Tour Diaries – Sabaton / Hulkoff II – Part 1

Posted in Uncategorized, Travels on January 31, 2023 by Sara Hammerzmith

And so it was time. Finally time to get back on the road again. It’s been just a bit under a year since the last Swedish tour of Sabaton, and for this run Hulkoff was coming along again. The first stop of the tour was in Övertorneå, pretty damn far up in the North.

So, travels started out pretty early in the morning – if I remember correctly I left my place around eight in the morning to head over to the airport. With being out of the touring habit for so long, I have lost track on how to do it and have not prepared ANTYHING in all honesty in order to make this tour go smoothly – like, sure I left well on time, but upon arriving at the airport I realized I hadn’t sorted any sort of preorder for the parkings, so I just went ahead and took the first best parking I found. Gladly enough, this is the parking I would usually have anyway so no issue really.

Off I went to meet up with my friend Isabelle whom I’d get to share this adventure with and we got on our plane, picked up the rental car she had arranged and started off the drive towards Övertorneå – which is located around two hours driving from Luleå. Oh yeah.. We had a bit of an incident on our way up. So, I get motion ill, or car sick if you like, very, very easily. And I forgot to take my pills, but I did not realize this until I started feeling a bit nauseous. I tried combatting it by stopping quickly on the road and driving with the window down – even taking a pill even though it technically was a bit too late….

And at one point I had to ask Isabelle to just pull over in the dead middle of a road and I went out… And it was a basic cascade. I haven’t done that in a long time, but I guess it was about time! Lesson learned. The worst part though? I didn’t get my very long hair out of the way, so I tried my best to clean it with snow.. I thought I was so fly until I borrowed Isabelles shower later only to realize I had just mushed it all in my hair and created a nice… cake… of that…

ANYWHO.

And let me tell you this – going up north – this much up north – it is like visiting a different country. It is legit the same country, but it is so incredibly different on the same time. The houses are quite more rustiqe than I’m used to home where I live, and most importantly – it is so incredibly silent. At least at the place where I lived – Willa Armas just outside of Övertorneå. Its a huge what seems to be family owned mansion of sorts with a huge kitchen and you stay in one of the bedrooms of the house. Baths are shared, and there is a sauna in the basement. The owners meet up with you and make sure you are most comfortable and help you out. They are extremely friendly – I can very warmly recommend this location for you. It is handy if you have a car already though, as it is outside the city.

Obviously, as we were arriving pretty late on the first night we went off to buy some dinner and have some before Isabelle brought me back to my hotel and the next day was about to commence. Got up WAY TOO LATE in what I would have liked myself, but obviously, if it is anything I learned about myself this past few months it is that I tend to always stay up way too late – I guess I can thank me discovering TikTok for that..

Anywho. Isabelle came to pick me up, bless her, and we headed off to the Arctic Circle – which was pretty damn interesting to see actually! A part of me is kind of all up in the air about it all – I have always wanted to travel up north but I never really had the chance properly til now – which means the world to me.

We headed back into the city to cook some more dinner before heading over to the show – but I’ll save that for another post!

// Sara

The First Soldier

Posted in Uncategorized on January 20, 2023 by Sara Hammerzmith

Isn’t it just amazing how time flies by and I seem to not even touch the blog? Many reasons as to why I will tell you – school, work, everything. But I’ll try to get more consistent with it – and is there any way better to start than to talk about Sabaton?

Starting from last year, Sabaton has started to release these mini-EPs with songs and stories from World War I, featuring a new song on each. On the last one, “Weapons of the Modern Age” the new song “Father” about Fritz Haber and his invention of the Cyklon-B gas which was used in the trenches and later in the gas chambers of WWII – but he also invented fake fertilizer – giving the world a literal sinner or a saint picture – a lot of people were killed with his invention, but many more were saved.

Now, it is time for the second EP in the same genre – “Heroes of the Great War” where they have focused more on specific soldiers, such as Peghamagabow, Alvin York and Adrian Carton de Wiart, we are now presented the new single “The First Soldier”.

The first soldier is, as quoted from Sabaton’s own website:


“France’s Albert Severin Roche became known as “The First Soldier” of France for his heroism and bravery. Despite his small stature and his peers’ scepticism, by the end of WW1 Albert had more than proved himself, having captured over 1,180 prisoners while fighting for the French Army.”

So, let’s talk about the music shall we?

The first thing that strikes me is the almost cheerful, and bombastic intro leading up to the verses. You are instantly given this heroic feeling – and the positive feeling is the red string throughout the song, and it leads the thoughts directly back to “Versaille”, the last track on “The War to End All Wars”. At times, I’m given slight Dragony-vibes (think Viribus Unitis album) and I do like it a lot. If you look at the overall EP – it is rather filled with all the more cheerful tunes. And I’m liking it a lot!

So, what are your guys thoughts? Let’s discuss below!

// Sara

Paris Kills

Posted in Uncategorized on November 8, 2022 by Sara Hammerzmith

Wow. What in all of the world is this? I haven’t been blogging in the longest of times. And how is that even possible. Well I guess it is not so peculiar when you think of things. At least not in the grand scheme of things.

Mostly, it has all come down to lack of motivation and at time lack of time. When the pandemic hit I found myself struggling to find content to write as a the metal nomad who is known for touring. After that, heavy things happened in my personal life that led to me not being able to write, or more like, step away from writing in a way it shouldn’t have done. I lost someone I love (not in death they just left me) and it took a hard toll.

Ever so slowly did I actually start to bounce back but I did mostly so by working. Getting new jobs, startin University, ups and downs and high and lows. I got back on track touring, following Sabaton along their Swedish tour and even got through a few festivals. Most recently now I was with Lordi in Paris and having my little “promotion” with them surely helped lit my spark.

In other news, I have also started streaming. You find me on Twitch under the same name as this blog, so that’s always something – streaming and gaming and building a new community there has definitely helped me find the creative spark again. So thanks for that everyone. I got back together with my loved one and he’s the one I brought with me to Paris together with two of my absolute best friends… And they really inspired me to what is important and what is not.

So here I am. I have just gotten off stream a few hours ago, just had a delish dinner with my boyfriend, making contentplans for Lordi, writing and essay and being sappy with my best friend.

And I am again blogging. See you soon.

// Sara

Sabaton – Soldier of Heaven

Posted in Music, Uncategorized with tags on January 7, 2022 by Sara Hammerzmith

First week of 2022 serves us a new single from Sabaton. “Soldier of Heaven” covers the subject of White Friday, taking place in December 13th 1916 where an avalanche killed a great number of soldiers during The Great War. So, lets dig into the song, shall we?

The song starts of with a nice yet not unfamiliar synth sling heading into the verse consisting of Jocke’s voice alone with the sling, allowing the song to build on more and more as it goes into an epic chorus that instantly brings the thoughts back to Bloodbound (think “Stormborn“) with elements of Beast in Black, if anything production wise.

Lyrically the song speaks from a perspective of the soldier which, in my own personal opinion brings it to a more personal and emotional level, one might say? It might just be me, but I love when it’s from ones own perspective.

While I enjoy the song.. A lot. I have been blasting it ALL DAY… I can’t help but somehow long for the “old” Sabaton. Lately, and this starting already on “The Last Stand” we’ve seen them step away more and more from the kind of music they used to go, going in a softer more radio friendly (if you’d like) kind of direction. Hopefully, there might be tracks on the album that are more in the style that I fell for. I do however, enjoy it a lot. And I’m stoked for the rest!

// Sara

Sabaton – Christmas Truce

Posted in Music, Uncategorized with tags , on October 29, 2021 by Sara Hammerzmith

For just a little while during World War I, the gunfires and the conflicts ceased. In the spirit of Christmas, an unofficial ceasefire occured where it for just a little while, peace was restored. For many years, fans has been asking and begging Sabaton to make a song about this particular event – even more so since the release of “The Great War”. And at last, with the announcement of “The War To End All Wars” the wishes has finally been heard – “Christmas Truce” is here. And ironically, it’s their first song about peace. Who would have thought?

Wow, where do I even begin with this? I actually.. don’t really know. The song itself is beautifully arranged – lyrically beautiful, grandios yet dramatic musical arrangements coming together in a song that is set to give you goosebumps.

Greatly enough, it doesn’t remind me of anything else they’ve done off the bat. If this is even just a little bit of a taste of what will come withe “The War To End All Wars” then I’m truly excited. As far as the video goes, I can’t really say anything else besides goosebumps. Storytelling musicvideos surely holds a special place in my heart.

// Sara

REVIEW: Bloodbound – Creatures of the Dark Realm

Posted in CDs, Music, Uncategorized with tags , , , on May 27, 2021 by Sara Hammerzmith

Three years has passed since Bloodbound last graced us with their album ”Rise of the Dragon Empire” which was in my personal opinion a solid and good album, just carrying a little too many resemblances to other songs which gave me mixed feelings. Over the years – the strong songs of the album has really grown on me, so I was more than excited when it was time for new music from the boys. 

”Creatures of the Dark Realm” is yet another work of the three primary songwriters in the band and this time around they attempted to do something new without losing the complete Bloodbound touch. So, let’s get to it shall we? 

The album opens up a little slowly and purposely calm with the intro ”The Creatures Preludium” before it launches right into the heavy and epic opening track, which also so happens to be the title track of the album. The chorus is massive with a bit of a dramatical touch in the musical department, making this song serve as the perfect opener of the album and telling what is yet to come.

This is followed up rather quickly with one of the more commercial tracks of the album, also known as the first single, ”When Fate is Calling” and it works so well together, being on the bit more melodic side to keep the interest going, especially considering that the next song, ”Ever Burning Flame” holds very typical Bloodbound elements. The song itself brings quick thoughts back to ”A Warlocks Trail” and the chorus itself to ”Dragons Are Forever” from previous albums, but with a new added touch that makes it the perfect blend, if it makes sense? The breakdown in this song is also everything I’d ask for in a song like this together with a well crafted solo.

The first major surprise on this album I find in ”Eyes Come Alive” where we hear Patrik pull off some more high pitched singing which I can’t for the life of me think I’ve heard that often with Bloodbound – think HammerFall’s ”Fury of the Wild” as far as the vocals come. The whole song brings some thoughts of arrangements regarding the same song, although I wouldn’t say it’s necessarily similar.

I live for this chorus though – there is something very special with heavy and anthem-like choruses that just makes my heart burst. After this we find ourselves in a fast and heavy song, a song instantly brining the thoughts back to ”Rise of the Dragon Empire” as well as ”Slayer of Kings” with how it’s built, but again – not necessarily similar. Just another well crafted mash up, if you like?

”Gathering of Souls” is the first song of the album that brings an actual sense of adventure och epic anthems – I know I’ve used the word before in this review, but this is on a different level. ”Kill or Be Killed” continues in the adventurous vein of this album, as it brings the typical Bloodbound melodies that we know from before, and has just as the previous an anthem feel to it. Something that stands out for me, that really hits me in the right spots, is the double pedal drum. It’s something with them in this song that just makes it SO GOOD.

Straight after this little adventure we head back into something even heavier and speedier than what we found in ”Death Will Lead The Way”, and if I may say so – it might just be a touch better than the previous one as it keeps on throughout the song with the tempo giving us a higher heart rate – I mean, in case we need that.

For the major wrap up of the album it starts off with the second single of the album ”March Into War”, a song that is most likely becoming my personal favorite of the album. Absolutely massive and epic anthem, having everything I personally like in a song (you all know by now I am all about the slower and heavier songs rather than the speedy ones). 

After this majestic anthem we get another more melodic and commercial leaning kind of song, with a massive chorus which makes me like it, but it’s not a favorite at all. The album wraps up completely with ”The Wicked and the Weak” which serves as the heavy – on – the – spot ending that we all deserve with a nice ”We are the others” kind of message – I love those kind of songs. 

So what is the verdict? I think its a very well crafted album – as someone who has gotten accustomed to them singing primarily about dragons I’m confused by the lack of dragons but then I remember – this is exactly what they were opting for. Creating something relatively new, and so they did. The album lines up amazingly too – I personally look a lot at the way the song order has been decided and it has made or broken albums in the past for me when bands end up putting what is in my opinion the wrong song first. 

But with this – we get an amazing listening experience from start to finish with ups and downs keeping it interesting throughout the whole thing. Overall though, it’s still very, very Bloodbound production wise, and perhaps not as new (comparing to the most recent albums, its very different from the first ones) as one who have wished, but on the other hand – we do like them for a reason, don’t we? 

Well done, Bloodbound. Another solid album to the ranks, and now I can’t personally wait to get to hear the new material live when the time is right, so to speak.

// Sara

Label: AFM Records I CDON I Amazon I Ginza

Sabaton – Defence of Moscow

Posted in Music, Uncategorized with tags , , on May 9, 2021 by Sara Hammerzmith

In time for Russia’s celebration of Victory Day Sabaton has yet again graced us with another single – ”Defense of Moscow”. What sets this single aside a bit from previous ones would be it being a cover of Radio Tapok – a name that is not so unfamiliar to the Sabaton fandom. Mostly known for his Russian covers of the songs, his appearance on stage in Moscow during The Great Tour and not to mention the single ”Attack of the Dead Men”. 

I guess it was only fitting for them to cover him, after him covering them for so long? So let’s get on with it then.

Starting off with a rather dramatic instrumental piece it launches into a very epic piece, if I may say it myself – typical Sabaton. Bombastic choruses and intriguing verses. Celebrating heroic deeds. However, I do miss some of the raw power that you find in the original.

Production wise I’m brought back to ”Stalingrad” from ”Primo Victoria” in certain details which somehow makes sense, intentional or not. Other than that the style is very similar to what we’ve seen on recent releases like “The Last Stand” or “The Great War”. I’d personally say they make the song justice – it’s almost as if the song was written for them, or heavily influenced by them. A nice little added touch from their side with the Soviet/Russian national anthem in the solo.

I do enjoy the song. Perhaps not the best cover they ever made – but it fits their style, their lyrical theme and even better together with “The Royal Guard” who also dealt with a specific group of defenders..

// Sara

REVIEW: Orden Ogan – Final Days

Posted in CDs, Music, Uncategorized with tags , , , on March 10, 2021 by Sara Hammerzmith

Three years has passed since ”Gunmen” saw the day. Set in a wild west dystopic setting it is Orden Ogan’s most successful album to date, and the anticipation for the next one has been huge. I can only speak for myself, but as they announced the ”Final Days” and the concept of a dystopic space setting I got even more excited. From swamps to wild west to space and artificial intelligence – let’s do this.

The album starts out pretty straight on – with what seems to be a bit lighter than what we’re used to with the boys, but in no way bad. Already here you can tell arrangement wise of the new concept with the addition of technological filters over the voice. 

It is however, the second song of the album that first caught my attention. Starting off in the same vein as the opener just out of nowhere it escalated from zero to hero and even I found myself going ”whoa” as it approaches more that we know from ”F.E.V.E.R” and ”Gunman”. And that is the recipe for awesome, if you ask me.

The album seems to be a constant swinger of the moods – after heaviness comes the softness in ”Inferno” which is quite different from what we are used to with the boys, but a nice little different setting, and then back to what we are used to in their single ”Let the Fire Rain” is QUITE the throwback to ”Gunman”. 

”Interstellar” is the first song to really catch my attention. Featuring a cameo by Gus G I found myself with a big smile on my face from the playful melodies and the catchiness. It got something, you know? For the next song we see another cameo – this time by no one other than Ylva Eriksson from Brothers of Metal. Being a massive Brothers of Metal and specifically Ylva fan I was leaping around in circles when the collaboration was announced and I was not disappointed! 

It’s a low key beautiful and sentimental ballad called ”Alone in the Dark”, fitting of the theme of fighting artificial intelligence and survival without each other. The way Ylva’s voice compliment Seeb’s is just magical. 

After this little melancholic but beautiful break we are thrown into a series of heavy, very typical Orden Ogan songs making me think of the final showdown as far as timing goes. Starting off with ”Black Hole” and then thrown into ”Absolution for our Final Days” and ”Hollow” before wrapping up with ”It Is Over” which holds a more sentimental tone.

Over all, it’s a pretty decent album. What really sticks out for me is the details – addition of effects to the voice to make it more computerized as well as songs in general more ”popesque” but not in a ”We are abandoning metal” kind of way but to fit the theme itself. While it has some refreshing and new moments, you can still find the typical and core of Orden Ogan as well making it a pretty balanced album although I don’t find anything particularly new. Perhaps in ”Interstellar”, but that is about it. I am excited to see what they’ll do with the tour, once that is a thing again.

AFM Records

// Sara

Livgardet – Sabaton

Posted in Music with tags , on February 28, 2021 by Sara Hammerzmith

So! A few days ago, on February 26th to be more exact Sabaton released a new single called “Livgardet” which is named after exactly the same thing the song is about – the Swedish Royal Guard. This year they celebrate their 500th anniversary, so the band decided to commemorate that with a song!

So here it is folks! Video and song. The video is pretty nice – it’s interesting and fun to see them in a different setting, and I’m glad to see them take proper consultants to get it as historically correct as possible!

But now, lets talk about the song now, shall we? I’ll start by saying that I do like it a lot. It’s majestic and epic as usual with hymns from the boys, and it’s sweet to hear them sing in Swedish again, I’ll not deny that. It’s lowkey and haven’t got a lot going for it instrumental-wise, but relying more on the vocals which.. is.. somewhat similar to “Sparta” from “The Last Stand” in terms of build up, but as with most (not all) “recycled” songs, it’s just a notch better this time. The use of the psalm “Härlig är Jorden” is also a very nice touch to this majestic song – a term I’ve used quite a bit now I realize. But yeah – plain and simple – I love it. And not just because I love Sabaton, but because I do really like this song.

It was never really mentioned if it was a single from an upcoming albums or simply a stand alone single like “Bismarck” but I do like it a lot, and when we are allowed – to witness this song live. And I’m excited for what else is to come!

// Sara

Wig Wam – Never Say Die

Posted in CDs, Music, Uncategorized with tags , on February 22, 2021 by Sara Hammerzmith

So here we go again, as they sing in the title track. It’s been around nine years since they last recorded an album and around eight years since they disbanded. I’ve found myself looking at my tracker on Setlist.fm thinking to myself “I’ll never get to see this band live again” and I’ve found myself avoiding listening to their old stuff, not because I dislike it, but because it’s too painful. But there we were. Reunion show turned into a new single turn into an album that turned into a full-blown reunion. The one band I never thought would come back together are back. They are truly back. 

Receiving the album was the most surreal feeling of it all. Holding an album I never thought would see the light of day brings a certain feeling, and this is why the review has taken so long. But here it is at last, my thoughts and words on Wig Wam’s comeback album “Never Say Die” which was released a month ago on January 22nd. So lets begin, shall we?

The album opens up with a melancholic, almost dystopic kind of tune serving as an intro – painting the picture of a deserted and beaten up path where our heroes are now making their way back to us after a battle well fought which explodes into the first track of the album, being the title track which is nothing short but of a typical Wig Wam as we know them – I’d like to be as cocky to say it’s a fine mixture between ”In My Dreams” and ”Gonna Get You Someday” with a lyrical theme speaking precisely of what happened to the band – those of us who were there – we know. And this song hits right in the feel, both musically and lyrically. 

As it progresses, it continues in the vein of the typical Wig Wam although with a more raw tone. At first thought I think mostly of ”Wall Street” as I hear the rougher tone, yet I can’t help but to hear bits and pieces from the previous albums – ”Hypnotized” bringing thoughts, discreet, but thoughts nonetheless to ”Car-Lyle”, ”Shadow of Eternity” toward ”No More Living on Lies”. 

”Kilimanjaro” is another breath of fresh air – following the footsteps of the title track it comes off as a very honest song lyrically about what went down ”back in the days” and at first listen I wasn’t a huge fan of this – however, this song has come to grow quite a bit on me. More in the style of Bon Jovi’s ”Dead or Alive” (but a lot less ballad-y) 

The ballad of the album ”My Kaleidoscope Ark” doesn’t quite reach the level of ”At the End of the Day” although it’s a nice break from the otherwise pretty rough album.

Bernt Jansen makes another appearance as singer on ”Call of the Wild”, something he started doing with ”Flygin High”, a bonus track on the Japanese version of ”Wig Wamania, and it’s nice to see him being back, he brings quite a different flavor. Speaking of solos, we are finally being granted a completely instrumental song again in ”Northbound”, which is a beautiful work but still.. Perhaps I’m too stuck in the past, but it just doesn’t reach the levels of ”The Drop” for me. Although I can appreciate it a lot as a stand alone.

The album wraps up quite nicely, a bit low key as compared to how it started out, but it feels like the perfect ending – slow, low, melancholic but still leaving a taste of wanting more. ”Silver Lining” is int a league of its own.

So. I’ll be honest. As mentioned in the beginning, this is an album I never thought would see the light of day. I’ve stared at my Wig Wam count at setlist.fm many times and whispered to myself how I’d never get to see them live again, I’ve cried at Ammunition shows when Åge decided to whip out old Wig Wam tunes and yet here we are. Nine years later, here it is. The new Wig Wam album.

I must admit that I’m not… 100% sold on it. It’s a well oiled album – it’s great craftsmanship at hand but it just doesn’t go all the way, if this makes sense? Maybe I’ve outgrown the band – or perhaps they just peaked with ”Non Stop Rock n Roll” – its hard to say, but I remember a Wig Wam that used to always improve with every album. This album has taken a heavier approach than previous works, and I’m not sure if I personally feel it fits them.

I am however, grateful that I hold it in my hand. And I’m looking forward to sharing this new era with them, with a lot less drama, hopefully.

// Sara