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HANDS ON... THIS MONTH: Hammerfall


Sweden has a long and illustrious history when it comes to HM: Yngwie Malmsteen, Freak Kitchen…er, ABBA. OK, we’re joking! Gothenburg-based HM band Hammerfall represent part of a very long and illustrious history of fine metal bands hailing from Scandinavia. A highly accomplished outfit with a tight precision-honed sound, Hammerfall nevertheless adhere to old school HM values mixed with a progressive edge that sometimes isn’t too dissimilar to Iron Maiden. Indeed, whereas ‘Maiden are distinguished by the hideous visage of their trademark character ‘Eddie’, Hammerfall similarly use a figure called ‘Hector the Knight’, a sinister looking black clad warrior that regularly features on the band’s LP covers and promotional videos. Taking their musical cues from the world of epic fantasy novels – particularly the work of George R.R. Martin – Hammerfall’s recent work is marked by a decision to drop-tune their guitars down a whole step below standard concert pitch, which has added a darker, more reflective tone to their otherwise fairly traditional metal. However, the band is sticking true to their HM roots and they still know how to write the type of stirring tribal anthems that bind HM fans together, very much in a similar mold to earlier generations of HM bands like Judas Priest or Saxon. Hammerfall are loyal Marshall users and they smashed the record in Sweden for having the most live Marshall cabs on stage. A staggering 54 cabinets were used for Hammerfalls performance at the Getaway Rock Fest in Gävle, Sweden this summer year, with each and every one hooked up and powered - that's an amazing total of 216 loaded speakers! Loud or what!


Hammerfall recently played a gig using 54 Marshall 412 cabinets - each one fully hooked up and powered!


Marshall 1960B & 1960A Speaker Cabs


Where would HM be without its towering walls of Marshall cabs? When Jim Marshall built the first 8x12 speaker cabinet for Pete Townshend of The Who in the mid-1960s he unwittingly set a precedent when Townshend’s disgruntled roadies asked Jim Marshall to saw the enormous speaker stack in half, complaining that it was too big and heavy to carry! Coupled with the early 100 watt Marshall amplifiers, the new Marshall 412 enclosures unleashed hitherto unheard of power and volume, quickly establishing a formidable presence on the world’s concert stages. Jimi Hendrix is probably the first guitarist to really set the seal on Marshall speaker cabinets as the iconic symbol of rock and the countless hard rock and heavy metal bands that followed in his wake during the 70s continued to rely heavily on massed ranks of Marshall 412s as a potent symbol of their might and power! Today Marshall still offers a great range of speaker enclosures and


its 412s still sell in huge numbers. Its 1960B (straight) and 1960A (‘A’ stands for ‘Angled’) feature a choice of mono (into 4 or 16ohms) and stereo (2x8ohm) modes and come finished in the


18 3www.playmusicpickup.co.uk Tower of power: the iconic Marshall stack in all its glory!


classic black Marshall vinyl and grill cloth that proudly displays the unmistakable Marshall script logo that is visible from the back row of a stadium! To cater for different tastes the standard Marshall 412 is available with a several different speaker options. The standard setup comprises 75-watt Celestion GT12T-75 12-inch speakers but the 1960AC/1960BC cabs feature silky sounding Celestion Greenbacks for a more vintage flavour. Many players rate the 1960AV and 1960BV cabinets as the ultimate Marshall cabs; these babies sport 70-watt Celestion Vintage speakers that deliver an incredibly warm and punchy tone that sounds much ‘bigger’ and more dynamic than a standard 412 cab. If you really want to go for vintage accuracy, Marshall also offer an accurate reproduction of the original Marshall 412 cabinets with period correct grill cloth and the slightly taller dimensions, as used by Eric Clapton and a certain Mr. Hendrix, of course! Smaller combos may be more convenient but nothing sets out your stall with as much presence as a pukka Marshall stack. Once you get one, we bet that you’ll never want to change back. PM


LEARN THE SECRETS OF MARSHALL USERS’ TONES


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