Hammerfall Gates of Dalhalla

HammerfallGates of Dalhalla
Though they originally formed in 1993, Hammerfall's heart have always been in the '80s. The galloping rhythms, stirring choruses and breathless solo work hearken back to the rise of traditional heavy metal, and much of their work is so bombastic and grandiose that it often slides into power metal. Gates of Dalhalla, an epic two-CD/live DVD release, commemorates their 15th year making majestic, fantastical music. The audio portion of this package runs a staggering 145 minutes over 26 tracks, and the DVD captures all of a two-and-a-half-hour concert that Hammerfall gave at the historical Dalhalla stage in Rättvik, Sweden. The performance also features appearances by special guests, including former vocalist Mikael Stanne (Dark Tranquility), Jesper Strömblad (Dimension Zero) and Joacim Cans' choir project, Team Cans. The track list is a study in both necessity and excess, containing much-loved tracks like "Let the Hammer Fall" and "Glory to the Brave," while also making room for a drum solo. This is an exquisite release for hardcore fans of the band, although it's a bit vast and dense for an introduction. (Nuclear Blast)