Swedish power metal veterans HammerFall return with their thirteenth studio album, Avenge the Fallen. Fresh off their triumphant two-year  United Forces  tour with German legends Helloween, HammerFall once again  showcase their enduring prowess and passion for heavy metal in a collection that promises to thrill both long-time fans and, surprisingly, newcomers alike.

The album opens with the titular track,  Avenge the Fallen.  From the first riff, it’s clear that HammerFall is on a mission to deliver pure, unadulterated Euro metal pomp and grandeur. The song is an adrenaline-fueled anthem that captures the band’s signature sound while introducing fresh elements that keep their music dynamic. Vocalist Joacim Cans delivers powerful lyrics with his unmistakable voice, setting the stage for what’s to come.

The End Justifies follows, a quintessential HammerFall headbanger that blends melodic hooks with galloping rhythms. Guitarists Oscar Dronjak and Pontus Norgren shine here, trading solos and harmonising with the precision and flair that has become their trademark. The song is destined to be a live favourite, its infectious chorus tailor-made for audience participation.

In Freedom, the band explores themes of individuality and self-determination, both lyrically and musically. The track’s driving beat, courtesy of drummer David Wallin, underpins soaring melodies that evoke a sense of liberation and defiance. Bassist Fredrik Larsson provides a solid foundation, his lines weaving seamlessly through the complex arrangement.

The first single and accompanying video, Hail to the King, exemplifies the band’s continuing ability to craft memorable anthems. The song packs a catchy chorus and a powerful message of resilience and strength. The recording process saw the band collaborating with top-tier talent, including producer Jay Ruston and backing vocal contributions from heavy metal icons like Armored Saint stalwart John Bush and Metal Church/Ross the Boss vocalist Marc Lopes. This collaboration has elevated the track, adding depth and a sense of real metallic grandeur.

Hero to All is another standout, a tribute to the unsung heroes of the world. Joacim’s emotive performance is complemented by Oscar and Pontus’s guitar work, which ranges from delicate arpeggios to thunderous power chords. The song’s heartfelt lyrics and uplifting melody make it one of the album’s most compelling moments.

The ballad  Hope Springs Eternal offers a change of pace, showcasing HammerFall’s softer side. This track, based on an idea Oscar had nurtured for two decades, finally came to fruition with Joacim’s lyrical input. The result is a beautiful, introspective piece that highlights the band’s versatility and the strong creative bond between its members.

Burn It Down reignites the album’s intensity with its fiery riffs and relentless energy. The song’s aggressive tone is balanced by melodic interludes, creating a dynamic listening experience. Capture the Dream follows, an uplifting anthem about pursuing one’s passions and ambitions. Its infectious energy and positive message make it another highlight of the album.

Rise of Evil delves into darker themes, with lyrics that reflect on the nature of power and corruption. The band’s performance is suitably intense, with each member contributing to the track’s ominous atmosphere. The album closes with Time Immemorial,  an epic six-minute track that encapsulates the essence of HammerFall. Its sweeping arrangements and intricate musicianship provide a fitting conclusion to this powerful album, and drive a direct line back to the band’s classic nineties output. And the fabulous, choir-assisted ending is pure heavy metal nirvana!

The album’s production, helmed by Pontus Norgren and mixed by Fredrik Nordström at Studio Fredman, ensures that each track sounds polished and powerful. The band’s ability to innovate while staying true to their roots is evident throughout, making this one of their strongest releases to date.

For fans of HammerFall, Avenge the Fallen is a must-listen, delivering everything they love about the band with added depth and maturity. New listeners will find it an excellent entry point into the band’s orbit, showcasing the their talent and passion for the genre. As they continue to evolve and inspire, HammerFall proves that true heavy metal can never be faked—it must be lived and breathed. And with Avenge the Fallen, they do just that.

Avenge The Fallen releases on August 9th.