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Hammerfall

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Sweden (1993 – present)

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.

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