Hammerfall

Wacken - 2012

Text: Tobias Nilsson Photo: Lunah Lauridsen

After having only a spoken words show down on our list so far for the day, Hammerfall could with right be called the first band we saw on this, our third day at Wacken. It was also the first sunshine we had seen in a while, which was very welcome as we took place in the giant crowd waiting in front of the True Metal Stage for the Swedish templars.

The boys in the band came on in usual style to the sound of the warning sound clip from the Infected album and went straight from that into Patient Zero.
Even though the band and stage was pretty stripped, at least compared to what we’ve seen this band bring in the past, they were still going at it with their usual might, and we soon saw that just because there wasn’t a lot of things built on the stage, it didn’t mean that Hammerfall had skimped out on the effects – in Any Means Necessary they began raising the heat with a lot of pyrotechnics going off, and later on they would be interchanged with some smoke cannons, like in Renegade.
The band-members themselves behaved professionally and lively as we have come to expect; nothing out of the ordinary, but effective and entertaining. There was one change however, which we couldn’t help but notice; long-time bassist Fredrik Larsson had been replaced by someone new and (to e at least) unknown guy. This was odd, as I had heard nothing about anyone leaving, and it took till over half the concert before Joacim Cans came with an explanation – Larsson wasn’t at the show as he had just become a father and was at home with his family. Wishing him all the best, the band had found a replacement in Pontus Egberg, former band-mate of guitarist Pontus Norgren in The Poodles, and he did very well, seeming familiar enough with the way this band operated.

I have mentioned the large crowd already, not so surprising as Hammerfall are always greeted with enthusiasm at Wacken, and this day was no exception – the spirit of the hammer was clearly present!
Through one hit after the other (no, the set wasn’t very surprising) the Germans and people from the rest of the world showed their love for the genuine heavy/power metal that the Swedish band brings with them in their bag of goodies, and it didn’t take a song like B.Y.H. to convince people to headbang till their necks were strained (but it didn’t do any harm either)!
Due to the immense amount of people it was impossible to get very close to the stage, but seeing this massive throng of people moving as one large living organism was impressive all by itself, and I was quite content in not being pushed into the fence on the first line for this one.
Still, if you were a fan of the band, as I’m assuming a lot of people were, it was something like a no or never situation to get your rocks of in the presence of Hammerfall as Cans announced that after this the band would take a break until 2014.

“How the hell could we leave you without Hearts On Fire?”
- Joacim Cans (vocals)


Well, I suppose they couldn’t, could they?
It wasn’t only the last track of the set that was well-known though, as I wrote above the entire set was one long ride between one well-known song after the other, and nothing came as a big surprise.
A personal favourite of mine this day was The Dragon Lies Bleeding from the debut album, but apart from that I wouldn’t have minded if they had changed things up a bit more than they did; after all, they have released eight full-length albums until now, and there must be a score of songs they haven’t tried out yet, or at least very rarely but into use on a live stage.

Either way, this was an entertaining hour, and even though it didn’t necessarily add anything new to the Hammerfall universe, I think everyone was well pleased with what had been done.

Setlist:

Patient Zero
Heeding The Call
Any Means Necessary
B.Y.H.
Blood Bound
Steel Meets Steel
Last Man Standing
Renegade
The Dragon Lies Bleeding
Let The Hammer Fall
One More Time
Hearts On Fire

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