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HAMMERFALL Dominion

By Alex Yarborough, Orlando Contributor
Wednesday, August 21, 2019 @ 5:24 PM


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HAMMERFALL
Dominion

2019 Napalm Records




The Swedish powerhouse HAMMERFALL has returned to build on the success of 2016’s Built To Last. Dominion is the band’s second release for Napalm Records, and their 11th studio album. The lineup of Joacim Cans (vocals), Oscar Dronjak (guitar), Pontus Norgren (guitar), Fredrik Larsson (bass) and David Wallin (drums) remains intact. I’m glad, as this is the band’s strongest lineup in my opinion.

Every song on the album is good; for the sake of brevity I’ll list a few of my favorites. The first single released for the album was the anthem “(We Make) Sweden Rock”. This song finds HAMMERFALL reminiscing on the glory of Swedish rock and metal bands that have paved the way in the past. While the song is fairly commercial, the confidence of the lyric more than makes up for it and creates an enduring moment. The title track, “Dominion” opens with a great riff without delay. The vibe of the song really makes it stand out, and there’s no real mystery why they chose it as the title track. You can view a really well done video for the song on KNAC.COM HERE. “Testify” promptly became a favorite cut. Check out those big backing vocals, double bass drums and power chords!

“Scars of A Generation” approaches speed metal territory. I love the riffs and drumming in this song. “Dead By Dawn” is a new HAMMERFALL classic tune, and will hopefully be played during the upcoming tour. “Battleworn” is the JUDAS PRIEST-style intro to the fantastic “Bloodline”, featuring riffs galore from Dronjak/Norgren and Wallin’s big drum beat. Cans, whose voice has never been stronger, carries the melody with ease.

Down near the end of the album is one of the strongest songs, “Chain of Command”. There’s got to be a video coming for this barnstorming track. I’m going to rank lone ballad “Second To One” as one of my favorite songs here as well.

Overall, I give Dominion an even higher mark than its predecessor, Built To Last, (which was a very good album). I was impressed with this album immediately; I think it’s among the band’s most formidable without question. The songwriting is strong, the performances are heartfelt, and James Michael’s and Fredrik Nordström’s production and mix of the album is crisp and dynamic. HAMMERFALL has delivered once again, and has not deviated from their path of true Heavy Metal. Dominion is the total package. I’ve been a fan of the band since Glory To The Brave, and I would place Dominion in the band’s top five albums. The standard version of Dominion has 12 songs, at a total time of around 51 minutes. The album cover, by artist Samwise Didier, is fantastic; this is one of my favorite illustrations of Hector. Napalm Records has released the album in multiple formats, box sets and vinyl colors, so check those choices out. Dominion is available now.

4.8 Out Of 5.0


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