I’ve been a fan of metal since I was a teenager way back in the hinterlands of time, but my taste is picky. Good metal has three main characteristics for me: it must have complex and prominent drums, it has to have soaring guitar riffs, and finally it absolutely has to have epic lyrics. The more epic the tale told the better, and if there is some mythology in there then I’m in big time.
As a result, one of my favorite bands of late is HammerFall, which is of course a Swedish metal band because all good metal bands are Swedish. I’m sorry, that’s just a fact. Other nationalities can try, and there is no shame in aspiring for second best.
For no reason whatsoever, here are my five favorite HammerFall songs and a little justification as to why I love each one.
5. The Dragon Lies Bleeding
What could possibly be more metal than a song about fighting a dragon? Nothing.
I’m a sucker for rhyming lyrics. As someone with essentially no comprehension of poetry, being about to tell a coherent story and have it rhyme is nothing but a mystical ability. It’s hard to beat lyrics like this
Silent lies Eden on top of the moor
We’re fighting with honor protecting our Lord
The last one survivor lies bleeding, I kneel
Into his heart I settle the steel
4. Carved in Stone
Crisp vocals, strong rhythm guitar, and a bit of slow metal.
3. Destined for Glory
Fight with your heart, and you’re Destined For Glory
But fight without honor, and you’re destined to fall
A true warrior’s ballad. I challenge you to ride your steel chariot through town to this song and not shout along to the chorus.
It’s probably my overexposure to the subject, but I find this song vaguely Lovecraftian. I think it’s all this talk of gateways, curses, and legions of the night.
1. Natural High
I can’t fully rationalize why this song is so awesome. Odin reached down from Valhalla to personally score the guitar section. Sirens were consulted on the lyrics. Raw mystical energy was channeled into the recording equipment.
It’s something like that, I’m sure.
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