It had been around a year since Hammerfall has graced us with a show in Seattle. I must admit I was a little nervous on this night. It was a very dreary and cold Sunday night in Seattle. I was worried about the size of the crowd. It seems that European metal has really exploded back on to the scene here in Seattle, and the shows have been well attended. But all it takes is a couple of poorly attended shows and we see a decline in shows passing though. I got to the venue a little later than I usually do and when I walked in I was shocked! The place was packed and Hammerfall was still not going to be on for another two hours! I proudly found a perch I knew would be good for taking photos and waited for the main event.

Hammerfall is still touring on their “Built to Tour” tour, in support of their latest album “Built to Last” from 2016. This is Hammerfall’s tenth studio album, so these guys are veterans of heavy metal and it shows. Long time member Joacim Cans (Vocals), Fredrik Larson (Bass) and Oscar Dronjak (Guitars) are joined by more recent members Pontous Norgren (Guitars) and David Wallin (Drums) to round out a very formidable lineup. Cans, as always is great with the crowd and his facial expressions. The crowd ate it up and was going wild all night. We even had a good old mosh pit going on for most the set. I have seen Hammerfall at least eight times, and the fact I never miss them when they are in town is a testament to just how good they are live.

Hammerfall came out firing on all cylinders as they tore into the first song of the night Hector’s Hymn. A great opening song that fired up the crowd and led into Riders of the Storm! This was a massive hit for Hammerfall and the crowd sang along with every word. This had the mosh pit blowing up now. In fact, the whole building was rocking and there was no going back. With so many songs to choose from, the hits just keep coming at you relentlessly. Another huge highlight early, and also a great song to sing with, was Blood Bound. I could not believe how great the crowd was. Cans even mentioned they were so impressed with Seattle on the last tour, that they had to come back on this tour just a year later!

When you look at European metal and think, what band would be the best to introduce someone to who has not listened to European metal? It might very well be Hammerfall. They are so consistent in releasing great music and songs. The vocals, guitar riffs and solos, the very catchy easy to sing with choruses, they are just the perfect band for someone who wants to know more about the genre. Cans possesses the perfect metal voice that just tears into you.

As the show continued, we were treated to one of my all-time favorites, Crimson Thunder. I love the guitar in this song and the chanting style vocals. It was perfect live, and the crowd loved it as well. This is the twenty-year anniversary of “Legacy of Kings” and they did a nice medley to honor that album. The set closed very strong with the massive hits Heeding the Call and Let the Hammer Fall which is another great crowd participation song. It had been another amazing Hammerfall show. It just amazed me the quality of songs they have to choose from when putting on a show.

But wait, there was more to come! The encore featured three songs including two more monster songs in Hammer High and Hearts on Fire! It was like the night would never end! Not to mention the amount of hit songs from over the last twenty plus years. Hammer High and Hearts on Fire are two more songs that you just have to sing along to and let me tell you the crowd did exactly that. Ninety minutes and seventeen songs later it had been an incredible Sunday night! Come to think of it, it was now Monday morning. I guess that makes it a great Monday as well! There were a lot of tired people at work and school this morning, but it was worth it. There is no doubt, the next time Hammerfall is in town, I will be there singing along at the top of my lungs like always.

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All Photos by Eric Pefley