Archive for the Uncategorized Category

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

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

Scarlet and Sheba

Posted in Music, Uncategorized with tags on January 17, 2021 by Sara Hammerzmith

Many great things going on all at the same time – so – like I said last time, lets keep it rolling shall we? But lets take a moment and leave the glorious and majestic world of power metal for a while and dive into what might be the complete opposite – sleazy tunes with a large portion of horror.

Grave Robbert, the new star (if I may say so) in the horror rock scene released his debut album “The Nightmare Begins” in 2019 and has now come back with a hommage to his own hero – a cover of Alice Cooper classic “Scarlet and Sheba”, featuring none other than Tim “Ripper” Owens on guest vocals! Not bad, huh?

And I am most definitely here for it.

Unlike the original, which is a lot more sensual and romantically laid arrangement-wise, Grave’s work is more of the aggressive and more raw side. He gives the song a modern and more sleazy vibe to it – all jokes aside – it’s dirtier, grindier and being most definitely something I’d find myself hearing on an underground club where there are no rules.. so to speak. And not to mention, the way Owens’ and Grave’s voice work together creates a new dimension to the song, keeping it even more interesting.

With that said, I’m eagerly waiting what’s next cooking for Grave Robbert. I’m sure it’s gonna to be absolutely phenomenal, head turning and Rated R.

// Sara

When Fate is Calling

Posted in Music, Uncategorized with tags on January 16, 2021 by Sara Hammerzmith

So, lets keep 2021 on a roll once we have started right? Bloodbound released the lyric video for the first single off their new album “Creatures of the Dark Realm” due May 28th yesterday and I’m absolutely here for it.

So, where do I even begin talking about this? First and foremost, it’s massive. It’s not even just epic like some of their previous favorites of mine (“Moria”, “Rise of the Dragon Empire”). No. It’s absolutely massive with power and overwhelmingness that consumes you, slaps you and drags you into the story about defending your honor and meeting your destiny. While those phrases has been heard in a million and one songs in the same genre, there are always better and not better ways to do it. And this is the better way. However, the album title suggest for me that maybe we’ll be dealing with darker matters than on previous albums?

The song holds most of the elements we find so usual nowadays to Bloodbound – epic and adventurous melodies, big catchy choruses and a significant sound found in Patriks voice. “Rise of the Dragon Empire” does to this day actually remain my favorite album by them, but with a promising first single like this I’m more than eager to hear the rest.

What are your thoughts?

// Sara

Dragony – Viribus Unitis

Posted in CDs, Music, Uncategorized with tags , , , on January 14, 2021 by Sara Hammerzmith

Roughly in November 2019 I clicked a link from the Austrian symphonic power metal band Dragony and contributed to the recording of the upcoming album. A lot of things happened since then – In July 2020 they signed with Napalm Records – well deserved! Throughout the campaign they announced a few special guests, such as Alessia Scoletti from Temperance, Georg Neuhauser from Serenity and Michele Guaitoli from Visions of Atlantis.

In November 2020 they finally announced the concept of the album now given the name “Viribus Unitis” – telling the tale of the Austrian Emperor Franz Josef, but apparently throwing in a few extra bits here and there with alternate time lines as well as tributes to video games. All in all, the album serves as a concept album something Dragony hasn’t quite dealt with since their debut album “Legends”, making this album coming back to the roots while still keeping the now ever so established Dragony sound. (To read full synopsis of the album, I’ll direct you here) A couple of songs has been written together with Tommy Johansson and Tomas Svedin (“Gods of War”) as well as Michele Guaitoli (“Love You To Death”)

The album starts off with an excerpt from a classical piece known as “The Blue Danube” (on this album referred to ‘On The Blue Danube’) only to explode in a rather aggressive opening song in ”Gods of War”, which serves as an excellent opener and bringing the thoughts immediately back to the first album of theirs, ”Legends” which much like this one is a conceptual rock opera kind of album.

Instantly, it’s followed by yet another epic intro which launches into “Love You to Death”, which directly became my own personal favorite and stayed so throughout the album. The epic intro, the adventorus verses , the massive choruses which makes this song into a pure battlehymn, despite the relatively dark lyrical theme before just casually ending with epicness. Even so, the next song in line falls under what I consider very typical Dragony trademarks musically.

This album is however a bit of a moodswinger as we move from happier cheerful anthems to a tune of a bit more darker nature, “Darkness Within”. While the song itself is actually really good, one of my tops of the album – I can’t help but to think of HammerFall upon hearing the arrangement of the song, more specifically “At The End of the Rainbow” from “Legacy of Kings”, taking some interesting turns in solos and bridges, especially the solos going all over the place, quite literally.

And from the dark place back into the typical Dragony sound of symphonic power metal in the “A.E.I.O.U”, which features Georg Neuhauser from Serenity on vocals, creating quite a harmony together with Siegfried. The song itself is one another of these battle hymns that we’ve come to be quite familiar on this album. Quite easily one of the better tracks on the album.

The title track, “Viribus Unitis” itself probably holds one of the biggest epic elements of the album, as far as beginning of the song and verses goes, and perhaps even more so in the chorus. I also adore the Alice in Wonderland references in the lyrics. It’s the perfect title track, if you ask me.

Another interesting song comes along as we start off with bag pipes – because why not at this point? We just had a song about turning a castle into a flying one. And then, as if it wasn’t odd enough, we are now throwing in a typical 80’s heartthrob in “Made of Metal (Cyberpunk Joseph)”. I’ll admit that these songs falls a bit flat for me in comparison to the other songs.

After these little… interesting sidetracks, we find ourselves back in the battle hymns as “Battle Royale” takes place with pretty much the big culmination of the album. It is a fine mix of everything that has already gone down on this album, an album that got more and more spaced out as the album went on – this is not a bad thing though. It’s made me smile quite a lot throughout the listen. Lastly, we are finding ourselves with “Legends Never Die” which gives us a bit of everything – quite a bit of techno blended with some well-crafted metal inbetween.

Something that has been very clear on this album and something I personally appreciate a lot and keep the album interesting is in all the details. There hasn’t been a single song that, despite being more or less a personal favorite of mine, hasn’t had at least some kind of effect that has made me go hah? What? Be it lyrical absurdum – Rooted in the history of what went down in the Habsburg monarchy, but with the imagination of Siegfried to take it a few steps further makes for another interesting and to say the least, entertaining and hilarious side of the album – to surprise additions such as bagpipes, techno fillers and straight down 80’s sounds in the midst of epic symphonic melodies.

All I can say is YES. I’ve waited a relatively long time for this album, and every single second spent waiting was well worth it. This is easily the best work to date from Dragony and I urge EVERYONE to pick this one up. I don’t often recommend people to buy a specific album, but with this one.. I will. It’s worth every cent. Link is under the cover.

// Sara

Napalm Records

Throwback: 70.000 Tons of Metal 2018, part 4

Posted in Uncategorized on January 13, 2021 by Sara Hammerzmith

And then comes the very last day. At this point I’m beyond exhausted I have not gotten more than 4-5 hours of sleep every night, and It wasn’t even consecutive hours, but rather one hour here and there. But, it’s the final day and it’s also Sabaton day so it’s just for me to suck it up and get it on with.

I started the day with burning myself, or more like, my feet off to Leaves’ Eyes. Pool deck set in the midst of the day with the bright sun shining made me not want to wear shoes because of heat, but upon taking them off I instead burn my feet on the exteremly warm floor. I was literally choosing between the plague and the black death, but I eventually put on the shoes again. I was set to stay in Miami for a week, might be good to NOT start that off with third degree burns on my feet of all places.

The rest of the day was spent trying to make the most of it. Taking one last swim in the pools, enjoying the sun deck for the last time. I have this thing where I tend to always want to make the most out of every moment, because you never know when is the last time. And oh, how do I feel that right now. Who knows when BOAT returns? Anyway.

Here comes another fond memory of mine. The day progressed and it was time for Sabaton. My company was already in the front, but I arrived a little later for some reason but as Dark Tranquility was playing there is no way to get to the front, so I took a seat in the theatre section and told myself to not fall asleep.

However, sometimes you are tired, and other times you are TIRED. You know, when you aren’t even in charge anymore. I just remember so vividly how my body was just changing itself into a more comfortable position and the next thing I know I’m startled awake by applauds. I look up and I see the band is leaving the stage. 

Thank the All-father for that happening, otherwise there is a big chance or should I say risk that I’d have slept through Sabaton as I am convinced my company wouldn’t have woken me up if they’d seen me asleep (and I wouldn’t with them either, so no harsh feelings). But, I woke up in time, made my way to the now relatively empty front row and waited for Sabaton.

So, make that the second show I slept through?

The Sabaton show was a different one from before, not that I minded at all actually. Opening up with “Lion From The North” and in general not having to suffer through yet another show with “Ghost Division” as an opener (I have a complicated relationship to this song, okay?) and having them play more and more songs off “Carolus Rex” was pretty damn great. You always get so happy from seeing them regardless so.

And what a perfect cruise it was. I remember being so overwhelmed, and probably missed out on doing loads and loads of things and I did for sure not see all the bands I had hoped to see because of the same overwhelming feeling. What I did know, when seated in the Windjammer for the last time gazing out over Port Everglades in the same combat wear I had been wearing since the show last night, was that I’m definitely returning next year.

And the year after that.

And again.

But alas.. Not in 2021… 

// Sara

Throwback: 70.000 Tons of Metal 2018, part 3

Posted in 70000 tons of metal, Concerts, Travels, Uncategorized on January 11, 2021 by Sara Hammerzmith

So the next day came, I got up and got ready… for the infamous Alestorm show. Actually, it wasn’t all that special and different at first – a relatively regular festival show by Alestorm, just in the most perfect location. They played the pool deck set, so, beyond perfect. The sun wasn’t out at the time, and it was rather windy, which we got to experience.

As per usual, Alestorm throws out their Ducky during their set. And then Ducky just jumps and floats around assaulting the people in the audience. But today, it would take a bit of a twist. As the band came to an end with their show, going into ”Captain Morgan’s Revenge” the wind hit just a little harder and Ducky was going wild. 

So wild that no one could stop him, not even the crew throwing themselves all they could during the break down and Ducky thus ended up hitting a bass player and the drummer of Alestorm. Chris just remained on the floor laughing for a while, the band stopped to play and he stood up, told us to shut up because they are ”actually a very serious metal band” and continued the song.

Sidenote: Some year or years later 70K team posted about this show on their feed, asking who got hit by Ducky which lead to the iconic comment ”Their drummer, for a change” being made by someone I do not remember the name of. But yes. Oh my god. What a start, huh?

Looking back on the schedule now I realize I just missed out on so many bands out of pure bliss. I had minor plans seeing several different bands but wound up pretty much only seeing Korpiklaani and attending a Battle Beast signing session prior to one of the coming highlights for me.

I mean, we might be in the Caribbean, but I’ll STILL wear combat boots and camo pants. I ran by the Battle Beast signing and then up to Sabaton which ultimately would be the highlight of the cruise, of course, what else? 

It was yet again a relatively average show by the boys actually, but I guess I couldn’t have expected much more, I was hoping for “Midway” because you know, boat? But nah. But the biggest memory I have from this show is toward the end of the show where I feel someone tugging my pants and I look down at the most adorable little Childs face I have seen. I lean down and ask what’s wrong and he looks up ”Did they play Sparta?” And I tell him that yes, they just did (was literally before this song) and MAN! The disappointment on his side. I had a strong urge to just tell the band to replay the goddamn song for this little warrior. He then left, even though I had every intention of letting him be in front of me. Cute boy.

After Sabaton, nearing midnight in fact, I got myself a nice swim in one of the pools, a midnight ice cream and then spent a little while fan-girling over the setlist I had just acquired. 

But, alas, it couldn’t last for long as I had to get back to bed because my alarm was at 4.30 in the morning to see Battle Beast on pool deck at 4.45. And I wanna paint you the picture here – I was staying on deck 2. Pool deck is deck 12.

So, it’s not exactly just a little tiny walk. It’s either climbing Mount Everest or ”Please Hold” while waiting for about a decade for the next elevator to come. 

Once up there, I saw an opportunity and I took it. Obviously, it’s relatively mandatory on boat to not wear actual underwear but instead bathing attire at all times, so I threw my pyjamas and jumped in the hot tub right next to the stage. I mean, I HAD to have at least one hot tub show right? And this was perfect. I was beyond tired regardless, so? Everyone wins?

It was nice actually. Sitting there in the warm water (it’s dead ass cold at night, despite being the carribbean) and watching a favorite band of mine. True bliss.

I was not however as cocky the next day. Slept for maybe 4-5 hours before having some breakfast and then embarking on another adventure – exploring the Grand Turks.

Today was the day of destination, and for this year it was Turks & Caicos islands. And what a beautiful beach! First I stopped by some local tourist shop and the off to the beach. And aaah, I can’t even begin! Taking some swims in the ocean, lying on the beach (a bit away from the boat) and just taking it so easy and gentle was something I really needed. I might be the type of person who happily sleeps on a FlixBus between Paris and Budapest, but all the same I am the type of person who LOVES to just relax near the water, the endlessness of the water with the sun radiating on my face.

Alas, we had gotten off rather later (around 12 I believe) and in order to NOT miss the ship back to the States we got back on at 16.30 or so. Had a nice shower and then toward the Alhambra to see Battle Beast. So, literally, I saw them twice in the same 14 hour period. Nice.

Now, I’m going to tell you a little something. One of the survivor tips I had seen prior to the cruise was this ”You’ll rely on the Pizza place”. And I just.. No? Why would I? The Windjammer is open almost 24/7, I think it was closed a total of three hours a day. But I very quickly came to learn that it is close on the EXACT TIMES when you in fact need it. Still to this day, this is the one survivor tip I always pass on – because it is absolutely true. 

Made yet another attempt to see Amberian Dawn at the Pyramid Lounge, this time without falling asleep every other song. Korpiklaani was also on the set the same evening and then Freedom Call at 1 am in the night, and later on Triosphere.

To be continued…

// Sara