Ever popular Swedish trad metal

When HammerFall arrive on the main stage, it seemed ridiculously early in proceedings for such a popular band. The main arena is comfortably full of people, and a lot of them, judging from the waved hammers and worn T-shirts, are here specifically for them. And HammerFall do not disappoint. Suddenly the stage seems smaller than it actually is (that could be the props at the edges) as HammerFall burst in and completely slay all before them with a surge of pure power metal, to a rapturous reception.

It’s a mix of the well-loved and some new material tonight, as HammerFall have just finished a tour promoting their new album (and their new guitarist. If you didn’t know, you couldn’t tell.) New single ‘Any Means Necessary’ is already a sing-along favourite, sitting well alongside ‘Hallowed Be My Name’ and the brilliant ‘Riders Of The Storm’. And some of the crowd show their appreciation by… making a conga line?! Yes, said line weaves it way through the audience before the band break into an awesome version of ‘Last Man Standing’ that has everyone on their feet and chanting along.

Demands for an encore turn the atmosphere electric. Just time for a quick and very awkward break before launching into possibly the most eagerly awaited song of the night, the stunning ‘Hearts On Fire’. Sadly, the band wouldn’t be staying to enjoy the rest of the festival, announces singer Joacim Cans, which disappoints a few fans. But even that can’t quash the general air of triumph after HammerFall’s set. They were made for this festival. Or maybe it was made for them. Either way, something somewhere went very right. Maybe next time they’ll take their place closer to the headliners.