U-Rock @ Umeå, 20/7 -19 Part 2

Posted in Music, Uncategorized with tags , on July 20, 2019 by Sara Hammerzmith

So, with Raubtier being done, we now had a bit longer wait for our next band of the day – Sabaton. Yes. We pretty much drove this entire way simply to see Raubiter and Sabaton. Fucking come at me bro! We drove a 1000 miles for them, and we’d drive that again to be with them. Themesong of this trip really IS “1000 Miles” by H.E.A.T.

Anyway, enough with the jibberjabbish.

Next band to enter the stage was Nocturnal Rites. Interestingly enough, Raubtier was only meant to play for an hour, but wound up playing 75 minutes. I guess Nocturnal Rites gave up some of their setup time, or something, because they were still on time on stage.

Nocturnal Rites

So, this is another band that I may or may not have seen live before – after about 12 years of touring it’s hard to keep track on every single band you see at a festival or show. But, they delivered a very good set, very enjoyable, and the crowd had a good vibe to it – not an idiotic vibe, gladly. I really enjoyed their set!

So, after them, the wait for the last band before B-Band started and it was time for U.D.O

U.D.O

I always mix up if it’s U.D.O or Dirkschneider that is the Accept tour, but I worked out pretty quickly that this was not the Accept one. I’ve had the oppurtunity to review some of U.D.O’s albums in the past, but besides that, it’s not something I’ve been listening a lot to.

The band did do very good though – they delievered more than okay, and put a smile on my face.

There was one thing though that I noticed.

And it took me some time.

I was looking at one of the guitarists, seeing his guutar clad in the Swedish shield. Three crowns and a lion. And I didn’t get it. Why would a german guitarist have a Swedish shield guitar? But then again, why not? What do I know about this band, maybe they have it for all countries.

And I kept staring for a few good songs before it hit me. And perhaps it didn’t even hit me until I saw the other stringbenders with instruments clad in city camo paint. Then it hit me.

This was not their guitars. This was Sabaton’s guitars. And in case I hadn’t worked it, Udo himself would mention it a little bit later. I really am stupid, aren’t I?

But with that said, after a really good show they wrapped it up and it was time for us to wait for the main act.

And seriously. As the crew started assembling Sabaton’s stage, which is somewhat similar to trying to assemble a piece of IKEA furniture, for some reason, the people in the crowd would do nothing but scream for Sabaton. And not just scream their name, but be like “Why aren’t you starting already??” Well probably because the stage is still basically a manual and some screws? What do I know?

And this kept on. And remembering how I in my last entry about this, wrote about how things was just about to get worse? Well this was the part. Firstly, a lady comes from behind and start acting very elitist, worse than me. Proclaiming she’s been here for hours (haven’t seen her before?) and upon us telling her how far we drove and how long WE’VE been staying she calms down and instead starts talking about how she’s at least see them before. Honey, this was my 32nd Sabaton show, but please tell me more?

Second problem was a lady from the side. Her boyfriend or something had stayed next to me during U.D.O and he was fine. But her? She started talking about how she was going to push us away during Sabaton so he could stand next to her instead of behind her. Fuck that. And I figured, to myself, that it’d be the other way around. She’d be the one who is gone. It usually happens like that.

The endless screaming went on and on for a good half an hour to 45 minutes… Until the intro started rolling. At this point, no one cared. No one noticed. Except me. I remember even saying to people like “Look, it’s fucking starting now why aren’t you screaming?” Funny people, really.

Sabaton

So, the eerie new intro… haha. No. It’s not eerie, who am I kidding? The new intro is a bit silent, much like “Dominum Maris Baltici”, but eventually it picks up it’s pace. It’s a similar intro as to “Nightwitches”, just that now it’s “Ghost Division”. So there goes my long wishes about getting rid of “Ghost Division” as an opener. Oh well. Maybe another tour.

So, as you probably understood, “Ghost Division” was indeed the opener, and again, to practice some kind of dominance I might have burned out my neck at this point – and as the “Winged Hussars” arrived, all the annoying people were gone.

For the third song, Jocke wiped out a guitar and it was time for “Resist and Bite” because apparently that song is now a steady one, as opposed to a Belgian regional. Or perhaps its just for now. Somewhere here, supposedly accidently, the propaganda flyers were sent out. Well, why not?

After this, it was time for Sweden premiere of “Fields of Verdun”. Still, this really isn’t one of my favorite song, but still – I enjoyed it. “The Price of a Mile” was next on the list, and much to my dismay and almost disappointment, the choir is not joining the ranks.

And while speaking of that, a lot of other things were lacking as well. The trenches weren’t there, just the pyro thing. The grand The Great War sign was missing as well – felt like this was just a between show. And to make things worse, the screen didn’t work properly either. And you guys knows what that means, right? If you don’t, I’ll get back to that later.

And after this… it was time for a live premiere. As suspected, we beforehand suspected “Great War” and “Red Baron” would be premiered today, and it was time for “Great War.” Jocke spoke of being nervous for playing this, and evidently he should have been as he completely blanked out the lyrics.

Well, lucky Sabaton that they had us, Toivo, me, Elli and her friend. We all raised our voices and sang instead of him until he got back on track. But, it was magical nontheless! This is slowly becoming my favorite of the album.

Right after this, they fired off “Shiroyama” before embarking on “Bismarck” which was as epic as always. But due to crowd, we couldn’t start off our planned rowpit.

It got silent, and the lowkey intro for “Lion From The North” started coming out of the speakers, and the band got back on stage running out and firing off the song, launching them straight into “Carolus Rex” and later on “En Livstid i Krig”.

And there are two things I want to talk about here. Firstly, the incredibly epic singalong. It was LOUD. LOUD. And the second thing, remember how I talked about that the screen behind them not working?

This also means there was no baby bears. The baby bears is the only reason I enjoy this song live, and the only reason I accept this song live, is because of the baby bears. And if there is no baby bears, is there even a song? Is there even a point? I could almost cry. Baby bears are life.

The band left the stage and then the red blinking lights and sirens started going off alerting us that the “Nightwitches” where near, and such was the next song. “The Lost Battalion” was fired off before it was time for the next livepremiere, which was just as suspected, “Red Baron”.

They performed the song without an intro, much to my.. dislike. I guess I had an idea in my head on how you could have done this intro, but maybe for the tour? I improvied my swingdancing as well – wasn’t meant to but as Toivo asked how I thought about it we figured we would. And everyone probably hated us.

My personal favorite “The Last Stand” came next, thank god, before wrapping the set up as usual – “Primo Victoria”, “Swedish Pagans” and lastly with “To Hell and Back”

With that said, the band left the stage and we were left there. High on life, not sure what we had just witnessed. It was a very predictable set but nonetheless, they performed it very well. Thank you so much, Sabaton!

// Sara

 

Metalfest Open Air 2019 – Day 2: Saturday

Posted in Music, Travels, Uncategorized with tags , , , on July 1, 2019 by Sara Hammerzmith

Do you want to know something?

This is the first time, obviously, that I’ve been here at Metalfest. But at this point, there is already one thing I truly love about this festival. Their stage times. First band starts somewhere around 11 in the morning, and the last band ends at 23 at night. Which means that, technically, you are already in bed by midnight if you so want. How amazing isn’t that? Especially for us elderly people who can’t be out partying all night.

I really, really, appreciate a long nights sleep. So plus points, more than plus points, to the festival for that. So, got up relatively early as per usual, ate my breakfast, died in the heat again. Eat, sleep, repeat, right?

After a few ifs and buts, when it got a bit cloudy on the sky, I pulled myself together and applied my Beast in Black make up. When playing around with outfits and make up, I always take inspiration from the latest album or some song. So my make up for Beast in Black is simply a green smoked eye with some gold dust here and there. Done! I was also premiering my new Mala Noche top, but none of you who reads this gives a fuck about that, right?

Anyway. I made my way back into the venue close to Elvenkings show as an old aquaintance plays in the band, and I figured it’d be good to see him on stage again. I arrived somewhere half through their set, so it wouldn’t be fair of me to try to judge them on that, but the few songs I saw was really good!

One of the major reasons we had gone in this early was to see Gus G. I want to say that I’ve seen him before but it is possible I’m mixing him up with some other guitarist.

Gus G

So, the show started like clock work – they are very good at keeping the times at this one. The show was great – it was a nice mixture of his instrumental stuff as well as his stuff with vocals, and the crowd was loving it. I sense a bit more dedication amongst the crowds outside of Sweden – but this isn’t the first time I say that, is it?

The show came to an end, and we then began waiting for the Beast in Black.

Beast in Black

The time has come! And it was here! Beast in Black entered the stage and opened with “Cry Out for a Hero”, and the crowd went mad! “Unlimited Sin” was next song down the line, one of my personal favorites off the new album – in fact – “From Hell With Love” as an album is just pure excellency.

“Beast in Black” and “The Fifth Angel” was next on the list, and wow. The reception. It was absolutely crowded, and I can’t help but wonder if they shouldn’t have been given a different time slot? “True Believer” and “Heart of Steel” was ripped off next, and Yannis energy – it never, ever hits wrong. He, as well as the band, delivered beyond control.

The sun was burning all of us alive, with a temperature closer to 30 than 20, and in a way I pitied, and everyone else I guess, the poor men on stage clad in complete leather uniforms form top to toes, but I guess at least they aren’t Lordi.

“Born Again” was next on the list, I guess we all wish we were after this heat, before heading into the headbang fest of the show with “Repentless”. Single “Die By The Blade” hit next, and then one of our most raging favorites – “Crazy, Mad, Insane”. Szilvi and I tend to go loose on this like cray cray.

“Sweet True Lies” followed, and then my own favorite of the whole album, the titletrack, “From Hell With Love”. I cannot get over this song. Like, ever. And then, “Blind and Frozen” before wrapping up the entire set with “The End of the World”.

That was an amazing show as usual. They really know how to deliver, don’t they?

We had managed to score pretty good seats being here so early, so we decided to simply remain put so we would have these awesome spots for Amon Amarth later tonight. So, we got to lazy watch the rest of the bands, first one being Stratovarius.

Stratovarius

I will admit upfront that I don’t know a whole lot about Stratovarius as I have never really fallen for the. But it was really great to see them live, at least once, and they put on a great show!

Cradle of Filth

I’ll admit that this is really not my type of music. I’ve tried several times to give them a listen so to speak but failed miserably. But still, they put on a show and I’ll give them some credit for that!

And at last, it was finally time for the band we’d been waiting for – Amon Amarth.

Amon Amarth

I have heard about this band so much. And it feels like every single metalhead male in the universe owns an Amon Amarth hoodie, making me question how commercial they have really gotten. Doesn’t affect their music though, just an observation.

Well, the show was incredibly impressive. I would I guess, expect a band of this caliber to have this kind of stage show, but I was really impressed and blown away, and they just made their way into my library this way! I really loved the creature during “Twilight of the Thunder God”. Intimidating, but oh so cool.

And with that, the second day of the festival was over and we all headed back to bed.

// Sara

 

 

New song from Sabaton – “Great War”

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

June 28th. Already at Metalfest I was seeing posters plastered all over the place about June 28th, and figured out Sabaton was giving out a new single. This single, “Great War” simply captures everything that was World War I. Not a specific event, just the greatness (eh) of it.

So about the song then, shall we?

This song starts off in an epic way with big drums and echoing choirs. It has the kind of opening that draws the thoughts to the Raubtier song “Sveriges Elit”, the anthem kind of hook that serves as a simple adrenaline shot to your heat. When reaching the verse, it mellows down to simply Jocke’s voice and keyboards.

The deeper tones of the voice and sturdiness in his singing combined with the lingering keyboards create an epic atmosphere, almost putting you out in the battlefield. The pre-chorus builds up, similarly to the preceeder “The Last Stand” before it culminates in the epicness anthem hymn kind of chorus that explodes inside you. The song continues on similarly, only with a more aggressive tone and some added guitars for the second verse, until it emerges into a shredding solo to again end up with the epicness of “The Last Stand”.

This song gives me chills. When I heard it the first time, and when I heard it for the tenth time, I still get the chills. I think you my true readers at this point have learned I love anthem-like songs, so it shouldn’t surprise you.

But something I wanna talk about. The lyrics.

I have reprimanded Sabaton for making generic lyrics for “Fields of Verdun”… but all of that is made up here. The story being told in the verse, from the point of view of a soldier, sharing of the brutality, grimness of the war, the honest spoken words about how there are no victors nor losers in war – we all are the losers. This is the lyrics I would have expected from “Fields of Verdun”, so Sabaton – all is forgiven. This, combined with the grime feeling Jocke puts into the voice when he sings.. makes it perfection. Wow.What a song. NOW, Now I’m most certainly feeling the excitement for the album.

Thank you.

// Sara

Metalfest Open Air 2019 – Day 1: Friday, Part 2

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on June 26, 2019 by Sara Hammerzmith

Here we go! I realized it was getting very very long, so here comes the second part of day one of Metalfest!

HammerFall

HammerFall. Old time heroes, a band I’ve loved for about 12 years now. While I’ll admit that the feelings go up and down, and that at this point I look at them more as a fond something, I still owe a lot to them. They were, give or take, my first metalband and that is not something you simply just take away, am I right?

So I was excited to sit here. And to finally see them again. Again, as with Kissin’ Dynamite, it isn’t that long since I actually saw them, but nonetheless.

Surprisingly, they opened the set with “Legion”. This is the first time I’ve heard it live in a very, very long time and it took me a bit by surprise. It was quickly followed up with “Hammer High”  The place was crowded, and it was an amazing crowd. The band start out energetically, and the crowd was with them from the start.

“Renegade” was next song on the list, oldie but Goldie I guess we can say, and then it was time for yet another – “Bloodbound”. This was quickly followed by my personal favorite – “Any Means Necessary”. It has been ten years since this album came out, and still I hold this song as my absolute favorite.

After this, it was time for the new single from the upcoming album, “(We Make) Sweden Rock” to premiere. I find it personally it a bit odd they’re premiering it here in Czech Republix when they play in Sweden just a week from now, but oh well I guess? I’m not a massive fan of the song, but it was well recieved by the audience!

“Hero’s Return” was next on the list, one other of those for me little unexpected songs to be honest, but it’s good to hear some new stuff, you know? “Riders of the Storm” was next on the list, another well executed song. I mean, these people are pros so what did I expect anyway?

“Hector’s Hymn” followed suit, and then they apparently had a live premiere of “The Sacred Vow”. It felt odd hearing this would be the first time ever played, and I want to call bullshit, but I can’t find any traces of it being played before, strangely enough, seeing this is the single. I stand corrected, I guess. Good hearing it live though!

“Last Man Standing” and “Let The Hammer Fall” wrapped up the set for now, and the band left the stage.

The intro of “Templars of Steel” started shallowly, and then more strongly, appear across the festival field, and the band returned to rip off this classic of a song. It really is, and have become more so, emotional to hear this song. I guess it comes down to what a song represented at a period in ones life, no?

“The Dragon Lies Bleeding” was next, and I’m so happy that this has come to be more of a permanent song in their list these days. Lastly, they wrapped it all up with “Hearts on Fire” before leaving the stage for Powerwolf to conquer.

Powerwolf

As clockwork, and also by fucking luck, Szilvi and Marci had left for the bathroom right after HammerFall and made it back JUST as the intro for Powerwolf started echoing. “Lupus Daemonis” was throwing and eerie feeling over the now dark and moist (it was raining) festival grounds, and as “Fire and Forgive” started, the frontdrop dropped, pyros set off, and the show was a fact.

An epic, powerful start was later followed up with “Army of the Night”. The venue, the poor little amphitheater, was full beyond capacity (if you ask me) at this point, and gave Powerwolf the most amazing reception.

Attila went across the stage, swining his incense and talking about what you need to beat down your opponnents. And anyone who has ever seen Powerwolf before knows damn well what this is – “Incense and Iron”. This one is such a crowdstarter, and the performance was yet again polished, and well executed.

Funnily enough, we noticed that Attila stumbled on the lyrics every now and then. And when “Amen and Attack” was coming, and he asked if we knew the lyrics of Powerwolf, Szi and I just looked at each other and said “Yes, because you don’t!” but, off we went with the song. Perfect, as usual.

The temp was taken down a notch as “Let There Be Night” was next song on the list. This song is seriously, one of the most perfect songs, to be performed at night time like this. The organ, the chants, it’s just. I’m sure I’ve fangirled enough over it before, but seriously.

“Demons are a Girl’s Best Friend” was next on the list, which caused a MASSIVE sing along, and then onto my personal favorite. My absolute personal favorite of “The Sacrament of Sin”, “Killers with the Crocs”. Seriously, I cannot get over how good this song is, and I can’t get over hearing it live.

Another singalong and audience favorite, “Armata Strigoi” was next on the list and continuing down the stroll of the preceeder of “The Sacrament of Sin” with “Blessed and Possessed”.

The stage got mellow and calmed down again, down to a piano, Falk and Attila only pulling through “Where the Wild Wolves have Gone”. Beautiful, serene and sweet. I will admit I’ve never been a too big fan of the song personally, but made like this? Beautiful.

From that, to the next, as “Resurrection by Erection” is next song on the list, followed by “Stossgebet”.

After this, they left the stage… And crew came out to light the stage on fire, the lights turned to red as “Agnus Dei” starts echoing over the eerie festival area, and “Sanctified with Dynamite” set off the encores for this time. Or as always, as you please I guess.

“Coleus Sanctus” was next song to be put out, before Falk and Attila had their usual battle with “Werewolves of Armenia”.

As one last thing, Attila asks us what we need, and what we drink, and for one last time, the bells chime, the “Kyrie Eleison” chants echo out and with that, the Holy Heavy Metal Mass came to an end.

And after this, we made our way back to the camp in the cold, dark and misty night… Getting ready for tomorrows adventures.

// Sara

Metalfest Open Air 2019 – Day 1: Friday, Part 1

Posted in Concerts, Music, Travels, Uncategorized with tags , , , on June 18, 2019 by Sara Hammerzmith

So! The festival has officially begun! Or at least it’s about to, and that is excitement! Got up relatively early, I guess, for being a festival day and having some breakfast and chilling. Toivo had chosen campspots with morning shade, which was great, but as soon as the shade was gone it was the kind of heat that’ll seriously burn you alive. So I spent pretty much half my morning laying outside my little tent with a wet towel over me, trying to you know, not die.

First band of the day for me today was Majesty. I want to say that it’s so long since I last saw them, but I’m probably lying. Last I saw them was two years ago when they supported Battle Beast on their Bringer of Pain tour – at least as far as I can remember. So I was pretty excited actually, to see them again. I had dusted off the old albums I owned, and heck yes. I will admit defeat and tell you that I did not bring my camera to this fest. I wasn’t sure regarding the rules, and figured it was safest to leave it at home.

Majesty

So, they started off strongly with “Die Like Kings”. The crowd wasn’t huge – but still more than I perhaps would have expected. Good to see! “Hail to the Majesty” was followed next, and the energy on stage was amazing! At first, I’ll admit I didnt recognize the singer and turned to Szilvi durng the show like “Is it the same guy?” and she just nodded and said he cut his hair. Imagine, so little can change so much!

My own personal favorite, “Rebels of our Time” was third of the list, and hearing this magical song again.. Seriously. Majesty may never really have been a favorite band of mine, but this song has truly been a favorite of mine.

“Hellforces” was next on the list before it was time for a live premiere of a new song – “Wasteland Outlaw”. This is a song from their upcoming album, and I liked it sooo much! And the energy and response from the crowd was amazing!

“Thunder Rider” from the album with the same name was next, a big favorite I can tell, and yet another new song, “We are Legends” got its premiere today – how awesome isn’t that, to be honest?

At last, they wrapped up the set with “Metal Law” and left the stage. The show was so great, despite the heat and sun killing us, and I’m so glad I got to see them again after all this time! Thank you!

After this, we remained in our spots because in only 20 minutes, Kissin’ Dynamite would be gracing the stage.

Kissin’ Dynamite

Finally! While it wasn’t THAT long ago since I last saw them – only about seven or eight months, it still felt good seeing them again. I guess at a certain point all time feels long, no matter how long it actually is, right?

They opened the show with “I’ve Got The Fire”, which also happens to be the opening track on the most recent album “Ecstasy”. The crowd had grown quite a bit since last band, not surprisingly. The vibe and energy on the stage was amazing, as they continued with “Sombody’s Gotta Do It” from the same album.

“Love Me, Hate Me” followed suit before it was time for an oldie but goldie, if I may use that term. “DNA”, one of my personal favorites was fired off. Still, with an amazing chemistry on stage.

“Sex is War” and “Waging War” followed suit – not sure what to make of this selection right after each other, at least not namewise, but still, the show was so good at this point.

Hannes got up to be on the throne places on stage, full on with the cape and crown, and “I Will Be King” was performed. Always the biggest party, if you ask me.

The set was wrapped up with “You’re Not Alone” and “Flying Colors” before leaving the stage for the next band. Very average setlist, but I guess it is what to be expected of a festival gig. It was still beyond enjoyable!

After Kissin’ Dynamite, I headed out to the camp to rest a bit. This kind of heat isn’t kind on me, and I felt I wanted to lay down, eat something small and just take it easy. Something that I did, which I am pretty proud of haha, is that I invented my own little sofa, or chair.

I put my suitcase behind my matress, and thus could sit up, while resting. Loved it.

I got back toward the venue somewhere before or during Amorphis. I took company with Szilvi and Marci, and ate a small panncake to simply get SOMETHING in my system. We made our way all the way, or halfway, up the amphitheater to get some nice spots for Powerwolf, but also the next band – HammerFall.

To be continued

// Sara

“Fallen Worlds” – New song from Art Nation

Posted in Music with tags , , on June 17, 2019 by Sara Hammerzmith

Well hello there again. I guess there are still some interesting things happening music-wise, despite everything with that other band. Art Nation, a band I’ve held very very fondly ever since my discovery for them in 2016, has finally released a new single from the upcoming album “Transition”.

This release makes me extremely happy on so many levels. Art Nation is a band that has gone through… A lot. Can I use those words? It’s been constant line up changes, canceled gigs and they even went mute for a while. To be perfectly frank, I wasn’t even sure if they were still a band at this point. But a while ago, they announced their new line up, and now the first single dropped.

Alexander mentioned in the statement from the band that this is what he wants Art Nation to sound like, which makes me both excited and worried, as they are the best thing I’ve heard in the AOR scene since H.E.A.T.

Wow so okay. This song starts very heavy. I get some instant flashbacks to when I first heard the Dynazty album “Renatus” for the first time – when I expect some AOR / Melodic stuff and instead end up with something closer to the genre of melodic metal than anything.

The song is, in fact, heavier than anything Art Nation has ever done before, with electronic elements ala Amaranthe. Some nice melodic lines can be found in the chorus, otherwise it’s what I would call a renewed Art Nation.

And now… Remember what I wrote earlier? That I was worried and exited from Alexanders words, and I had reasons to be so. The song isn’t bad – lyrically it feels like it’s a very typical Art Nation song.

I didn’t dislike the song. Not at all. But I’ll admit that I’m even more anxious now about the possible genre change. Not sure how to feel about it.

// Sara

“The Red Baron” – New from Sabaton

Posted in Music, Uncategorized with tags , on June 15, 2019 by Sara Hammerzmith

And so the time has come! Another new single release from Sabaton, from their upcoming album “The Great War”. And this time, it was time for “The Red Baron” to come to show.

The song is about Manfred von Richthofen, a German pilot during World War I. He was known as one of the greatest fighter pilots of the war, credited to 80 victories and was well respected in Germany and by his enemies.

So, how about we start looking into the actual song yes?

The song itself starts off with eerie, circuslike organ, only to launch into a rather quick, and to a certain degree, swinglike kind of verse, and it keep it like this throughout the song. The organ remains in the background throughout the song as well. I can imagine the circuslike sounds to it is a kick-back to the nickname “The Flying Circus”.

While the song brings the thought back to “Night Witches” at some point, I’d love to argue that it has got a happier feeling to it, despite the eerie background organ – and it works faster without barely any fills, just all at once.

I actually.. At first listen I’ll admit I didn’t like it at first. But after giving it a few more tries, it grew very quickly on me. Now, I’m more excited than ever. And I can’t help but to get stage setting ideas, just as I did with “Bismarck”.

But yes I’ll say it – this is a dance song. This song it was will ensure Sabaton earns points on “Dance Friendliness”, and I myself, shall pick up a bit on swing dancing because of this.

// Sara