By Lauren Leuschner
Sweden’s own Hammerfall have taken a well deserved break in 2013, but before they go on to the next chapter the band has chosen to commemorate 15 years together with a very special live performance. Released on a DVD/2 CD pack titled Gates of Dalhalla, the 2-hour 15 minute live show takes place in a rather extraordinary venue, an open-air stage in an old quarry near a small Swedish village. The set consists of 26 tracks, featuring many fan favourites from every album (except Masterpieces). The concert also features several special guests joining the band on stage, including members from the original line up, such as In Flames founder Jesper Strömblad (who played drums with Hammerfall till 1997), Dark Tranquillity’s Mikael Stanne (who handled lead vocals before Hammerfall’s first album), and ex-guitarist Stefan Elmgren.
The last time Hammerfall came to Toronto, which was back in 2010, I remember vocalist Joacim Cans saying how the visual aspect of their show is just as important as the music. This is something that the band fully committed to during this special performance. Overall there is not really anything negative to say about this show. The sound and mix were fantastic and the performance was nearly perfect. I’m extremely curious to see what Hammerfall has in store for us in 2014.