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

Into the crux of the matter, Joacim explains the chief characteristics of the new Crimson Thunder album.

"Well, first of all, I think it's the most mature album we've done so far. The biggest difference I would say is the production. This is more massive, more powerful, more raw. It presents a darker side of the band I would say. That's another difference. The songwriting on the new album is darker, more straightforward heavy metal; it's more towards the mid-tempo range compared to the earlier albums, which were still diverse, but we had faster songs on the albums. So this is more Accept-ish, rather than Helloween-ish."

Fans weren't too thrilled with the results of the band's Nashville hoedown with exiled production legend Michael Wagener. They will be pleased to know that this time, the band gallivanted all over European studios instead, taskmaster Charlie Bauerfeind knob-jobbing the new armor-plated power hour.

"Michael didn't really kick my ass when I was singing. With Michael, everything was like a big party, laughing, 'Hey, that sounds great, man, keep it like that.' Meanwhile Charlie... both the guys are from Germany, but Charlie is still German (laughs). Michael is Americanized. With Charlie, it was more, 'No, I think we have to do it again. OK, that you have to push harder.' 'Well, I'm sorry, I can't push any harder. This is what I sound like.' 'No, no, no, come on! More push! More push!' And he actually made me realize that I could sing with more power. But it took a couple of days of frustration before I realize what he wanted me to do. And when I realized, I also found some ways around some obstacles. As a vocalist, you think too much. You think, 'I can only hit this note and after that, no, no, no, I can't sing up there.' But when they give you tools to go around it, then it's like a revelation, more or less. I think Charlie is a really professional guy; he made everyone comfortable. And if you're comfortable, you can create something really good. Recording an album, to me, is like building a house. The first thing you have to do is to build the foundation. You need to have a solid foundation. The same thing with the music; you start with the drums. You need to get the groove in the drums. If the drummer is delivering, so to speak, it's easier for the rest of the guys to build up their parts. So therefore, we went to a studio in Holland which is probably the best studio in Europe for recording, not only drums, but for any type of recording. But of course, it's very expensive. And for the bass, we went to a studio in Germany, called Twilight Studios; that's the studio of Blind Guardian. And that's just a tiny studio close to the studio in Holland that wasn't that expensive. Because recording the bass, you don't need a big, big special type of bass room. I mean, you can probably record the bass in your basement. That would probably work. Then we moved to Tenerife, off the coast of Africa. And that was a matter of finding a studio in a nice environment, where we can spend five, six weeks to lay down guitar tracks, vocals, and the final mix."

HAMMERFALL - It's Thunderous At The Top... Page 3