Archive for September, 2019

Alice Cooper @ Partille Arena, Gothenburg, Sweden 28/9-19

Posted in Concerts, Music, Uncategorized with tags on September 29, 2019 by Sara Hammerzmith

If there is one band I’ll always religiously attend shows to it will be this man and his crew. I dare to even go as far to say that there is not other band nor musician that I respect and love as much as I do this one. Being the grandfather of everything we today know as theatrical metal (excuse the term) he is still extremely humble.

For the day, we left our homes around 13ish and headed down toward Gothenburg. It was an easy and smooth ride, and we arrived by the venue by 17 and headed into the “mall” to have a quick dinner before doors opened. Got the chance to very quickly say hello to my good old friend Robert before getting in line.

As we got inside, we stopped by the merch and then into the venue. At this point, not a whole lot of people had come, so we got some pretty decent spots on Chuck’s and Ryan’s side of the stage. Better than nothing right?

And soon enough, Black Stone Cherry started the gig.

Black Stone Cherry

Supportband for this grand evening was Black Stone Cherry. They are a band that I’ve been trying to listen to for many years but quite never really fell for. But even though I may not be a massive fan of their music per se, I still appriciated the show for most parts – they had a great stage prescence and kept the spirit up, at least a bit.

They played for 45 minutes before it was time to close the curtain and set up for Mr Alice Cooper.

Alice Cooper

The talking intro started… And first song of the evening was, a bit to my surprise, “Feed My Frankenstein”. As the banner fell down, it revealed to us a large castle setting with Nita and Ryan on top of each of a tower before ascending down the stairs to join the rest of the band. A few gadgets here and there – a casket, some heads and beautiful chandliers in the roof set probably one of the most beautiful stage settings I’ve seen him have. As the song progressed, we’d discover the scientist elements were gone. But why not?

Next song on the list, followed up very quickly was the crowdpleaser “No More Mr Nice Guy”, which is just as terrific as always. “Bed of Nails” was followed just up before we went back in time to “Billion Dollar Babies” era and launched into “Raped and Freezin'”

From the oldies straight into new material as “Fallen in Love” was the next song. Maraccas was brought out and “Muscle of Love” was fired off before a large surprise for me came.

“He’s Back (The Man Behind the Mask)” was next on the list, and this song has grown to be one of my top favorite songs, and I was delighted to have it performed again. And this time, with the stageshow – Teenage girls running around the castle getting murdered by Jason Voorhees.

Sometimes I wonder, at what point do you notice you’ve seen a band too much? Well, it’s a riddle because you can never see a band too much, but I noticed that for some odd reason I could predict “I’m Eighteen” being the next song and I don’t know how I knew it. But splendid, as per usual.

“Billion Dollar Babies” followed suit, and instead of the sword with the money he’s now gotten himself a money canon. Why not? “Poison” was next on the list, and I guess at this point I have to again voice my displeasure with Swedish crowds. As the song starts, a group of people just launches into the spots we’ve been standing in since before Black Stone Cherry, all of us who stood there, just because “Poison” was being played.

GET HERE IN TIME.

STAY IN YOUR SPOT.

How hard can it be? I don’t get it.

Up next was guitarsolos, time for the stringbeders to show what they’re made of. And after this, “Roses on White Lace” with Sheryl Cooper being her most amazing self as the white lady, dancing around. “My Stars” was taken off before it was time for the band to jam – more to be specific to “Devil’s Food” and “Black Widow” before he comes back out through the doors of the castle in the straight jacket brought out by people wearing baby masks to perform “Steven”. As this song happens, a window in the castle opens and a giant baby head starts bouncing around.

He ends up killing the baby, and the famous execution scene came to happen.

Chuck performed “I Love The Dead” with a GIANT FUCKING BABY running across the stage holding Alice’s severed head. He then later came back performing “Escape” before wrapping the set up with “Teenage Frankenstein” and HERE – Frankenstein came to join us. Hence, why he wasn’t really present in the opening song.

After this, the band thanked for themselves and left the stage.

They returned quickly to start off the encores with “Under My Wheels” and then we heard the schoolbell toll and “School’s Out” was a fact. But, there was something special that happened on this particular night.

One of my best friends, Robert, had the day before been invited to take part in Alice’s stage show as a balloon guy. So as the guitar solo started, he entered the stage to deliver the baloons for the party. And remember what I wrote earlier about respect? The fact that he invited him on stage, just like that… It’s incredible. And I was so proud and so happy for Robert I could barely contain my excitement.

After this, the show was done for good and the band say good night. It was once again an incredible show by the Man himself, and I can’t wait to see him again soon enough!

After the show we stopped by the merch again and then steered the wheels home. Thank you, and until next time!

// Sara

Crashdïet – Rust

Posted in CDs, Music, Uncategorized with tags , on September 25, 2019 by Sara Hammerzmith

Very well. Here we are. At a point that I guess not a lot of us were entirely sure we’d see. After Simon Cruz’s odd departure some years ago, we were left wondering. What happens now? But we needed not worry it seems – From the ashes into the fire, Crashdïet announces new singer Gabe, and an album is in the production. And now, we hold it in our hands.

So, what do we expect? What will we get? Singles like “Legion” and “Reptile” gave us a taste, but will it live up to the expectations?

A big fat YES is what I’ll ring out to that. At first when you put on on the album, you are greeted with the titletrack and last single of the album “Rust” which is a song that sends you straight back to 1989 with its “Dr Feelgood” vibes, which has everything! The heaviness, the melodies and the lyrics – it is the perfect start of an album.

The album itself continues in the same great vein – it’s all very typical Crashdïet, although I feel the most similarities to “Generation Wild” which I personally consider being one of the best albums in the genre all in all, but we can easily consider this album being the rebirth of a band that has struggled in ways most bands never have had to do.

The start being heavy and aggressive, the album merges out in more melodic stuff with great rhythms and angry lyrics that we’re all used to – it got the typical more partylike tunes such as “Idiots” before mellowing down into “In The Maze” which directly brings the thoughts back to closing song “Beautiul Pain” from aforementioned album.

But, my personal favorite of the album has to be “Crazy”. An upbeat party tune about an insane girl, to put it mildly. I don’t know if it’s because I relate – or if the song is just that great, but to be honest it is. It’s all in the chorus – I could listen to this to the end of times.

Loving the fact it’s followed straight by a song like “Parasite”, about unwanted people in your life. Exactly what we all feel right? The album continues in the same vein – the anger, the heaviness and attitude. The thing I’d dare to say we are kind of used to with this band.

Gabe needs to get some recognition as well. He’s doing a phenomenal performance on the album, and he has the attitude and the voice to fit the sound perfectly. I hope, and believe, he is the answer. That this time it’s for good. I’m looking forward to see him more in action besides what I already saw. He’s a gem.

So all in all. This is the rebirth of the Crashdïet we know, and they came crashing through the doors in a way we could never imagine.

// Sara

Twilight Force – Dawn of the Dragonstar

Posted in CDs, Music, Uncategorized with tags , on September 16, 2019 by Sara Hammerzmith

After a long journey of three years the stars has aligned once more and granted us with a Twilight Force collection – The tale of the  “Dawn of the Dragonstar”. Changes to the fellowship of the Force has been made since, as Chrileon has wandered off on different endavours, having Allyon now coming along for the adventures.

So, with the new tale along the road, shall we perhaps take a deeper look into the new lore?

The new tales of enchantments opens up with a rather epic and bombastic tune, much similarly to as it opens on the previous adventures, yet not in the near the same. “Dawn of the Dragonstar” serves us with just about the premonitions needed to excel further on this mission.

The adventures and tales continues on in the same vein as the opening – epic fanfares telling you of the adventures of the “Thundersword” coming up ahead, a tune which brings the thoughts back to elder scrolls such as “Powerwind” – yet without the similarity. What really brings my attention is the end of the tune – with its heavier and yet epic, last chorus. And the banjo? Loving it. 

From one adventure to another – cheerful melodies telling us of the crowning of a king, giving us butterflies in our tummies as we hear the jumpy and happy verses accompanied by the large choruses. A song that again, in the arrangements, brings the thoughts back in time. If you hear it, you hear it. 

We continue on our journey with the tale of another journey, just as epic as the ones before before heading straight into Lord of the rings with “Winds of Wisdom” – which opens with an intro like sapphire, and a nice lowkey verse and building up in the chorus instead. Feeling it being a bit of an extension of “Enchanted Dragon of Wisdom”. 

The clocks are ticking as we head into the probably only more aggressive tunes of the album, in “Queen of Eternity”, which isn’t necessarily speaking of an enemy, but still got a complete different mood as the rest of the album. The song has an amazing arrangement – dark opening, more melodic throughout the song and some incredible off scaled choirs. 

After getting through this, we are back on the yellow path again – but only for the music. The story tells the tale of guarding your gold against cunning men, and doing it so in again one epic way.

One of my personal favorites of the album comes up in ”Hydra”, telling the tale of an old monster from the sea – with interesting arrangements. One more song shows its way before it’s time for one of the most epic endings I’ve yet to hear from an album.

It opens up with a serene piano only to head straight into pure epicness. The shifts in tempos as well as style – going through a bit of an Asian inspired style before getting back into the verse makes it a very pleasant song to listen to, although arrangementwise it sometimes brings the thoughts back to earlier material.

Overall, I think it’s a generally good album. I enjoy Allyon’s vocals a lot, and it’s a very typical Twilight Force album, if you ask me. A lot of the arrangements brings the thoughts back to the backcatalouge, but there are not distincitve repeats, which I like a lot. Well done!

Favorite song:  A tie between “Thundersword” and “Hydra”.
Least Favorite: “Night of Winterlight”
Dance-friendliness:  4/10
Headbang-friendliness:  10/ 10
Crowd-friendliness: 9/10

// Sara

Sabaton – The Great War

Posted in CDs, Music, Uncategorized with tags , on September 6, 2019 by Sara Hammerzmith

So here it is people. The long awaited, tenth studioalbum from Sabaton. I do realize my review is way overdue, but better late than never right?

So, on November 11th, exactly 100 years after World War I broke out, they started the songwriting process and no less, the subject of the album is selfexplanatory – World War I. The Great War, a war so grime that it was said to end all wars. Previously in the library, Sabaton hasn’t touched this subject all too much, making it very interesting, to say the least.

So lets move on to the album?

The album opens up with a lowkey kind of intro, with distant bombs and other mechanical songs before exploding in an epic chant which sets off the album with a melody line and arrangements which brings the thoughts back to “Stalingrad” off “Primo Victoria”, dealing with the subject of the future of warfare. And with that, you can say the mood for the album had been set. If it had only stayed that way.

Already in the next song the mood is picked up with “Seven Pillars of Widsom” which carries a lot of resemblance to “White Death” off “Coat of Arms”. The song is a nice addition though, and if we weren’t getting the mood up here, it sure will bring us up in the next song, as we continue on these anthem-like songs in “82nd All The Way” which, just like the previous one, carries a resemblance, but this one to “Shiroyama” off the last album. However, I really like this one.  An incredible anthem to pay tribute to Sgt. Alvin York and what he achieved during the war.

In the next moment, we are taking a step or three down from the anthem’s, and are instead greeted with an unsettling intro of gas before being launched into a marching rhythm with accessories setting a certain mood to it. As the verse starts, I’m delighted to hear that this is actually something relatively new for being Sabaton. And I really like what I hear.

However, this break didn’t stay long until the album headed for another anthem, that is walking in some more traces of times passed. “Devil Dogs”, about the US Marines gives us an extremely powerful and cheerful anthem, bringing the thoughts slightly back to “Smoking Snakes”, but still enjoyable.

And then.. it arrives. The eerie, circus and carnival-like intro which its funny melody, giving you a funny feeling inside before setting off in a hysteric song that chugs on and on, still with the eerie organ in the background – making this song one of the top of the album. While still nodding back, still something new – like “Blood of Bannockburn” was on the preeceeder. While it may not be the most technical or difficult, this is also the guitarsolo I enjoy the most. This song as a whole – is just so god damn great.

Speaking of great, the great anthem of this album is just around the corner. The Titletrack is, not to my surprise, is a large and epic anthem, just like on many of the albums before this – and this has very quickly made its way to my personal favorite. With the quiet first verse, epic and bombastic choruses, the aggressive second verse and almost hopeful bridge, this song is the shit. And the lyrics, talking about the lyrics. This is some of the best lyrics I’ve seen from the band. While the lyrics of “Red Baron” has its charms and twists, it doesn’t come near this soldier perspective song dealing with the duality of feelings about the conflict as a whole. Yes. YES.

Two filler songs come after this – and I do want to give “A Ghost In the Trenches” A little heads up for that ending – that was real good.

Upon my first hearing of this album I hadn’t done a song count, so when this low, slow musical intro started, I assumed in my head that this was “In Flanders Fields”, and I started to slowly drift of to the serene tunes… as the song then went completely bonkers. “The End of the War to End All Wars”, starts off nicely and then launches into attack mode. I guess a bit like war. The song itself talks about the war that was supposed to be the end of all wars, and this song is an emotional rollercoaster. The verses are uneasy and hysteric, and the choruses are beautiful, epic and heartbreaking.

“In Flanders Fields” is the perfect ending to this album, mesmerizing arrangement and I’ve found myself putting this on repeat. Is there some hypnosis in this? Who knows.

So.. That’s a walkthrough. What are my feelings about the album then?

In general I think this is a pretty good album. While it may contain a little too many nod-backs that I can’t completely ignore, the gems of the album – “Red Baron” for instance – makes completely up for it. Overall, it’s a slick production that holds water, no matter what.

Favorite song: “The Great War”, followed tight by “Red Baron”. But please ask me again in six months.
Least Favorite: “Fields of Verdun”
Dance-friendliness:  4/11
Headbang-friendliness:  8/ 11
Crowd-friendliness: 7/11

// Sara

Unboxing – Sabaton: The Great Box

Posted in CDs, Uncategorized with tags , , on September 4, 2019 by Sara Hammerzmith

At last it arrived! Pre ordered some time in March or April, and delayed for a month and a half for whatever excuse they gave, it’s here at last. I am a bit unhappy with the delay – when the Tank from the Tank Edition was late, Nuclear Blast DID in fact ship out the rest of the content before it was done, and I feel they could have done that here as well. I do not understand nor know the obessession they have with always keeping everything until the last missing item is there, causing a huge dissatisfaction amongst their clients. We can only know, huh? They say production was late, but why didn’t they start already before they put it up for sale?

So on to the box. The box is a lot smaller than the prototype insisted originally – Originally it looked more like the History Version CD, and although we know that wasn’t the final box on the image, it still.. Is a little weird, don’t you think? That it differs that much. The box on the image was a full big box, and we got a pizza box size item.

I will however gice them cred for the details. I liked the fact that the recipients country is stamped on the box, as well as the metal hooks holding it together.

And when you open it, it looks like this

So, lets move onto the contents?

All in all, this is the content of the box, and my box more specifically. Three vinyls – regular vinyl, History Edition with a lot of blabber between every song and an instrumental “soundtrack” edition.

Earbook containing the same things as mentioned above, but on CD. With large artwork!

Five different photographs of the members of the band, not signed, but they look cool.

The poem “In Flanders Fields” together with a poppy+ Sabaton Logo pin. The Poppies are a memorial symbol for the people who lost their lives in the World War I.

And last but not least, one of the propaganda posters. Sabaton has since this tour started to spit out propaganda flyers about every song on their shows – and here we randomly get a poster depicting one of the flyers. My poster represent the song “The End of the War to End All Wars”

I must admit – something that makes me really unhappy with these posters is the need to slap the Sabaton + The Great War logo onto them. I have looked up what the others look like, and they all would really look so much better without the logo slapped everywhere, and just the quote.

So.. What can I say. I’m all in all pretty happy. At the end of the day, I knew, all of us, knew what we were getting. I guess I personally perhaps wish we could have gotten all the posters. Because why not?

As a bonus, I’ll throw in the propaganda flyers – so you can see what they all look like. Although, I suspect this is a misprint since the poppy has the quote from The Great War, and the Great War has the Flanders Fields quote.

These however, you collect during the gigs!

So, that was my few coins about that. In a few days, my review of the album shall be up as well.

// Sara