Reviews : Albums : HammerFall, "Steel Meets Steel"

HammerFall, "Steel Meets Steel"

After ten years, Hammerfall does indeed have enough stuff to compile a retrospect on their career. This two-disc set collects 29 tracks that span their entire career. To begin with, there are four unreleased tracks, sort of. There is a ridiculous intro to the set that they consider an unreleased track, I don’t really even consider it a track. There is a re-recorded version of the song Hammerfall, which is whatever, a new song called “Last Man Standing” and also one called “Restless Soul”. Since Hammerfall is notorious for doing ep’s with bonus tracks, this set will appeal to their fans for that reason alone. There is also a CD Rom video on here for the re-recorded Hammerfall track.

The collection is well put together as a starter for those not familiar with Hammerfall. It starts with three new tracks (intro begrudgingly included), then kicks in to 3 tracks from “Glory To The Brave, which I still stand by as my favorite Hammerfall record. Three songs follow this up from “Legacy Of Kings”, the album the band first toured America on with Death.

“One Crimson Night”, the bands live album, is represented by one track, before jumping into four tracks from “Renegade”. There is also four tracks representing “Crimson Thunder”, an era I started to lose some interest in. Appropriately, there are four songs from “Chapter VI: Unbent, Unbowed, Unbroken”. The album is rounded out by four tracks from “Threshold” and two more live tracks recorded in 1998, that originally were found on the “Heeding The Call” single, which for some reason is not listed in the credits here.

The booklet features lots of great pictures, plus the lyrics to the new songs and an essay by one of the writers from Rock Hard magazine. All in all, this is an excellent collection for someone not familiar with the band. It is one of those annoying releases that die hard fans of the band have to buy for the extra stuff but also is a way for casual fans to get off easy, as it really is one of the best representations of the band for someone just looking for a good listen.

Standout Tracks

   Last Man Standing
   Restless Soul