HammerFall is a heavy/power metal band from Sweden, formed in 1993 by Oscar Dronjak and Jesper Strömblad, then members of Ceremonial Oath.
Dronjak had already composed some of the new band's music, including the song "Steel Meets Steel". Several of the band's early lineups featured members of other influential Swedish heavy metal bands, such as In Flames and Dark Tranquillity. The members intended to take part in a competition known as "Rockslaget".
In 1996, HammerFall reached the semi-finals of the competition, but needed to find a new vocalist as their existing one would be unavailable for the competition. He was replaced by Joacim Cans, who became a full-time member of the band. Despite not winning the competition, HammerFall's live demo earned them a contract with Vic Records, which resulted in the release of their debut album "Glory to the Brave". The band was also licensed to Nuclear Blast of Germany for a four-album deal. At this point, the decision was taken that HammerFall was a full-time project, which meant that the In Flames members opted to focus on their melodic death metal band.
"Glory to the Brave" proved a considerable success for the band, paving the way for later successes. This critical and commercial success was further underscored by the success of a tour of Germany, Switzerland and the Netherlands, in which the band played to full houses. This pattern would be followed on later tours with other power metal bands.
HammerFall capped off 1997 with a nomination for Best Hard Rock Act at the Swedish music awards.
In 1998, HammerFall released "Legacy of Kings", their second album and their first featuring their entire lineup. Again, the band followed this release with a tour schedule covering much of Europe, as well as a number of major festivals. The first single from "Legacy of Kings", "Heeding The Call", achieved the success of a three-week stay on the German charts.
HammerFall also recorded songs for tribute albums to several of their influences, including Accept and Helloween, before embarking on their first world tour. This tour was marred slightly by most of the band catching a throat infection, which rendered lead singer Cans unable to speak, much less sing.
HammerFall's third album, "Renegade", was recorded in much the same fashion as their previous two releases had been. In contrast to the uniformly positive reaction to the first two albums, "Renegade" was met by some scepticism in some quarters, however early single releases found just as much success with fans as before, as did the album itself.
The band's fourth album, "Crimson Thunder", was recorded partly in Holland (the bass), partly in Germany (the drums) and partly on the island of Tenerife. Once again, the album met with success, with some reviews remarking on the heavier sound when compared with earlier releases.
At around this time, Joacim Cans was attacked in a bar, having a beer glass smashed into his face. He made a full recovery, and the planned video shoot for "Hearts on Fire" was only postponed by a week.
In 2007, bass guitarist Magnus Rosén decided to leave the band to continue his solo career, and in came an old friend, Fredrik Larsson. Fredrik was playing bass for HammerFall during the recording of their debut album - Glory To The Brave. (Ilham)
Guitarist Stefan Elmgren left the band in the summer of 2008 because he wanted to focus on his career as a commercial pilot. Pontus Norgren from The Poodles replaced him. For a long time he had wanted to play heavier music so this was his chance.
Chapter V: Unbent, Unbowed, Unbroken
The live album and DVD One Crimson Night was released in February 2003. After two years of hiatus the band released Chapter V: Unbent, Unbowed, Unbroken, which was followed by a European and South American tour. A video for the song "Bloodbound" was made by director Roger Johansson.
On October 16 it was reported that HammerFall (along with the band Europe) would be part of the Eurovision song contest. This rumor was refuted by lead singer Joacim Cans only a couple weeks later. Joacim was quoted as saying "So there were no talks whatsoever to be part of this."
Their 6th album, titled Threshold, was released on October 20, 2006 and it went directly to a number 1 position on the Swedish charts.
On March 6, 2007, a statement was posted online at HammerFall's official website (and his own official website), that bassist Magnus Rosén would not be involved with the band anymore. The reason for his departure stated that he was unhappy in the band and wants to focus on other projects. On his own website (and therefore with his own official statement) it was announced that Magnus was tired of the simple bassplaying he was forced to play in HammerFall, and that he was unable to bring his own material to the band. He now wants to "be more creative in his career". On April 10 it was announced on the official Hammerfall homepage that the replacement for Magnus is former member Fredrik Larsson, who played bass on the Glory to the Brave album. Three new songs were recorded for the band's first compilation album. These are "Last Man Standing", "Restless Soul", and "The Abyss". They also rerecorded the Glory To The Brave track "HammerFall". "Steel Meets Steel - Ten Years of Glory" was released on 12 October 2007.
No Sacrifice, No Victory was released in the UK on 23 February 2009.
Infected is the eighth studio album by the band HammerFall and was released on May 20, 2011, in Europe and June 7 of that same year in North America. It was their first album produced by James Michael and the HammerFall guitarists Oscar Dronjak and Pontus Norgren. To promote the record, the song "One More Time" was released as the first official single on April 6, 2011. On April 8, 2011, Nuclear Blast Records released a limited edition picture 7" version of the single "One More Time"; the vinyl was limited to 500 copies. The album entered the Swedish charts at number two. The album's second single B.Y.H was released on 24 August 2011.