Every year again and again, Santa Claus is coming along,... but first of all, that one takes another few weekd, and second Hammerfall ain't Santa Claus, and it's been a little longer than one year, that the band has been here last time in Munich. But as we all know, time goes by very quickly. So it seems, as if the band was just here the day before yesterday. Of course their once again return has got a reason, and that is named 'Infected', the new and eight birth of the Swedes. to be honest, this baby does not make a big difference to all the albums before, what's up to style and sound structure. Hammerfall have been faithful to their line and they are literatually the heirs of the legendary Eighties classic Heavy Metal. Over the years someone had created the expression True Metal, and that one follows them since then or better runs ahead. 
Hammerfall 2011 are still Joacim Cans, Oscar Dronjak and Anders Johannson, and also Frederik Larsson and Pontus Norgren. But if you take it very straight, then it's only Oscar beeing left from the very first original line up, which was founded back then in 1993.
Thanks god, this doesn't matter, and Hammerfall are actually one unit, who stands for this, just mentioned True metal. And that's why our Theaterfactory here in Munich is almost sold out, which means in figures aprox. 1.500 headbanging, stuts-jacket wearing fans and other creatures. This first mentioned species you won't find too often nowadays anymore. Why? It's simple! The fans from back then are now behaved family daddies not getting outta their homes anymore. And today's youth, unless their parents have driven them into that musical direction, are rather going for Vobeat, Linkin Park and Rammstein etc. However, it still seems, there is a small clientel left for Hammerfall's philosophy, exspecially what's up to Germany and Sweden, - according to guitarist Oscar himself. 
Apart from that, meanwhile the band owns a merch cataloge, which might not be quite as large as the one of Kiss, but the boot here at the venue still seems like a whole warehouse. And this one again, is kept very busy and occupied. Of course, presently in the age of internet and downloading and therefore the resulting lack of sales, money has to be earned another way. And that one works only through more merch sales and lots of liveshows. 

Hammerfall got 3 Supportbands on board, whereby the orginally scheduled Riot have pulled out because of logistic reasons, and therefore Vicious Rumors jumped in for the whole trip and not only for a handful of dates as planned. Those guys again, still can't believe their huge luck. 

Start is 8.30 p.m. with Death Destruction, also a swedish group, and as the name says, they are going for Death Metal. 

They themselves describe themselves as a collective group of four mastro musicians, whatever this means. And those four individuals listen to the names: Jimmie Strimell (Voc), Henrik Danhage (Git), Fredrik Larsson (Bass) and Jonas Ekdahl (Drums.Whereby Frederik Larsson also plays in Hammerfall as known. This outfit here, has got one selftitled album out and one live EP. And they do appriciate the chance to open up on this tour and play in front of a larger audiance, though it's only the usual 30 minutes. I have to say, that I missed out on most of the show, because of chatting the time away with Hammerfall guitarist Oscar on the tourbus. So I can't tell you much more about that and can offer you only a pocket cam shot taken from the very back of the venue and this videoclip.... 

Further infos to Death Destruction can be found at: http://deathdestruction.com/

Number 2 come on about 15 minutes later and present us their  metal-Fusion Sound.

I'm talking about Amaranthe, also from Sweden and partly from denmark, who are nothing else than a sideproject of guitarist Olov M÷rk, who also plays in Dragonland and Darkage the first fiddle.... oh sorry,  I mean of course the first guitar....
An unusal fact about this band is, that there are 3 singers, including one female voice. Amaranthes life goes back to 2008. But they have released their debutalbum this year. And their friendship to Hammerfall got them on this tour. 

The musical cocktail is mixed out of Death- and Powermetal. And it's the voices who are making the difference starting by the metal male voices to the clear voice of Elize Ryd, and also it's this melodic sound cloud, interfering into the thrashy foundation. Also participating are co founder of the Band Jake E.Lundberg (voc) then it's  Andy Solvestrom (Voc)  and Morten L°we S°rensen (Drums). I find the combination of these different style elements pretty interesting, but principally it's nothing new. Because there are similarities to other groups. It's only, that the voices don't hold any additional instruments in their hands and just do the singing. 

Amaranthe have also got only 30 minutes to prove their skills. But they are doing pretty good and the audiance here obviously likes them. 

All good things are 3 as we say so. And the only non swedes on this tracks are Vicious Rumors. 3 is a magic number for them, as they are also here in Munich for the third time this year. 

For the first two visits, the band played the much smaller Garage club next door. This time Geoff Thorpe's group do get the chance to eat some of the Hammerfall cake. As mentioned in the beginning, there should be standing Riot up on stage tonight, and Vicious Rumours would have played only a few selected dates in addtion on this tour. But due to Riot's abstinence, Vicious Rumors will probably grateful to them a life long for now playing the whole time on this concert journey. 
They truly deserve it, as Geoff Thorpe has fought for more then a quarter of a century thoughout the int. Heavy Metal jungle for acceptance and survival. And this most of all after singer Carl Albert passed away in 1993 because of his racing passion and from that time watches the potatoes growing from below. Followed by many singer changes things didn't get easier. But to repeat myself from passed reviews: a Geoff Thorpe never gives in, and since he's found the double of bavarian king Ludwig II a.k.a. Brian Allen - a real great singer, the band seems to have received some second spring. 

(c) M.P.

 Vicious Rumors are still standing for the classic Heavy Metal from the Eighties, nowadays maybe with a more modern touch. And there is indeed a little difference to the 2 clubshows earlier this year. And that's the fact, that guitarist Kiyoshi is missing, but therefore a well known member from the past is back again - Thaen. - Can't tell you the reasons for that though. In each case, Vicious Rumours lay down a very decent set and all the Hammerfall fans out there do like them very much as we can spot at their reaction. But 45 minutes are also too short to play their butts off, and the magic is finished too quick.

Although I have to confess, I did like them better in the small clubatmosphere last time I saw them as they came around much more intensively. Or does this feeling refer to the current mood and condition, exspecially what's up to Brian, who seems a little quiet. Well the crowd have not realized anything and that's the most important thing. And once again I'm pretty sure, it won't take too long, until Vicious Rumors are back again once more. - They are certainly back with a vengance...and better than ever...
PS: Happy 50th birthday Geoff....


Time for Hammerfall, and those are celebrating their take off... very theatralic in a foggy shade, though annoying for us photographers, who do get mainly red light impressions during the first 3 songs...

Thanks god, the situation is changing a little after the first track, and Oscars freshly blonde hair is sticking out. Singer Joacim Cans has obviously discovered the newest trend in kayal Coco Chanel make up, just to give his serious metal eye glimpse the right dark mystery impression, - that's what I presume. Last but not least - main important thing is his voice giving us the right feeling, and this in a great cooperation with the rest of the group, who once again give their best and play every joker they've got within their True Metal. The Poker is won, and one Royal Flash after the other is thrown on the plate. The posing is better done as any glamrocker could possibly do, which again is very nice for us photographers. Fans love 'em for that and for the songs. Those again include 5 tracks from the new album 'Infected'. The rest is a best of... everybody in here knows (see setlist) 

On the whole Hammerfall don't offer us anything really new or even innovative. But they do well with this strategy and don't take a risk to change any major things. Mankind loves the things they are beeing used to and don't like any strange newbes.. so what?

Hammerfall keep the True Metal up and also for the hearing handycaped. I really don't wanna see the decibel level right next to the boxes. But the hard rockin' headbanging sportsman doesn't mind the noise - the louder the better...
And in addition to that, the beer is flowing pintwise through the dry throats and our ears are daning a Tango la noche. Songs such as 'Blood Bound: and 'last Man Standing' or 'Let The Hammer Fall' rise up the adrenalin level inside the venes of all True Metal lovers. And that's why we need a cool down inbetween not to get wasted completely.

And this little break is announce by our uhu Joacim as follows: 'this is for the ladies' - and it's named 'Always Will Be'. Those ladies are about a quarter of the audiance and appreciate this ballad very much. The boys rather prefer the fast songs obviously. Hammerfall are a good live band, no doubt about that, who are pulling their program though 90 minutes stage time. True Metal is more alive than ever, at least tonight in here. And no more is needed to make this evening perfect, yeah well, for everybody who counts himself to those True Metal lovers. 
This is it, and Hammerfall's explosion  is sooner finished as we can look around. But don't worry, just like Vicious Rumors, they will be back sooner then we can think of...

Offstage Snapshots at the  Diary