the fans so there is no doubt whatsoever. Although there are influences from bands such as Manowar, Warlord, Judas Priest, Accept, Helloween, from a musical perspective, the album as we’ve said before has its own character. Full of melodies, sharp riffs and solos that all have their own identity, Hammerfall fused our favorite bands in a unique way. Drums that give the appropriate volume to the record, vocals that make us kneel down by in the atmosphere, the melodicity and melancholy, and on the other hand they get you excited with the high notes, the ravaging playing and the catchy refrains. 20 years have passed… It became a record where all the new groups of the genre, stop and pay their respects for its creation. Throughout the band’s course, there have been highly acclaimed records, but no one has reached the magnitude of the “Glory to the Brave” … the record has not been surpassed. No one has been able to get the feel of ‘I Believe’ and the title-track’s. No one was able to reach the raciness of ‘The Dragon Lies Bleeding’, ‘Unchained’, ‘The Metal Age’, ‘Steel Meets Steel’, and, of course, of the ultimate cover of Warlord’s ‘Child of the Damned’! Hector stands there, the same, imperious even after 20 years when I look at the album, as if not even one day has passed.

It was June 27th, 1997 when Hammerfall made history.

 

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