Formed in Göteborg, Sweden, in 1993 by guitarist Oscar Dronjak. Early line-ups included members from In Flames and Dark Tranquillity, most notably Jesper Strömblad, who continued to write songs together with Oscar and singer Joacim Cans despite leaving before the first album was released. Glory To The Brave (1997) and Legacy Of Kings (1998) cemented the band as the pioneers of modern Eighties heavy metal. Often credited with bringing back the melodies and honesty in music, the world-wide crusade continued with Renegade (2000), an album that generated a breakthrough for HammerFall and metal music in general in the mainstream media in Sweden. The line-up was now complete with drummer Anders Johansson, formerly of Rising Force fame, Stefan Elmgren on guitar and Magnus Rosén on bass guitar. The latter two joined HF before the release of the inaugural record, with Stefan even being a session player on Glory To The Brave.
Crimson Thunder (2002) was next, followed by a live album and DVD – One Crimson Night (2003) – recorded in their home town in front of a capacity crowd. The fifth album, aptly titled Chapter V: Unbent, Unbowed, Unbroken (2005) further planted the name HammerFall in the minds of households in Sweden, as well as metal fans all over the world. The band’s fourth world tour on as many albums was an even bigger success than before, headlining the U.S. for the first time (after supporting Death and Dio in 1998 and 2002 respectively). Threshold (2007) continued that tradition, but the aftermath saw Stefan and Magnus leave the band. Replacements Pontus Norgren (ex-the Poodles) and Fredrik Larsson (ex-Evergrey) brought stability to the instrumental section and No Sacrifice, No Victory (2009) was the first album recorded with this line-up. Another tour of the world followed, this time including India as well as the usual European and North American tours and festivals.
The fall of 2010 was spent writing songs and recording them in the band’s own studio, ⌘-s, located in Göteborg. The raw drum, guitar and bass tracks were brought to Nashville, TN, where, under the supervision of producer James Michael, the vocals were recorded. James also handled the mix brilliantly, creating a heavy, traditional yet very contemporary sounding album. Infected (2011) was released in May, and showed a new side of the band, while at the same time leaving no old fans unsatisfied. The single “One More Time” was complemented with a zombie video, showing a modern and mature side of the band, though still keeping the tongue-in-cheek atmosphere that has made HammerFall videos famous.
After releasing the unique Gates Of Dalhalla DVD, the band decided to take a creative break to recharge the batteries, having spent the last 15 years in the studio or on the road. The plan all along was to return in 2014 with renewed energy, and the Templars kept their promise. For (r)Evolution, HammerFall has once again reunited with producer Fredrik Nordström, merging his experience with the band members’ own for a hard-hitting, in-your-face album. Recorded in Oscar’s own Castle Black Studios, the drums, guitar and bass has gotten back that raw energy that hasn’t been duplicated since the first album. The vocals were recorded by James Michael, who somehow got Joacim to perform even better than last time. For the mix, Fredrik Nordström spent 3 weeks in his own Studio Fredman to give (r)Evolution the crisp and powerful polish the album has. HammerFall is back, and hungrier than ever!