Fans of Sweden's Power Metal masters Hammerfall will love the DVD Rebels With A Cause because it takes us on a journey to a little bit of everywhere with the band and covers their misadventures from 2002 through 2007 as they present recording studio stories, live on tour insanity and tons of backstage antics that make them a special band to all of their fans. The release comes to us at the same time as the bands Masterpieces album, where they deliver the music of other bands as presented by Hammerfall. Masterpieces is the latest edition in a series of such releases and combined with this kind of film we Metal fans have a couple of nice distractions to enjoy while we wait with anticipation for the bands next studio album. Films of this kind are far different from your conventional live concert performance films that give you this kind of footage in limited quantity either inter spaced between songs or left as bonus features to be watched on their own and depending on the band I tend to prefer the way that Hammerfall did this. The footage is primarily delivered to the viewer by the band who gives you the full scoop from the beginning of 2002 as they recorded their album Crimson Thunder album and discuss the touring that ensued afterwards. The band all gets a chance to speak and as you watch you realize that they are not taking this film as a serious historical document but instead are choosing to have a lot of fun with it as they rib and abuse each other and all those involved as the recollection of the stories happens. The other albums that are discussed are Chapter V and Threshold. We also get some brief insight into the solo album that lead singer Joacim Cans released in between Hammerfall releases.
As I watched this I felt as though the band were old friends of mine who were over the house sitting and drinking beers as they discussed the events of their past few years and this is essentially how comfortable they make the home viewer feel. They keep your interest from the beginning through the end and you are able to witness first hand all of the destruction that often comes at the hands of Anders Johansson (their drummer), as he demonstrates a clear avarice for technology, hotels and fellow band members after wild nights of partying. The younger viewers might want to shield their eyes from the extensive amount of streaking that can be found across the film, and again it's just another way that the band shows that they are having a lot of fun doing what they do. We also get a lot of footage from the live shows and hear some of the interesting stories that went on around them, as the band presents how being a live touring act is not always an incredible experience in terms of how the show is executed and how some of the antics end up being the glue that holds a group together during the hard times. There are plenty of fan interaction clips to enjoy and television spots and this is sure to keep all fans of Power Metal interested in the Hammerfall happenings and definitely could be considered a film that brings some new fans along for the ride as well. We get some introductions to the bands new old bassist Fredrik Larsson who has returned to the fold after the departure of long time bassist Magnus Rosen and we also discover a few more details as to the reasons why the bassist chose to move on in the first place after so many years. After the main film which runs just over an hour we have a ton of bonus features to enjoy in the way of TV clips, Promo Clips, Live Clips, additional Behind The Scenes Footage and some Short Movies made by the members of the band. It's enough to keep you occupied for awhile and possibly send you out to buy some of the other material that they have released.
Over the span of time covered by the DVD, Hammerfall has done right by the Power Metal genre by not only releasing three studio albums during those six years but also by remaining on tour whenever possible and delivering DVD's like this one as well as a greatest hits release and their covers album. Clearly the band is covering all the angles and will be rocking us for a long time.