Is it any wonder how time flies by? I can’t believe that 15 years have passed since Hammerfall made their debut in the global music scene. I still remember –quite vividly, I must add- their show in Athens back in 1997 (when they opened for Gamma Ray). In addition, one couldn’t help but feeling in awe by the sheer quality of the band’s first album “Glory To The Brave”. I believe that this was the top album of the year for European Metal (along with “Legendary Tales” (Rhapsody) and “Accident of Birth” (Dickinson).

“Gates of Dalhalla” celebrates 15 years of Hammerfall and it is a full and quite enjoyable package that all the fans of the Swedish metallers will definitely embrace. Personally, I got a kick out of the whole DVD although there were a few negative aspects. Let’s start with the positive points: 135 minutes of a musical extravaganza with songs cued from the entire Hammerfall catalogue. An energetic show (especially Cans and Drojnak are majestic on stage) with special guests some ex-members of Hammerfall. A superb version of “Always Will Be”. The stage set and the whole scenery is impressive as the band plays in the middle of a some kind of rocky mountain landscape. On a negative note is the fact that Cans speak constantly in Swedish in between songs (you cannot aim towards a global market and the majority of your fans cannot understand a single word of what you’re saying) while the gap between the fans and the band is big thus creating a lack of an immediate communication and warm vibe.

Having said that, I believe that all the die hard fans of Hammerfall will get a great package sufficient enough to wet their appetite as the band has already announced a well deserved break for 2013.