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HammerFall & Delain w/ Omnislash at Baltimore Soundstage
@ 7:00 pm - 11:00 pm
Hammerfall & Delain
Formed in Göteborg, Sweden, in 1993 by guitarist Oscar Dronjak. Early line-ups included members from In Flames and Dark Tranquillity, most notably Jesper Strömblad, who continued to write songs together with Oscar and singer Joacim Cans despite leaving before the first album was released. “Glory To The Brave” (1997) and “Legacy Of Kings” (1998) cemented the band as the pioneers of modern Eighties heavy metal.
Often credited with bringing back the melodies and honesty in music, the world-wide crusade continued with “Renegade” (2000), an album that generated a breakthrough for HammerFall and metal music in general in the mainstream media in Sweden.
The line-up was now complete with drummer Anders Johansson, formerly of Rising Force fame, Stefan Elmgren on guitar and Magnus Rosén on bass guitar. The latter two joined HF before the release of the inaugural record, with Stefan even being a session player on “Glory To The Brave”.
“Crimson Thunder” (2002) was next, followed by a live album and DVD – “One Crimson Night” (2003) – recorded in their home town in front of a capacity crowd. The fifth album, aptly titled “Chapter V: Unbent, Unbowed, Unbroken” (2005) further planted the name HammerFall in the minds of households in Sweden, as well as metal fans all over the world. The band’s fourth world tour on as many albums was an even bigger success than before, headlining the U.S. for the first time (after supporting Death and Dio in 1998 and 2002 respectively).
Two sportsrelated videos were recorded in 2006, a remake of “Hearts On Fire” for the Swedish Olympic Women’s Curling Team and a brand new song specifically written for Kajsa Bergqvist, Robert Kronberg and a couple of other Swedish track & field superstars, culminating in a performance at the opening ceremony at the European Athletics Championships in August, bringing HammerFall into the home of 250 million people around the world. Threshold (2006) saw the light of day at the end of the year, and virtually the entire 2007 was spent on the road promoting it.
Magnus Rosén left the band in March. Without skipping a beat, original basist Fredrik Larsson was brought back into the fold, elevating the musical side with his steady brilliance. Celebrating its ten year anniversary as a record-releasing artist, HammerFall released “Steel Meets Steel – Ten Years of Glory” (2007). The album features two brand new tracks, a re-recording of an old classic plus some bonus material for the true fans.
Surprising to all, Stefan got a job as an airline pilot in the spring of 2008, and after careful consideration decided to pursue that dream instead. Pontus Norgren of The Poodles fame replaced Stefan and made his on stage debut with the band at the Heavy MTL Festival in Montréal, Canada.
Out of this sprung the very successful album “No Sacrifice, No Victory” (2009), and the world tour took the band to as remote locations as India, as well as the regular sold-out shows in Scandinavia, continental and Eastern Europe and USA.
The strain known as “Infected” (2011) spread throughout the world in 2011, and was followed by an extensive tour over the next two years. The concert at Dalhalla in July was captured by Patric Ullaeus and released as the Gates To Dalhalla DVD/Bluray. Shortly after, the band took a time out, after fifteen years of non-stop recording and touring. In order to be able to bring the fans another fifteen years of Templar steel this was a necessary move, to recharge the batteries and return with a fresh energy.
This 18-month break resulted in an invigorated and hungry band, as HammerFall once again reunited with producer Fredrik Nordström, merging his experience with the band members’ own for a hard-hitting, in-your-face album. Recorded in Oscar’s own Castle Black Studios, the drums, guitar and bass has gotten back that raw energy that hasn’t been duplicated since the first album. The vocals were recorded by James Michael, who somehow got Joacim to perform even better than last time. For the mix, Fredrik Nordström spent 3 weeks in his own Studio Fredman to give the production the crisp and powerful polish it has.
(r)Evolution (2014) was released on August 29 and stormed the charts worldwide, debuting on #1 in Sweden and on the Billboard Heatseekers Chart, as well as reaching Top 5 in several other countries. The subsequent tour, dubbed the World Wide (r)Evolution 2014-15, will see HammerFall return to Latin America together with Edguy and Gotthard, followed by a full European assasult in the beginning of 2015. Unfortunately, the band was decimated when drummer Anders Johansson left shortly after the release of (r)Evolution, but David Wallin (Pain) was brought in as a temporary replacement to ensure that the show would go on.
HAMMERFALL stands for powerful, majestic and melodic heavy metal. The memorable choruses, straight and heavy riffs, thundering drums, pounding bass power and outstanding vocals will without a doubt become metal hymns for eternity. Their unstoppable creations reigned in a time when none cared about classical Heavy Metal, and they have and will always deserve credit for bringing the melodies back to metal music.