Swedish metallers HAMMERFALL have recruited guitarist Pontus Norgren (THE POODLES, TALISMAN, GREAT KING RAT) to replace Stefan Elmgren, who left the in early April to focus on his new career as a pilot.
"Pontus is a fantastic guitar player with musical roots in ACCEPT and neo-classical metal," commented HAMMERFALL drummer Anders Johansson. "I have known him for many years. I know how he works as a musician and as a person."
Pontus said in a statement: "I like HAMMERFALL. I think they have amazing stage shows and I like their songs, so when I heard they were looking for a guitar player I thought I'd give it a try. Playing in THE POODLES has been a wonderful experience in many ways, but I have always liked a little heavier music and have felt at times that this wasn't the right kind of forum for the music I'd most like to play. It's simply time to move on."
Singer Joacim Cans commented: "Replacing Stefan is not easy; he has a very characteristic way of playing and is a great guitarist. But Pontus will add a different style than Stefan since they are two quite different persons. I'm looking forward to see how we will mesh as a band during the coming months!"
HAMMERFALL will perform at the Heavy MTL festival in Montral, Quebec, Canada on June 21 before entering the studio in July to begin recording a new album.
On June 27, two new HAMMERFALL releases will see the light of day: a DVD continuing chronicling the band's career, and a covers CD a collection of all the covers recorded by HAMMERFALL to date plus three new, unreleased ones. Incidentally, this will be guitarist Stefan Elmgren's last release with HAMMERFALL.
* "Rebels With A Cause - Unruly, Unrestrained, Uninhibited" DVD:
The DVD will be a continuation of the previous two ("The First Crusade" and "The Templar/Renegade Crusades") and will contain newly recorded interviews with the band interspersed with footage from their own cameras. The time span is six years, from the beginning of 2002 until the end of 2007, and it's edited together as a documentary of sorts, i.e. one continuous film, but of course with chapters. Also included will be all six promo videos made during the time in question plus some behind the scenes, four professionally filmed live songs from Filderstadt 2005, five TV clips they have purchased the rights to from SVT (the Swedish national television network) and some more homemade stuff as bonus. The complete running time is estimated to be almost three hours.
* "Masterpieces" covers CD:
01. Child of the Damned (WARLORD)
02. Ravenlord (STORMWITCH)
03. Eternal Dark (PICTURE)
04. Back to Back (PRETTY MAIDS)
05. I Want Out (HELLOWEEN)
06. Man on the Silver Mountain (RAINBOW)
07. Head Over Heels (ACCEPT)
08. Run With the Devil (HEAVY LOAD)
09. We're Gonna Make It (TWISTED SISTER)
10. Breaking the Law (JUDAS PRIEST)
11. Angel of Mercy (CHASTAIN)
12. Rising Force (YNGWIE J. MALMSTEEN'S RISING FORCE)
13. Detroit Rock City (KISS)
14. Crazy Nights (LOUDNESS)
15. Nr Vindarna Viskar Mitt Namn (ROGER PONTARE)
16. Flight of the Warrior (RIOT)
17. Youth Gone Wild (SKID ROW)
18. Aphasia (EUROPE)