Released By : Nuclear Blast
Genre : Power Metal, Melodic Metal
Links : http://www.hammerfall.net/
01. Patient Zero
02. Bang Your Head
03. One More Time
04. The Outlaw
05. Send Me a Sign
06. Dia de los muertos
07. I Refuse
08. 666 – The Enemy Within
10. Let’s Get It On
I have a very wide taste in music, wider than most people I know. I enjoy anything from seventies folk rock, through to cheesy AOR, black metal, death metal, punk rock, delta blues, soul and just about anything else, but the mighty HAMMERFALL have always been one of my top ten bands of all time and easily my favourite ever power metal act. What that means is, when any news of a new HAMMERFALL release surfaces I get pretty darn excited, just as I did upon the first announcement of their latest album INFECTED. So after all the build-up was it worth the wait?….In a word NO!
This time around the band has attempted to do something very different from their usual style and the simple fact is that it just didn’t work. HAMMERFALL usually play that happy-sounding Euro power metal with wailing melodic choruses and tales about knights and castles etc.. etc.. That is clearly where they are the most comfortable, but this time around they have basically recorded a concept album about zombies….yeas you heard right…. Power metal about zombies. On paper it simply shouldn’t work, but if there was any band that could have made it work it would have been these guys, but no such luck here unfortunately.
It’s not just the theme of the album that is a disappointment here though, because it could have been saved by having a few really good songs. Only problem is there is only two songs here worth a damn in ONE MORE TIME AND IMMORTALIZED, the rest are all best forgotten and a stark reminder that even the gods can get it wrong sometimes. As if that isn’t bad enough though, this time around the band decided to take the production into their own hands which has had the disastrous effect of making this album sound very raw and muddy rather than the highly polished sound of the previous couple of albums. Let’s also take a quick look at that disaster of an album cover shall we?…YUCK!! Is this a friggen joke or something guys or what? HAMMERFALL have always had excellent cover art which has been among the best in the genre, but this time it looks like it could be a budget cover like I am used to seeing on self-released albums from indie metal bands, and the logo looks like crap too. Even the songwriting is underdone here and whereas the band usually opt for classically inspired riffery and articulate drumming, most of this is very basic sounding heavy metal and sounds like a band without an identity.
I really can’t think of anything good to say about INFECTED, it’s a bad album that sounds and looks like something released by a bunch of amateurs, not a band with such a revered history as HAMMERFALL. The album is destined to confuse fans and critics alike and will surely test the resolve of even the most die-hard fans of the band. Hopefully this is just a one-off miss-step and the guys can get back to business as usual pretty quickly….It’s albums like these that have been known to destroy a band’s career in the past, they need to fix this quickly.
Written By ZeeZee
Rating : 4/10