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ennlfrdeitrues
Rockfabrik, Ludwigsburg, Germany
14th October 2007
Hammerfall, Bloodbound

The hammer will fall, this sentence would come true tonight, but more on that later. Shortly after the opening, the Rockfabrik Ludwigsburg started to fill with diverse audience. Everything was represented, from young fans which almost behaved like groupies of a boy-band in the first row to the old ones which where somewhat calmer. Finally it was a long time ago since HAMMERFALL played the last time here, so the fans discussed full of joy what they seem to expect from the concert.

The mood in the hall resembled more a dinner-party than a metal-feast. The concert was almost sold out and also the few tickets which still existed  in the evening were sold as fast as lightning. The first description of this evening could be: HAMMERFALL shirt everywhere. So it seems that the old saying, HAMMERFALL fans are something special, would finally come true.

The masses stormed the halls like an unfailing source of molten lava and the Rockfabrik almost filled to the last place. Not only the number of visitors increased, but also the temperature in the room. So bystanders could only guess on what kind of erupting volcano they where. Some members of HAMMERFALL appear to be close to their fans. You could observe the drummer of the band in lively conversation with his young followers long before the concert started, for example. http://www.rockfabrik-ludwigsburg.de/


Bloodbound

Bloodbound: [A term that originates from the dark ages when men would make an oath to each other called a "blood oath" where they would each cut their hands and then shake, mixing the blood. Each man then carries the other's blood, linking the two, as blood brothers. A bloodbound can never be broken and will follow you into the afterlife and beyond...]



In the summer of 2004 the two long-time friends Tomas Olsson and Fredrik Bergh started a Metal band, so they teamed up with Urban Breed and Oskar Belin to form BLOODBOUND. After they made their demo, they shipped it to a bunch of record-labels around the world. A few weeks later endless offers started to drop in, so a record-deal was signed with Metal Heaven for Europe. Early in 2006 their debut album ‘Nosferatu’ was released and became a big success with most of the top reviews in the world. Oskar Belin left the band shortly after the recordings cause of the lack of time to go on tour and was replaced by Pelle Åkerlind. At the end of the tour Urban Breed decided to leave the band to focus on his solo project. So the band felt that they needed some stability and Henrik Olsson, the younger brother of Tomas, joined the band so they started their work on their second studio album ‘Book Of The Dead’; it was recorded with the voice of Michael Bormann during January and February 2007. Shortly thereafter Urban Breed came back to the band and completed them with his unique voice until today. http://www.bloodbound.se/



Music
The clear and strong voice of Urban Breed and the musical style of BLOODBOUND reminded me a lot of the younger years from IRON MAIDEN. If you kept your eyes shut you got the feeling of recognizing some songs, even if you haven’t heard something from BLOODBOUND previously. The little problem, in my opinion, on this evening was the light trembling voice of Urban Breed on slow parts of some songs, especially in the highs. Apart from the small problems with their adjustment at the beginning of their concert the sound of BLOODBOUND could be described as solid and good. The voice of Urban Breed, was very clear and strong, apart from the above mentioned. The bandleader got the attention of their fans from the beginning. With his charming and funny comments he always hit the right mood and the crowd in front of the stage took part in this big party. The show which was delivered to us, was the perfect preparation to the following band HAMMERFALL.



Performance
The amount of HAMMERFALL-Fans almost burst the halls, but the supporting band BLOODBOUND showed no mercy to them. So they still had to wait and hope. But  before the crowd became impatient the lights feinted and the symphonic sound of Carl Orff’s “Carmina Burana” opened a spectacle of a special kind. During this classic introduction BLOODBOUND  built up slowly on the stage, so the masses began to cheer like frenzy wolves. But again all where surrounded by silence only to become suddenly overrun by the hammering drums of the first song.



From the beginning the band and especially the singer involved their fans in this big party. The hard and fast played guitars and basses ensured that all came to their cost. Also the very clear and strong voice was an absolute pleasure for the fans in front of the stage. At the first two songs, there were slight troubles with the adjustment of the guitars, mostly the highs were a little bit too sloping. But this problem was solved very quickly thereafter. So it was not surprising that the fans caught the fantastic mood from the stage and went into another state of frenzy. Everybody was sucked in this maelstrom of Metal-music and thrown down on the waiting volcano, ready to explode. The setlist from BLOODBOUND was elaborately selected and gave only little time to take a timeout. Their fans only got some time to take a breath during the comments and announcements of Urban Breed.

Setlist
01. The Tempter
02. Behind The Moon
03. Bless The Unholy
04. Desdemonamelia
05. Black Heart
06. Metal Monster
07. Book Of The Dead
08. Nosferatu

Rating
Music: 8
Performance: 8
Sound: 7
Light: 7-8
Total: 7.8




Hammerfall

HAMMERFALL was founded in 1993 by Oscar Dronjak. With Stefan, Magnus and Patrik Räfling and the voice of Joacim Cans ‘Glory of the Brave’ became the album the metal scene needed and was waiting for. Founded as a side-project Oscar and Joacim decided in 1997 to give HAMMERFALL 100%, also as few line-up changes were necessary. Also in this year the German label Nuclear Blast approached HAMMERFALL; this encounter resulted in a licensed release of their debut CD and a four-album deal for the band. http://www.hammerfall.net/ / www.myspace.com/hammerfall

Music & Performance
Well prepared by the supporting band BLOODBOUND, which delivered us good old Metal like IRON MAIDEN , the remaining fans from HAMMERFALL poured from the back of the hall to the front of the stage. Many could hardly expect to see their band and as HAMMERFALL mentioned before they would certainly not be disappointed. First there was another sound-check and unfortunately for the crowd, the tension grew to some highs they could not bear. Most of the crowd took this time to grab the last free corner at the Rockfabrik and gather at tables, benches and growers at the wall, only to see enough from their band. But as mentioned HAMMERFALL-Fans are something special and so they stood where they were and waited for the things to come.



Like at the beginning of BLOODBOUND the lights went out and we were devoured by darkness. The only sound you could hear were the cheers and whistling from the masses. But with one mighty struck of the hammer we could find us in the “Abyss” again. Ten years ago HAMMERFALL started their first tour in Germany  at the Rockfabrik Ludwigsburg and now they started their new tour here again. So there were no surprise that the crowd roared and went into frenzy like an out-breaking volcano after the first song.

As Joacim Cans called for the song ‘Bloodbound’ the fans throw their hands in the air, like a tidal wave smashing the coastline. HAMMERFALL also understood to inspire their audience like the old classic bands IRON MAIDEN and HELLOWEEN. Small anecdotes, like the story about the headache after drinking to much beer brought the band even closer together to their fans. Any bystander would tell this a huge family party than a pure Metal concert and that’s the speciality of HAMMERFALL and their fans. ‘Let The Hammer Fall’, and like a hammer in a forge, smiting the glowing iron, this song smashed down the fans with powerful basses and hard played guitars.



Even the fans called for no break the singer thought that’s time for a little calmer composition. A wonderful ballade like ‘Never Ever’ gave their fans enough time to take a deep breath and relax their neck musculature.  But before you could enjoy this break HAMMERFALL bombarded the masses again with thundering bass and hard riffs so steel of the voice meets steel of the bass. Joacim tried several times to sing some parts of the song with his followers and even in the last corner of the hall they started to follow his instructions.

Before the beginning of the next song HAMMERFALL was interrupted by the owner of the Rockfabrik. As mentioned above HAMMERFALL started their first German tour ten years ago and this alone was a reason to celebrate this event with a cake in the HAMMERFALL-Design. After this successful surprise the fire raging in the heart of the fans continued to burn unhindered and with ‘At The End Of The Rainbow’ the volcano finally exploded. The announcement that this fabulous evening will soon come to an end  almost broke the heart of some fans. They could stand here and party forever.



But the brilliant sound of ‘Riders Of The Storm’ provided a warm feeling and the dance on the volcano started again. Fists were raised to the sky to conjure the storm with his thundering guitar sounds and the magical voice of Thor… Joacim echoing from the walls. So the storm swept through the crowd like a wild hurricane breaking trees on the hillsides. But unfortunately this was also the end of the evening… almost… Again darkness devoured us after the ride on the storm. The fans' waiting hands still rose in the air. HAMMERFALL - HAMMERFALL - HAMMERFALL is all you could hear and the volume of the calls could match the concert.

So the band could not wait for longer. If you took a closer look you could see the one or other tears in the eyes of some older fans of HAMMERFALL as the first quiet tones from ‘Glory Of The Brave’ were played. And again the owner of the Rockfabrik had a little surprise for the band but we should better say, this surprise was for the fans. The Band and all the others would thank their fans for years of faithful devotion, so fresh beer was taped and distributed to the masses in front of the stage. This again would show that the fans and the band are rather a large family. But the time pushed on so one employer from the Rockfabrik continued to tap and distribute the beer while HAMMERFALL continued with their encore.



Joacim announced that the following song was played eternal times ago on the first concerts and then never played again. ‘The Dragon Lies Bleeding’ started with a harsh and fast played guitar solo paired with fast hammering drums. Refreshed from the beer the crowd in front of the stage began to boil again. Starting a drum solo like the marches to the guillotine rounded up with a thunder strike ‘Last Man Standing’ was intoned. The masses in front of the stage tired but still standing remobilized their last strength and frenetically waved their arms and fists in the air. Precisely like clockwork ‘Hearts Of Fire’ was now the absolute end of this evening. Joacim alternately sang with his fans and so all celebrated the end of this wonderful party.

I should mention that I am actually not a fan of HAMMERFALL and I started the concert with mixed emotions. Nevertheless I can admit it was a wonderful evening with several surprises. The fans of HAMMERFALL were well prepared by the supporting act BLOODBOUND so HAMMERFALL got no difficulties to bring the party back to the boiling point. The musical performance was consistently good. Sometimes I had the feeling to hear some old songs from HELLOWEEN but this is not meant negative. Pleasant music with a certain factor of reminding me of the old times coupled with an absolute friendly band and their special fans made this evening a real experience.

Setlist
01. Intro ­ (Finlandia)
02. Child of the Damned
03. The Metal Age
04. Blood Bound
05. Keep the Flame Burning
06. Let the Hammer Fall
07. Howlin¹ With the ¹Pac
08. Never, Ever
09. Intro (Natural High)
10. Natural High
11. At the End of the Rainbow
12. Unforgiving Blade
13. Intro (Renegade)
14. Renegade
15. Riders of the Storm
16. Heeding the Call
---
17. Intro (Glory)
18. Glory to the Brave
19. Dragon Lies Bleeding
---
20. Last Man Standing
21. Hearts On Fire

Rating
Music: 8
Performance: 9
Sound: 8
Light: 7-8
Total: 8.2



All pictures by Ruth Gräbeldinger
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