Sound — 8
I really like this album, and I would myself consider it to be Hammerfall's most succesful album so far. On this record Hammerfall plays pure power metal with some melodic tunes. It also has few quite heavy riffs, so If you listen to the music only, not the singers voice or lyrics, you could allmost think it's a lighter version of Children Of Bodom with less guitar solos.
Lyrics — 8
The lyrics are pretty much the normal Power metal scene stuff, about heroes and the fight between good and evil, from evil resisting aspect. The lyrics go well with the music, or I have not yet found anything that annoyes or disturbs me. Joakim Cans is a good power metal singer. I compare him with the ex - Stratovarius - singer, Timo Kotipelto, since they sing with pretty much same style, though I like Hammerfall more. Anyway Cans's voice suites good with the album and the music.
Overall Impression — 10
I like this album almost as much ans Rhapsody's Dawn Of Victory and Tales from the emerald sword saga (best of). My favorite songs of the album are "Riders on the storm", "Hearts on fire", "Crimson thunder", "The unforgiven blade", And "Hero's return". I hate the stupid instrumental, "Lore of the arcane", though. The kewlest thing on the album are the guitar riffs, and the most annoying thing. Well, it is that the guitarist uses too much Pinch Harmonis, like in "Hearts on fire". For god's sake, like tapping, It's supposed to be a little spice or topping, not the whole filling! If it got broken or something I would do what I did with GNR's Appetite For Deastruction: I'd order a new one right away. Overall is that this is one rockin' power metal album, that all u power metal listeners should buy right away, since an album worth listening is worth buying! Rock on!