“Built to Last”

By Theron Moore

“Built to Last” aptly describes Hammerfall’s tenth album in the band’s twenty-year career.  Ladies and gentlemen, we have a hit!  The new Hammerfall record is everything you’d expect from this band cranked up a notch.  It’s ale drinking, dragon killing, swords-a-blazin’ awesome!  Three songs in we get “Sacred Vow” which could easily be a Manowar classic, kinda like “Defender” but no spoken word, just vibe, groove and swagger.  

“Built to Last” is the ultimate soundtrack to nerd driven evening of Dungeons and Dragons, maybe a little cosplay amongst close friends, or a spirited jousting session at any local Renaissance fair.  Hail the king and drop the hammer!  I say that since the theme of hammers dropping pervades this record (“Hammer High” and “Dethrone and Defy”).  When hammers aren’t dropping or flying it’s a lot of steel, metal and into battle we blaze.

If it sounds like I’m having a bit of fun here, I am.  But the music is killer.  But fear not ye elf or Halfling, or you too mage / cleric for I do love me a good swords and sorcery movie / cosplay amongst close friends and a nerd driven D&D session.  And to be fair, I treat Manowar the same way.  Thematically it’s kinda over the top and bro-chest-beating, but, damn, it’s heavy as hell.  Same here with “Built to Last.” The song “Stormbreaker is a great example of this.  A little cartoony but a damn headbanger.  

Same can be said of this whole record.  If you dig fantasy roleplaying games (table top not video games, bruh), and Dragon Magazine or White Wolf is your type of read, and cheesy swords and sorcery flicks, not to mention making playlists on your phone that include Manowar, oh my man, this record is for you.  And oh yeah, it’s friggin’ heavy and it friggin’ rocks….