Our top 10 HammerFall songs list presents ten of the best tracks released by a Swedish outfit famed for its massive impact on the resurgence of heavy/power metal in the late ‘90s. Established in 1993, HammerFall revolutionized the Swedish heavy metal scene with its 1997 debut studio album, Glory to the Brave. The album has been cited by music critics to have played a huge role rekindled the love for traditional heavy metal. Since then, HammerFall became one of Sweden’s prominent outfits in the heavy metal scene, especially, in the power metal subgenre.
HammerFall’s Career Beginnings and Breakthrough
HammerFall’s inception came at a time the Swedish metal scene was undergoing an enormous revolution. Melodic death metal, the Gothenburg sound, was gaining traction, thanks to its pioneers In Flames, At The Gates, and Dark Tranquillity. The Gothenburg scene picked it up from the Swedish death metal acts Entombed, Grave, Dismember, and Unleashed, refining the sound with more melodic influences. This only meant that HammerFall’s founder Oscar Dronjak had a tough task ahead to find band members who would live up to his dream of establishing a heavy metal band.
Initially, Oscar teamed up with several artists including Jesper Strömblad from his former band Ceremonial Oath to form a five-piece outfit. However, with the band’s musical direction not perfectly defined, HammerFall ended up as a side project for its members who played in different acts including Dark Tranquillity and In Flames. In 1996, Oscar got a major relief after meeting vocalist Joacim Cans, a man with a similar love for the heavy metal sound.
Defined by his epic high notes and ‘80s heavy metal-style vocals, Joacim Cans proved to have been the missing (but now found) piece of HammerFall’s heavy metal musical pursuits. Without hesitation, the band started working towards its debut release, issuing Glory to the Brave in 1997. HammerFall rose straight from the ashes, triggering a heavy metal revolution with its debut album, thanks to the band’s distinctive and appealing artistic influence on the genre.
Since then, HammerFall has dominated the Swedish Albums chart becoming critically acclaimed across Europe. The band’s success has endured thanks to the deep friendship of the band members Oscar Dronjak and Joacim Cans, who share a huge love for traditional heavy metal. Their strong friendship has been echoed in the hit “Brotherhood,” a song issued on the band’s 2022 studio album, Hammer of Dawn.
HammerFall’s Album Releases over the Years
Throughout its career, HammerFall has released twelve studio albums. Glory to the Brave marked the band’s debut album, a release that was definitive of the band’s musical path. Thanks to songs like “The Dragon Lies Bleeding,” “Steel Meets Steel,” “Glory to the Brave” and “Stone Cold” HammerFall managed to appeal to traditional heavy metal/power metal lovers. The album also saw the band pay homage to Warlord, one of its influences, with the cover of the hit “Child of the Damned.”
HammerFall’s sophomore album, Legacy of Kings, is the band’s first album to make it to the Swedish Albums Chart, peaking at number fifteen. The album is home to some of the best HammerFall songs including “Heeding the Call,” “Stronger Than All,” and “Let The Hammer Fall.” A 2001 version of the album featured the band’s cover hits to songs by Picture, Rainbow, and Helloween.
Renegade, the band’s third studio album, catapulted HammerFall to the top of the Swedish Albums Chart. The band was also a commercial success, receiving gold certification in the band’s homeland. “Always Will Be,” “Renegade,” and “Templars of Steel” are some of the musical gems from the album. HammerFall tried to replicate a similar performance with the 2002 album, Crimson Thunder. While Crimson Thunder only settled for the third spot on the Swedish Albums Chart, it is home to “Hearts on Fire,” one of the band’s biggest hits of all time.
In 2005, HammerFall issued its fifth studio album, Chapter V: Unbent, Unbowed, Unbroken. The album peaked at number four on the Swedish Albums Chart, featuring top hits by HammerFall including “Blood Bound,” “Secrets,” and “Born to Rule.” HammerFall returned to the top of the Swedish Albums Chart with its sixth studio album, Threshold, issued in 2006. Threshold is home to some of the best HammerFall songs including “The Fire Burns Forever,” “Threshold,” and “Natural High.”
No Sacrifice, No Victory, issued in 2009, marked the band’s seventh studio album. The album settled for the second spot on the Swedish Albums Chart. “Any Means Necessary,” “Legion,” “Hallowed Be My Name,” and “My Sharona” are the top hits by HammerFall from the album. The band would score another number two album on the Swedish Album Chart with its next 2011 LP, Infected. Infected featured popular songs by HammerFall including “One More Time,” “Send Me a Sign,” and “666-The Enemy Within.”
HammerFall’s ninth studio album, (r)Evolution, marked the band’s third LP to top the Swedish Albums Chart. The album went ahead to reach number one hundred and ten on the UK Albums Chart, topping the Billboard Heatseekers Albums Chart. Thanks to songs like “Hector’s Hymn,” “Bushido,” Origins,” and “We Won’t Back Down” the album achieved massive success in and out of Europe. (r)Evolution marked the band’s final album issued through Nuclear Blast. In 2016, HammerFall released its tenth studio album, Built to Last. The album was the band’s first album issued through Napalm Records. Built to Last managed to rise to the sixth position on the Swedish Albums Chart, featuring top musical gems including “The Sacred Vow,” “Built to Last,” and “Hammer High.”
Dominion, issued in 2019, performed better than Built to Last on the Swedish Albums Chart, peaking at the second spot. “Second to One,” “Dominion,” and “(We Made) Sweden Rock,” a tribute to Swedish heavy metal and hard rock outfits, are some of the best HammerFall songs from the album. Hammer of Dawn marks the band’s most recent album, issued in February this year. The album has managed to rise to the fourth spot on the Swedish Albums Chart. Hammer of Dawn features notable hits by HammerFall including “Brotherhood,” “Hammer of Dawn,” and “Venerate Me.” Here we present the ten best HammerFall songs of all time.
#10 – Let the Hammer Fall
Opening our top 10 HammerFall songs list is the radiant hit “Let the Hammer Fall.” The song is featured on the band’s sophomore studio album, Legacy of Kings. “Let the Hammer Fall” features some killer guitar riffs that make the song quite catchy. However, the song feels a little laid back compared to the fast-paced first two songs on the album, “Heeding the Call” and “Legacy of Kings.” Nevertheless, “Let the Hammer Fall” manages to appeal to HammerFall’s fans, thanks to its magical vocal parts and its crunchy guitar riffs.
#9 – Hector’s Hymn
After a brief hiatus for time with families and/or solo projects, HammerFall was back with its ninth LP, (r)Evolution. The album commences with the brutal yet enthralling heavy metal hit “Hector’s Hymn.” “Hector’s Hymn” is characterized by a catchy chorus and fast guitar solo. While the song features great occasional harmonizing vocals, it is Joacim Cans’ vocals that sound out, thanks to the boundless energy he invests in this record.
Vocalist Joacim Cans revealed that “Hector’s Hymn” has major references to earlier releases by the band, having it reuse phrases from earlier hits. Oscar believed that “Hector’s Hymn,” alongside all other tracks on (r)Evolution is filled with pure energy that any HammerFall fan must love! The song tells it all backed up by the album’s performance on the Swedish Albums Chart, where it peaked at the top. “Hector’s Hymn” was covered in 2016 by the Norwegian metal and hard rock singer PelleK.
# 8 – Natural High
Coming in at number eight on our top 10 HammerFall songs list is the boisterous hit “Natural High.” The song is featured on the band’s sixth studio album, Threshold. Its lyrics were penned by Oscar Dronjak, Joacim Cans, and Stefan Elmgren. Oscar and Stefan later team up on the guitars, delivering pretty catchy riffs to this fast-paced hit. “Natural High” was a success on the charts, managing to rise to position six on the Swedish Singles Chart. The song also made it to the German, Swiss, and Austrian Singles Charts.
# 7 – Heeding the Call
Legacy of Kings is also home to our seventh pick on the ten best HammerFall songs list, “Heeding the Call.” According to vocalist Joacim Cans, “Heeding the Call” was the first single the band penned for its sophomore studio album. The song brings out a more melodic side of HammerFall compared to most of the previous songs released on the band’s debut album. “Heeding the Call” kicks off with some thrashing drum beats showing the skillful work of drummer Patrik Räfling.
Some raucous guitar riffs follow up the thrashing drum beats a few seconds later. The guitar riffs on this hit feel a little chunky and distorted, but impressive enough for a heavy metal track. Listening to the whole guitar tune proves that lead guitarist Stefan Elmgren proves to be a great addition to the band’s lineup, outshining the band’s former guitarist Glenn Ljungström. “Heeding the Call” managed to enter the German Singles Chart, peaking at number forty-eight.
# 6 – Renegade
Number six on our top 10 HammerFall songs list is the amazing hit “Renegade.” The song serves as the first single from the band’s third studio album of the same title. Despite his departure from HammerFall’s lineup in 1997 to concentrate on his project In Flames, Jesper Strömblad still contributed to the songwriting process of hits in Renegade. Jesper joined Oscar Dronjak and Joacim Cans in writing half of the songs from the album, including the album title track.
After a slow yet epic build-up on “Templars of Steel” and the slightly mediocre “Keep the Flame Burning,” “Renegade” oozes some new energy that definitely stands out. This fast-paced hit replicates the metal influences felt with the band’s debut album Glory to the Brave. “Renegade” was issued in August 2000 together with the band’s cover of the hit “Head Over Heels” by Accept. The song managed to rise to the seventeenth spot on the Swedish Singles Chart, peaking at number eighty-nine on the German Singles Chart.
# 5 – Glory To The Brave
A lot has been said about the band’s debut album’s impact in spearheading the resurgence of traditional metal sound in Europe. The album’s title track went on to become one of the best HammerFall songs in 1997, thanks to its melodic riffs and vocal lines. “Glory to the Brave” features breathtaking choruses, delivered in the ‘80s metal style. The song kicks off with some melancholic piano notes, which precede its moving verses sung by HammerFall’s vocalist Joacim Cans.
“Glory to the Brave” boasts of one of the best musical structures by any HammerFall song. Its lyrics serve as a tribute to a long-lost associate who left the world too early. “Glory to the Brave” is believed to have been dedicated to Joacim Cans’ grandfather who passed one before the band’s first recording. The song remains a true masterpiece, with its closest challengers from the album being “The Dragon Lies Bleeding,” “I Believe,” and “Stone Cold.”
# 4 – Always Will Be
“Always Will Be” is yet another great song from HammerFall’s third studio album, Renegade. It is undeniable that Joacim Cans’ vocals are best expressed in up-tempo metal ballads. However, this is not meant to discount his vocal performance on slow-paced hits like “Always Will Be.”
While his fans might have wished to have him go harder and more powerful on this song, its melancholic mood doesn’t really allow for that. However, all these don’t stop “Always Will Be” from becoming a HammerFall classic and fan favorite, thanks to its touching lyrics. The song went ahead to peak at the fiftieth spot on the Swedish Singles Chart.
# 3 – Any Means Necessary
The third pick on our top 10 HammerFall songs is the electrifying hit “Any Means Necessary.” “Any Means Necessary” is among the musical gems featured on the band’s seventh studio album, No Sacrifice, No Victory. Drummer Anders Johansson revealed that the song alludes to the contemplations of a killer who is on the edge. The killer in the subject holds different perspectives of himself, as a juror and as an executor sent by God. This heavy metal marvel might not have made it to the Singles Chart, but remains to be a roadmap of HammerFall’s continued endurance in the power metal/heavy metal scene.
# 2 – Blood Bound
“Blood Bound” was the only single ever released on the band’s fifth LP, Chapter V: Unbent, Unbowed, Unbroken. The song has since its release become one of HammerFall’s concert staples, thanks to its intense energy and the love the band’s audience have for it! “Blood Bound” remains the band’s highest charting release, peaking at number five on the Swedish Singles Chart.
The song also made it to the German and Swiss Singles Charts, peaking at number fifty-four and eighty-five on the charts, respectively. “Blood Bound” is HammerFall’s only hit to make it to the European Hot 100 Singles Chart, peaking at number ninety-one. The song banked on the musicianship of the band members for its success. However, we cannot forget the great work by producer Charlie Bauerfeind on this record. Charlie has also worked with other notable power metal bands including Helloween, Rage, Angra, Blind Guardian, and Primal Fear.
# 1 – Hearts On Fire
Number one on our ten best HammerFall songs list is the charming hit “Hearts on Fire.” The song is featured on the band’s fourth studio album, Crimson Thunder. “Hearts on Fire” immediately became HammerFall’s signature hit, helping the band continue with impactful classic power metal influence. The song’s power and sonic influence replicate that of the ‘80s heavy metal hits.
While the song’s chorus might feel a little simplistic, its moving lyrical content and infectious delivery are enough to hook you to the hit. “Hearts On Fire” is a pure depiction of the band’s unfaltering enthusiasm for the classic heavy metal sound which was almost becoming extinct in Sweden following the takeover by the Gothenburg sound. The song peaked at number eleven on the Swedish Singles Chart, rising to position fifty-eight on the German Singles Chart.
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