HAMMERFALL - It's Thunderous At The Top...
By Martin Popoff

Deftly sidestepping the nonsensical title of Hammerfall's Crimson Thunder (earth to Hammer: thunder is a sound), I dive into the album and discover enough bracing, highly electric metal tracks to make this a much more enjoyable album than the stolid and controversial Renegade album from two years back. Wence again, Hammerfall is power metal to the gills, and wence again, the band have gathered tractors full of attractors and detractors. But with three albums each clocking around a quarter million in worldwide sales each, Hammerfall is really the sword and steel definition of the band at the top that people wanna knock down, or more accurately, slay like a dragon.

Speaking of killing dragons, Hammerfall is currently making the rounds of the U.S. of A. with none other than Dio, the band logging over thirty dates in 42 days, this being only the band's second tour here, and even that, after a four year absence. "We did a five week tour together with Death in '98," explains lead singer Joacim Cans. "That was a nice combination (laughs). We just wanted to give it a try to see if we could improve the record sales. I mean, we doubled the record sales for Legacy Of Kings after the tour, so in my opinion, it was worth it, even though the majority of people gave us the index finger, 'What the hell is this?! Oh, you're too happy, guys! We don't like you!' But at some shows, we had more people coming to see Hammerfall than Death, so that fell pretty good. But that's all up until now."

"Our booking agent is owned by an American company called SFX," continues Cans, when asked how this dream pairing came to be. "And through our Swedish agent, they checked with the American agency and they just simply asked if there was an opening slot on the Dio tour and they said yes, there is. I've never met Ronnie, but I've only heard good things about him. Everyone says the same thing, that he's one of the nicest guys in the business. I'm really looking forward to at least spending some time with him, talk to him for a few minutes. But there's no other news, really. We've done a month of promotion now. We've gone all over Europe doing altogether, 300 interviews. There's no time for any side projects or anything. The tour is going to last, more or less, up to August next year. If anyone finds time to do something else, congratulations (laughs)."

HAMMERFALL - It's Thunderous At The Top... Page 2