Archive for January, 2020

70.000 Tons of Metal: Day 1

Posted in 70000 tons of metal, Concerts, Music, Uncategorized with tags on January 16, 2020 by Sara Hammerzmith

So, embarkation day! Yay! Finally time for this. It’s my third time doing the cruise, so this was not exactly any news to me. Since we, for once, arrived pretty early in the day, the line wasn’t humongous. So we made it on the cruise relatively early, and just hung around outside the dining room playing some games waiting for our stateroom to open. I wasn’t superkeen on going eating with all of our luggage, but just a little after 13, finally the staterooms were opened and we could ditch our bags and EAT.

I was hungry as hell. And as you might have known from previous years, this is not only 70.000 Tons of Metal, this is also 70.000 Tons of Food. Being back in Windjammer and the buffet again was a blessing. I know Windjammer isn’t exactly everyone’s cup of tea, however, considering what my tourdiet normally consists of, when not luxurying it up with sushi, Windjammer is heaven.

After passing by Windjammer we hit our cabin for a short while before I started showing Ivan around the ship. This being my third time on the Independence, it has made me relatively sure of where most things are.

And then, we retreated to the Alhambra, now known as Royal Theatre, for the first show of the cruise, which was Archon Angel.

Archon Angel

Archon Angel is one of those new supergroups, and I’ll admit it was rather Ivan who wanted to see them more than me, but it could never hurt right? And surely it couldn’t as they wrapped up their set by playing some of my personal Savatage favorites. This cruise is off to one great start, huh?

Straight after this, we headed over to where Edenbridge were at, however, Pyramide Lounge, now Star Lounge isn’t exactly ideal for shows… Sounded great, but didn’t see shit.

After listening to a bit of Edenbridge we roamed about the boat again, checking out views, taking something to eat, resting a little bit before heading over quickly to the Star Lounge again to aquire front row spots for Kissin’ Dynamite. They were, obviously, one of my must see bands this year so naturally it was important to be front in order to see shit.

Kissin’ Dynamite

They opened with “I’ve Got The Fire”, which wasn’t a superbig surprise seeing them on Metalfest earlier last year, but still a great opener. They followed up rather quickly with “Somebody’s gotta do it” and later on “Love Me, Hate Me”.

Remembering all the hate they got when they were announced, I was a bit surprised by the amazing turn out they got! The place was packed. “Sex is War” was next on the list before it was time for “Waging War”.

Hannes left the stage, and returned with his amazing outfit and it was time to fire off “I Will Be King”. I still think this is so funny – I was never big on the “Money, Sex and Power” album, yet I think this song is the bomb and all the rage, at least live.

Latest single “You’re Not Alone” together with “Flying Colours” wrapped up their first set on the boat, and it was probably some of the greatest things I’ve witnessed, so far. I loved it. Hannes even jumped out for a little crowdsurf, like I said before – it’s a lawless land.

After this, I left Ivan at the barricade as he wanted to see the next couple of bands, and me myself went back to the cabin to rest. I don’t know if I’m getting older or if it’s the jetlag or all the traveling, but I was finished for sure. And I fell dead asleep.

My idea was to get up to watch Cruachan at 3 and later Ereb Altor at 3.45, but Yeah… I woke up when the clock was 4.30. Way to go, right? But after this, I actually got in the merchline… Becasue, nothing like 70.000 Tons of Merch Sleepover!

And with that, day 1 is a wrap!

70.000 Tons of Metal: Arrival and Heavy Metal Beach Party

Posted in The Great Tour 2020, Travels, Uncategorized on January 15, 2020 by Sara Hammerzmith

So! Early on enough, it was time for the BOAT again. This year, the boat was laid almost a month earlier than normal, but I guess that was all for the better in the end, considering the normal dates for the cruise would have been midst Sabaton tour, and that would.. THAT would be one for the ages of tour hopping, that is for sure.

Anyway. Off we went. First off to the airport by the shuttle who came when it came, kind of thing, then a loong line to check in, and then finally – finally – on the plane. I love flying Norwegians Dreamliner. Like, we literally traveled from Paris specifically because I wanted the Dreamliner. It’s kind of… haha, I don’t know, obsessive, but I got the obsessive devotion I guess for that (bonus points to anyone who gets that reference, by the way). We had a nice flight. Tried to sleep a bit and I think I did as I made my way through “Toy Story 4” as well as half of “Endgame”. I still haven’t seen “Infinity Wars”, sue me.

And then, we arrived in the states, again, good old Florida. What I didn’t expect this time… Was the long process of the bordercontroll. We supposed it was since we arrived earlier than usual, but we spent a good 2,5 hours in there. I’ve never spent THAT long in a bordercontrol before. But oh well, we survived. Then awaited another long wait for the shuttle to the hotel, and.. finally there.

It was late. I was excited we were gonna arrive early this year, so we could do something. But by the time we were checked in, it was closing in on 21. So we just hit up some fancy restaurant and then went home to go to bed. After all, tomorrow was the day for the beach party so.

But. A disturbing thing was noticed. I had left my little bag of emergency stuff. Like, toothbrush, toothpaste, ALL MY MEDICATION… decided that I liked the dreamliner of Norwegian so much it didn’t even want to leave the plane. Because, it’s not like I needed the meds right? Before people worry too much, it was “only” painkillers and motion illness pills. But I get easy motion ill, so yeah. Great. Great start.

The next day, we went up relatively early, got to the bus station.. earlier than I though. Greyhound apparently lists BOARDING TIME, and not departure time. So we came 40 mins. Beore Boarding time. I wanted to smash my head against a wall. It’s like, not even the first time I go by Greyhound. How have I not learned this?

The busride was relatively uneventful. Gladly, I didn’t get motion ill like I thought I would. From the busstation we made it down to the Clevelander where we could reunite with our heavy metal family, have a nice meal and then the massive groupshot on the beach.

After the photo though, we departed the party and took to the shopping streets of Miami to enjoy our day a little bit more. A little bit of shopping was done, a pair of sunglasses, shorts and leggings. So, not a lot but a little. And a lot of Pokemon.

Busride home was also pretty uneventful, except that we had the most charming busdriver ever. She was amazing. I wish Flixbuses, or Europes, drivers were like her.

Once back, we packed everything up and got to bed. Tomorrow, we embark!

// Sara

 

Burst

Posted in The Great Tour 2020, Travels, Uncategorized on January 4, 2020 by Sara Hammerzmith

And with that, The Great Tour has begun.

This has been long in the making, and a few hiccups here and there has shaped this tour a bit different from what was originally planned, but improvise, adapt, overcome, am I right?

As I’m writing this I’m currently on a bus toward Paris. Two days ago I landed in Belgium as a first pitstop and getting stuff organized.

The flight here was relatively uneventful to be honest. I checked in my two bags (a month and a half long tour, together with a festival in the carribbean requires a bit of a closet) and had a snack before take off. Slept through most of the flight, and then arrived.

Headed home to Antwerpen where I had a few couple of calm days, mostly consisting of me repacking stuff. Stuff necessary for the tour here in Europe aren’t necessary in the US and so on. Looked like something exploded in the apartment.

Today has been slow and stressful, both of it. I had all the day to pack, but exceeding weightlimits is what I do best, but after a few ifs and buts I got it done. I made sure to take everything downstairs and noticed my bag can even slide of the carpeted stairs. PROFIT!

Then.. Going to Antwerp Central Station seemed to be a bit of a difficulty though. For some reasons we ended up on several detours, but gladly made the train in time.

What awaits in Paris, is one good nights rest and Sushi!

// Sara

REVIEW: Brothers of Metal – Emblas Saga

Posted in CDs, Music, Uncategorized with tags , , on January 3, 2020 by Sara Hammerzmith

So, the time has come. The Falu-based eight-piece band Brothers of Metal is finally, after some long-awaited time, releasing their sophomore album. For me personally, this has been a long time coming, and I’m sure I’m not the only one. With songs like “Yggdrasil” and “Fire, Blood and Steel” they spellbound the audience, and managed to grow themselves a following. And now, it’s time for “Emblas Saga”.

The album opens up with a simple yet intriguing spoken intro which tells us the tales of a brother who was so upset with his own kind that he initiated the “Ragnarök” and are directly thrown into “Powersnake” which is a slower, more doomy kind of epic anthem which is a relatively epic, yet not as bombastic as the song following, “Hel” which on the other hand takes it all to a whole new level as far as epicness and speed goes, and not to mention the harmonies in the chorus.

“Chainbreaker” serves as a party tune which has a very interesting build up in the chorus bringing the thoughts back to the 80’s almost in a way, with a more dramatic take on the song rather than epic, with a rock-out chorus.

Ylva’s enchanting voice opens up the next song, which is more of a hymn in the vein “Defenders of Valhalla” which is pretty nice, even though it’s relatively lowkey.

In “Theft of the Hammer” we finally see their sense of humor with, especially in the line “Or else I’ll tell my dad!”. I’m pretty sure most of us who are in them have at some level fallen for their humours approaches at certain stuff, such as “Loki is my brother, he has no sex appeal” from “Son of Odin”.

The mood is slowed down a bit in “Weaver of Fate” which is a beautiful power-ballad that grows more and more epis as the song proceeds, and then straight into probably one of the more epic tracks on this album – “Njord”. It has everything. I guess it was chosen as a single for a reason, am I right? It’s Brothers of Metal just as we know them, just a bit turned up.

The most epic of tales of the album though, we find in the seven-minute-long track “Emblas Saga”. Telling the tale about what went down in a dramatic and epic setting making it the ultimate thrown down – like the whole album has been building up to this exact moment.

The hymn coming after slows down the tempo a bit, as well as the epicness about standing uniting, before it was time for another one of the major songs of the album – “One”, which comes the closest to compete with “Yggdrasil” as far as massiveness goes (And if we are really gonna compare). But letting every one of the vocalists shine the way it does, and not to mentions Ylva’s little moment weaved together in an epic breathing arrangement makes it the most epic post-battle hymns.

The album then wraps up with another few party songs that carry the vibes from songs as “Siblings of Metal” and “The Mead Song”, at least music-wise.

So.. What do we make of this?

What I make of this, is that they simply made it again. While it may not reach the entire level as the first one – and to be honest, I have yet to see a band that does, and it may as well be my “Nostalgia” kicking it, but it is a MORE than amazing follow-up. I love the fact there is more dramatic elements in the songs, making the whole album quite a trip to go through. Highs and lows, fast and slow, and lyrics digging more deeper than done before in the Norse mythology.

Well done, Brothers of Metal.

Favorite song:  “Hel” or “Njord”. A bit torn.
Least Favorite: Real hard to pick one. But I’ll put “Powersnake” here.

CDON I Amazon I Ginza I Label: AFM Records

// Sara