Archive for bloodbound

70.000 Tons of Metal: Day 2

Posted in 70000 tons of metal, Concerts, Music, The Great Tour 2020, Travels, Uncategorized with tags , , , on January 19, 2020 by Sara Hammerzmith

So it was upon us! The second day of the cruise was upon us, and it started pretty early with a merch sleepover. Thankfully, it was all worth it as we got all the merch we wanted.. How great, huh? And then, Trollfest already starting at 10. But you gotta go hard, not at all, am I right?

They put on a real fun show, and I’m officially a survivor of the worlds longest congaline! Or at least this cruise longest congaline. After the show, we decided to go grab something to eat and work out a little bit before getting ready for the highlight for us on this cruise, or at least the first thing for us: Bloodbound

Bloodbound

They opened up strongly (as always, am I right?) with “Battle in the Sky” and then quickly continued on with “In The Name of Metal”. Amazing as always. I have a feeling I dont see this band even half as often as I hope to. After having a little chat with the audience we continued on with “The Warlocks Trail” which is a song they live premiered on Sabaton Open Air last year, and I’m SO. SO. SO. happy that they continue to have this song in their live roster! It’s fucking amazing, and probably even the best song on the album, despite what I might have said before, and the crowd seemed to love it as much as I did.

“Stand and Fight” was next song on the list, tightly followed by a common crowdpleaser in “Moria”. I love the fact that they’ve “chaged” the lyrics to “Show me the HORNS of Moria” instead of Roads. Loving it.

For whatever reasons, Daniel Sjögren couldn’t attend for this show, so instead former Follow The Cipher drummer Karl Löfgren filled his shoes, which is kind of half ironic considering Daniel is the new drummer in Follow The Cipher (as well as Bloodbound).  He was doing an AMAZING job filling in, don’t believe anything else!

“Dragons are Forever” was the next song they ripped off before diving into the epicness that is the titletrack of the latest album, “Rise of the Dragon Empire”. And what a RAGE this song is live? It’s the absolute bomb. More of this please!

At this point, sadly, I had to leave as Leaves’ Eyes were starting the same time Bloodbound was set to end, and them being on the Pooldeck, which is you know, 8 floors up from where Bloodbound played, it’d be quite the run. But, I made it just as the intro started rolling.

Leaves’ Eyes

The epic nordic folk kind of intro rolled as the band then headed straight into “Sign of the Dragonhead”. It was quite a small turnout, but I’m guessing this could have to do with the Liv drama, or early in the day, or Bloodbound. Either of the ones, but I don’t exactly complain, more place for me to be honest!

They continued on with the new single “Serkland” which I’m assuming will be on the upcoming album before continuing on the previous path with “Across The Sea” which simply just is the perfect song for this cruise, am I right or what?

And also, can we talk about how perfect Elina Siirala is? Seriously. It’s such a shame for her that this bands suffers so from the drama, she doesn’t deserve that because she is AMAZING.

“Swords in Rock” was the next song on the list, before staying on the same album and doing “Edge of Steel”. A part of me had hoped Simone would join them, but that was hoping for too much I guess.

And.. You know it’s funny. Besides the addition of “Serkland” I can swear this must be pretty much the same setlist they had when they played the boat two years ago as I could even predict them playing “Riders of the Wind” on the pool deck, much like they did then. But I don’t mind, that song is just a party.

“Hell to the Heavens” followed afterwards, before wrapping up with “Beowulf” and “Blazing Waters”. Another amazing set was made by this amazing line up, and I am so happy that I got to see them again. So far, highlight.

After Leaves’ Eyes we headed down toward the Playmakers sportsbar again to attend some signing sessions. I was really lucky actually, all of the bands not only me but both of us wanted to attend happened to be on the same time, or at least closely related. Lucky, huh?

So, we went down for the first signing, which was Epica. It was a bit of a line when we arrived, but much to my surprised they worked very quickly through the line, and after a mere 20 minutes it was my turn actually. Was relatively uneventful, except from the bandmembers complimenting my collection of festivalbracelets as well as Mark greeting me by name which he knew from reading my stateroom card which happened to be placed in a very visible way.

Right after this, we started lining up for Bloodbound, and it was just like, one person ahead of us, so no problems. Ivan had a clinic he wanted to attend, so he was a bit stressed. But it turned out to be no issue, as the signing moves along quickly. So, quickly grabbing the autographs of Bloodbound and Edenbridge before hitting up pool deck.

A lot of running back and forth yeah. Haggard was a band I had gotten a little hooked on when listening for the bands before the cruise, so I figured I’d grab a few songs with them before Leaves’ Eyes signing at 17.

They experiences some issues and were late with the soundcheck and had to redo the first song twice, but such things happen you know? The little timeI did watch them though, was pure magic. I remember especially the moment when they played “Awakening the Centuries”. THAT, was NOTHING but pure magic. I was really sad that I had to leave relatively early to attend the signing of Leaves’ Eyes, but it is what happens.

So imagine how disappointed I am… to see that the band, or more to be exact, Alexander, arrives late. First and foremost, there was barely any line. There was technically no one before me but I let someone pass because I’m shy as hell. And then Alexander was like 10-15 minutes late. Which means that I could have easily seen all of Haggard, and still had my signed vinyl in a reasonable time. Goddamnit.

But that aside, it was nice meeting the band and getting the signatures! After this, back to the cabin for a quick clothing change, you know, it’s getting late and colder, and then off to the Theater for Epica’s first set.

Epica

We made it there pretty good on time, not too early and not too late. Perfect timing, if you like. The intro rolled and they started off with “Sensorium”. I can tell that is has been what at least feels like ages since I saw them, and I guess more importantly since I saw them in this kind of intimate setting.

The band delievered as they always do, and the crowd was just as much on fire as the band continued on with “The Obsessive Devotion” which is really, and excuse me for overusing the word, but the bomb. “Storm the Sorrow” was next before it was time for the ever beautiful “Cry for the Moon”, and it’s about this time I realize how much I missed seeing this band live.

“In All Conscience” was next on the list, before Coen came upfront and started off “Sancta Terra” with his amazing keyintro, and seriously, nothing but perfection.

My personal favorite off “The Holographic Principle” ” Beyond the Matrix” followed and then they wrapped it all up with “Consign to Oblivion”, with a wall of death and everything.

Another amazing show by this amazing band, left us tired enough to drift away to sleep, preparing for the adventures in Mexico… But.. with a little stop in the night, as I just HAD to witness the biggest pillowfight to Origin. Which was epic. I tell you.

// Sara

 

REVIEW: Rise of the Dragon Empire – Bloodbound

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

So the time has come. The time has come for Bloodbound to present to us their eight studioalbum, which so also happens to be the continuation of the saga started on the previous two albums, “Stormborn” (2014) and “War of Dragons” (2017). Now, they hand us a newely forged album straight from the blacksmith. And I couldn’t be more stoked.

The album starts off pretty intense in fact. It heads straight into an uptempo song, which also happens to the title track of the album. The song is full of cheerful and interesting melody lines, and it continues like this throughout the album with a few stick-off’s – second song of the album “Slayer of Kings”offers us some heavier battle tunes with an extremely headbang friendly chorus and fast shredding verses, before launching into an epic story about “Skyriders and Stormbringers”. A more magical and mystic approach is being served in “Magical Eyes” which tells the tale of exactly that.

And then, my friends, a new metal anthem and hymn has found the light of day “Blackwater Bay” is nothing short of a massive anthem – the way it’s been arranged musically and the crowd like constant chanting. I could absolutely see this being played with the whole crowd coming along with the song itself. This is one of the highlights most definitely on the album for me.

The album is picked up in “Giants of Heaven” and the rest of the album serves that same sort of purpose – heavy beats with cheerfull melody lines, with “Warlock’s Trail” being the only song to really stand out for me in the end – bringing the thoughts back to “To Hell and Back” with Sabaton, I can see this song being something extremely appreciated by the crowd. It’s a new “Silver Wings”, if you like.

The album is at last round off with a power ballad, giving a more mellow ending to an otherwise very powerful album. The band has had a very strong influence of Nordic folk elements this time around, something I appreciate a lot, as well as an added amount of keyboard accessories, creating hymns and hits that will stick in your brain. But sadly, none of it’s particularly new.

I mentioned “To Hell and Back” above when talking about one song, but I found myself many times thinking the lyrics to various songs by various bands (Sabaton, Alestorm, Serenity and HammerFall to mention a few bands) and while it’s hard these days to write something completely new, I’m not sure how fond I am of the fact that I found myself singing the lyrics to “1741 (The Battle of Cartagena)” when listening to “Slayer of Kings”.

That aside, the band has created yet another solid album which really does follow the line of its preceders. I guess you can tell I have pretty mixed feelings about it. I really enjoy a lot of the tracks, but damn. If the similarities weren’t so obvious…

Favorite song: “Blackwater Bay” I think.
Least Favorite: “Balerion”
Dance-friendliness:  5/11
Headbang-friendliness:  9/ 11
Crowd-friendliness: 7/11


(Label: AFM Records)

CDON I Ginza I Amazon

// Sara

REVIEW: Bloodbound – War of Dragons

Posted in CDs, Music, Uncategorized with tags , , , on February 23, 2017 by Sara Hammerzmith

It’s been two years since swedish metalband Bloodbound released their last success “Stormborn”, and this album is said to be somewhat of a continuation of that album, just a bigger, bolder and better.

My first impression of this album is that it’s not really as simple as a continuation of the previous albums, it feels a bit like a concept album, about well, the war of Dragons. The instant feeling I get when listening through it, is like reading a fantasy book.

It starts off with a massive and epic intro of the first song, taking us out on the quest with determination and perhaps a little bit of fear – the fear of what is yet to come and to be expected. The music and the battles, if I may so say, continues on in this kind of manner – epic, big anthem like songs that shifts between being either a bit more calmer and melodic (“Tears of a Dragon Heart”, “Stand and Fight”), or as I call it – dance friendly, to get fast, aggressive and more headbangfriendly (“King of Swords”, “War of Dragons”).

Then of course, we have te odd one out – “Silver Wings”. It’s got more of a folk touch to it with the flute and the way it’s written, you know, as if you were sitting at the taverna on your road to glory pondering out your next step, that’s what the music is like. With an intro of a pouring lake it really PAINTS a picture before your eyes, and the fact that the whole melody line is nothing but playful, mysterious and enjoyable, making this one of the best tracks off the album.

The album closes with two songs where one if more aggressive – the final battle kind of song, and closes off with a song that brings the thoughts back to movies like “Mio min Mio” after they defeated Cato and all was well again in the world far, far away. It’s rarely I hear the kind of music that so strongly paints a picture before your eyes. I literally sat and envisioned everything. That speaks loudly about this album I’d say.

The only issue that I do have with this album is that I at many times got my thoughts drawn to other bands. “Battles in the Sky” has resemblances to “Lejonet från Norden” by Sabaton, “Fallen Heroes” which is one of my favorites of the album, but I cannot deny the resemblances to “Winged Hussars”, “Hearts of Iron” with a bit “I will Rule the Universe”. Probably, hopefully, just a coincidence, but it does weigh in a bit.

With all of that being said, this is probably one of Bloodbounds best album to date. Epic song after epic song, making me jump around the room as I was writing down my notes, and if a band manages to do that to me, then you damn well know it’s good. Extremely good.

Well done, Bloodbound!

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(Label: AFM Records)

CDON I Amazon I Ginza

// Sara

 

Sabaton Open Air – Day 1: Friday 19/8 2016

Posted in Concerts, Music, Uncategorized with tags , , , on August 22, 2016 by Sara Hammerzmith

Interestingly enough, the car was actually not as broken as we originally thought it was. It turns out, what my father originally thought was like, an engine problem was really just one of the front wheels almost coming off. Lucky me this didn’t occur halfway to Falun! Despite this, I still decided to leave fairly early on Friday morning anyway, and I actually for once managed to get going in a fair good amount of time.

On my way up to Falun I took the opportunity to listen through “The Last Stand” in preparation for tomorrow. And holy shit let me tell you this – when “Diary of an Unknown Soldier” started I was simply just enjoying it… until I heard the background arrangements, and recognized them from “The Lost Battalion”. As you all know about me, I love big and epic arrangements. And these orchestral arrangements they have with their songs – also with “Nightwitches”, I just… What happened is that I first started breathing very heavily. Heavy panting, perhaps. And then I just stopped breathing and when “The Lost Battalion” started… it was like something in me just exploded. It’s just…  I can’t even really explain it. But every little inch of my body just exploded, because of the build from the previous song. Perhaps I’m the only person in this world who can feel this, who lets the song just eat you up and spit you out… So essentially, I had to pull over to calm myself down before an accident happened.

Then, I continued onwards to Falun. And it isn’t much to say. I passed Borlänge and Kupolen, and I revived some memories from the Peace&Love festivals I used to attend, and you always went to Kupolen to charge your phone. And always this classic line “It’s so good to back home here in Borlänge” – aka the time I found out Sabaton was a Swedish band.

Once I was in Falun and at Lugnet, where I by the way just to stay when I went to Peace&Love – so it was a bit of coming home, actually – everything went pretty fast. Not sure if you guys knew this, but my combicar is actually now a festivalvan, so everything was already done, so I got the wristbands, went to the car and got changed, and then into the festival area. Headed directly for the merch stand to pick up a Hysterica album for the signing session, then the festival shirt – you know, Lordi’s name is on it after all – and then onto the next merchstand to pick up Sabaton’s new album. Yes, I have indeed preordered the Tank edition, but I really really love these books they made, and I really want THAT version of the CD so… it had to be done.

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I sat down on a hill casually watching a band while opening the CD and going through it. Seriously, I LOVE These little books. After some time has passed, I headed over to the signing area to meet with Hysterica. The first thing that happens when I get up to them is the bassplayer saying “OH NICE! A GIRL!” and I told her “Yeah, likewise!” referring to the lack of female (full female) bands on festivals. It was nice meeting them!

Brothers of Metal

While waiting for the signing session to begin, Brothers of Metal had just started to play on the stage, and I did quite frankly like the music that was coming out, so I decided to check them out. I really like the show they put on, they were extremely entertaining and I do look forward to see them again some other time. And their cover of “Swedish Pagans” was to die for, really.

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After this, I headed back to my little car or van or whatever you want to call it to chill out a little bit. I called Paula over to hang out a bit before going back to the area to catch Hysterica.

Hysterica

So, this is a band I haven’t been all too familiar with for too long – I’ve known of their existance, but never checked them out too much, until it was set I was going to this festival, and started to check out bands, and that is the story of how I fell in love with them.

They put on a real good show, I enjoyed it like hell. I think it’s so fun, the singer looks so cute and innocent, but she’s a real metal beast, it was such a contrast to see her on stage. Supercool.

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After this, again, headed back to the car and did some real nice hanging out with Paula and Michelle, talking about everything and nothing, listening to Lordi’s new single “Hug You Hardcore” that was accidently released. It’s suuuuch a good song! I can’t get over it.

We moved on to continuing the, party? in the common room of the cabins where we also got to catch up with Martine, Joran and Ted, and for me – to meet Helle for the first time. Of course, as the rude people we are we forced them to do the Vegemite challenge. I’m starting to finally get together all the people I want to have tried it, and then, videocompilation!

Hours went by and soon it was time to head back to the area for the last band of the day – Bloodbound

Bloodbound

Like seriously, you guys know about my love for this band. And when they walked on stage and started off the show with “Iron Throne”… You know, sometimes I forget about this band, and how fantastic they really are. Like you know… when you just hear the intro for “Moria” or for “Stormborn” and everything you cease to exist. It’s just you and Bloodbound, on this quest towards whatever we are doing. You feel yourself getting lost in this temporary world that is Bloodbound.

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Aside that, because I could go on about that forever, it was a very good show. The boys delivered a tight and energetic set, and was the perfect wrap up for the first day of Sabaton Open Air.

Right after this, I crawled back into my little car getting ready for the next day. First and foremost, it was Lordi, and secondly, Sabaton and last but not in anyway least – the first time I’d ever get to meet Jonathan.

// Sara

Sabaton @ The Nick Rayons LCR, Norwich, United Kingdom 26/2 – 16

Posted in Concerts, Music, Uncategorized with tags , , , , on February 27, 2016 by Sara Hammerzmith

So, finally the day was here! The day we were going to see Alestorm and Sabaton’s co-headlining tour, supported by the amazing Bloodbound. We started the day off wandering about in Norwich, but I figured I’d save that for it’s own entry that I’ll schedule to appear during our flight. But, later in the night it was finally time. We were unsure whether the time on the tickets was showtime or doortime, since in Sweden, it could as well be the show time as the doortime, so we figured we’d get there around 6 – just half an hour before door opens, or in case of showstart – we are there half an hour before the show starts. After that it was just time to get ready. It’s tricky when two ”costumed” bands play the same show – what band do you dress for? So basically, Sabaton gear and Alestorm make up. That should do the trick.

But then, getting there was interesting enough. First and foremost, gladly, we found a bus we could take so we didn’t have to walk for a good hour. The ”scary” thing is that there seem to be no such thing as station-announcer on the buses, so we basically just prayed to God that someone else was also going to get off at our stop, and I kept close track on the GPS to see when we got closer.

Gladly, a lot of people were getting off, so it was no issue. Then we arrived at this university campus, because apparently, the concert venue is on campus grounds. After walking around like lost squirrels for a while, we finally found the ”Heroes On Tour” trailer and the line for the show.

While the UK are a lot warmer than Sweden these days, it was still one cold wait for the doors. When they finally opened we got in, and it’s sort of weird in a way, because the line felt pretty long, and the venue was rather small, despite this, we were two people, TWO PEOPLE away from making it to the front row. So we stationed ourselves in the middle of the arena instead, and figured we’d remain there until it got too crowded, if it ever did. But first Bloodbound merch, and then, bathroom.

And while in the bathroom, I hear the tunes to Bloodbound’s intro song. Good riddance on me, that I was done. So I rushed back into the venue, had to struggle to get a hold of Michelle and then go get her because apparently she forgot where we were supposed to stand, haha.

Bloodbound opened with the song ”Iron Throne” strongly. It wasn’t a lot of people there, surprisingly, or well, at least not on the floor. They followed up with ”Metalheads Unite”, which is kind of interesting, because The Singer *NAMN* actually introduced ”In The Name of Metal” but they all were like, screw that.

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After this, they continued with ”In The Name of Metal”, followed by my personal favorite – ”Moria”. Damn, how much I love this song and this band. This was followed by ”Stormborn” before they wrapped up the set with ”Nosferatu”. Yes, you saw right. Somewhere along the way they lost ”When All Lights Fail”, which is sad, it was my favorite off ”Stormborn”.

After this, the wait for Alestorm began. Now, it started to get quite crowded. I’m not surprised though – they are actually co-headlining, and I must admit even I was looking more forward to Alestorm than I was to Sabaton. After some time, the intro got off and they opened their show with ”Keelhauled”. They followed up quickly with ”Over The Seas” and seriously, the crowd was going mad! I’m not surprised, because I did too, in all honesty.

alestorm

”Magnetic North” was next to be done, followed by a, according to the band, rarity of a song, “Surf Squid Warefare”. This was followed by “Nancy the Tavern Wench”, and then “Walk the Plank”. “The Sunken Norwegian”, “Wenches and Mead”… and I’m gonna tell you something. So, basically, LCR is like, they have stairs down to where the “floor” is, and during “Wenches and Mead”, I shit you not, I was pushed UP ON the staircase. The pressure seriously! This was followed by “Drink!” and it was during this song, and starting from here that Michelle and I decided to join in on the moshpits. “1741” followed, “Hungover” “Captain Morgans Revenge”

They wrapped the set up with ”Rum” before they and their duck left the stage. Lucky us, we had just planned to go and get water when Michelle caught the water bottle thrown out by Elliot. Free water, yay!

So, they left the stage and now the wait for Sabaton began. I swear to God, I was sitting there shaking like a leaf, had to sit down on the floor in attempts to recover. It sure has been sometime since SlipKnot, that’s for sure. Need to work out more, this stamina is absolutely horrible when it comes to metal shows. I’ll do over and do right for Blessed & Posssessed tour.

So, pretty much right on time 21.30 ”The Final Countdown” started and then the intro, and then of course the damned ”Ghost Division”. I told Michelle that if they open with ”Ghost Division” one more time, I’m going to fucking punch someone. And I almost did. It’s been eight years can we like… move on?

Anyway. They followed this song up with ”Far From The Fame” before they did the first surprise for me – ”Uprising”. I was glad to hear it, since it’s like the only song I actually care for on ”Coat of Arms”, what I did not care for though, was the people trying to mosh to this song. I mean, moshing is all fun and games, but seriously, to ”Uprising”? The following song, ”Midway” was on the other hand all cool to mosh to.

The band had really good energy, and the audience was insane. Jocke made a comment about it being too many pirates in the crowd tonight, but on the same time, Jocke, what do you expect? Haha, the heck.

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My beloved ”Wolfpack” was next on the list, and damn, chills every time. Also a little sad this is not a Karlstad exclusive anymore, but then again, the more people who get to hear this amazing song the better in the end! ”Wolfpack” was followed by ”Resist And Bite” and then ”Carolus Rex”, damn this song. This song. There’s no other song I think, by Sabaton that empowers me as much as this one. Not even sure why.

Next up was ”Swedish Pagans”. Like, Thobbe started playing a bit and Jocke made the joke that ”now we have to play it” and no, no you don’t. I know I title myself a Swedish Pagan to mark my spot in the Sabaton fandom, but seriously I’m so over this song. But, the crowd enjoyed it!

”Attero Dominauts” was next, or actually, it wasn’t supposed to be ”Attero Dominatus”. Jocke admitted right afterwards that they were supposed to do ”Soldiers of 3 Armies”, but he mixed it up. So, they simply followed up with it. Strange, this is the second Swedish band out of two on the same night who mixes up the setlist.

My personal favorite of Sabaton, ”The Art of War” followed and damn. If I didn’t have a slayerneck already, I sure as hell got one now. They wrapped up the first part of the set with ”To Hell and Back”. Damn I love this song live.

Here’s the funny thing. They left the stage, but I’m not sure anyone really noticed. Because they sort of left, and the ”Night Witches” intro started directly almost, so I don’t think anyone really noticed. But ”Night Witches”, ah what a song. This is the song they should open with. So fucking perfect.

But, to get back to ”where-they-really-leaving” part, imagine my surprise when they all of a sudden did ”Primo Victoria”, and then wrapped up the set with ”Metal Crüe”? And then it was over?

Sabaton’s set went by so fucking quickly, I barely even noticed it passing by! It’s insane. The setlist over all was pretty boring in my opinion – perhaps I’m comparing too much to Noch Ein Bier set, but seriously, where’s ”Gott Mit Uns”? I really missed that one. And I’m sure I’m not the only one. The gig per se was very scaled down, just the band and us. I liked that.

But. Despite the set being boring, I guess we can say they never fail to entertain, like, ever. Considering how fast it went by. God, I love all these men who performed tonight. They are the reason I breathe.

After the show, we headed over to Alestorm’s merchbooth to pick up on a shirt where I almost ran over Chris Bowes, and later wound up chatting and hanging out with the guys in Bloodbound. It was nice to talk to some people from home, and we spoke about everything from touring to Australia to Noch Ein Bier to early days of corpse paint.

We did a quick stop by Sabaton’s merchtable to catch up with Jaqueline before we left the venue and got home.

Seriously, thank you all for this amazing evening. You are great.

// Sara

Skogsröjet 2015: Day two, Saturday 1/8

Posted in Concerts, Music, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on August 1, 2015 by Sara Hammerzmith

I went to bed too late yesterday and got up too soon, or at least it felt like it. I had put my alarm to 11, and the first band I wanted to see started at 11.30, but when I looked at the clock it was around 8. So of course, I decided to snooze. Or at least I tried to, didn’t work out to well seeing I’m at a FESTIVAL CAMPING. A place where people party 24/7. Should have known. But I guess I managed somehow, because before I knew it the time was around 11 and I PANICKED because there’s no way I’ll get done in time. Gladly, the weather was good so half a bread, mascara stains and a pair of shorts and Korpiklaani tank later I found myself at the festival area (Bless the camping being so close to the area!) watching Beyond Visions

Beyond Visions

So, Beyond Visions is a five-piece band formed in 2007. They released their debut album in 2o13, and was the first band to enter the stage this day. There were a bit more people there than I would expect, but still no massive crowds – but none of this stopped frontwoman Rebecka to deliver a powerful set backed by the rest of the band. I was impressed and really liked what I heard! Good job!

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Honeymoon Disease

So, right after this I headed over the the other stage to catch the second band of the day; Honeymoon Disease. It’s a four-piece rock n roll band from Gothenburg formed in 2014. They have released two singles, one in 2014, one in 2015 and are set to release their debutalbum this autumn.

They brought on a good show with great energy, and even though I’m usually not into this kind of music, they managed to convince me! Good on them. I’d urge you all to check them out!

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Tyranex

Running back to the first stage, it was time to catch the Västerås-based four-piece that is Tyranex. They have released two albums so far – “Extermination” in 2011 and “Unable to Tame” in 2014.

The crowd was a bit bigger this time around, and Linnea… she’s insane. Holy hell, the way she sings and the way she plays, I literally had to write to Antoine and tell her what a killer she is on guitar. It was a powerful and energetic gig with a charismatic frontwoman, and if the two bands I had already seen had impressed me, this band went far beyond.

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The Terrorhawks

So, there sure was a lot of running back on forth between the two stages here in the early morning, and after Tyranex it was time to see the New Zealand based band The Terrorhawks. Or well, they are based in Gothenburg now. Their debut single was released during the spring, and the debut album is set to sometime in 2015.

The set was good. The energy was lacking a little bit, I must admit, I didn’t really feel a lot from them, but I’m gonna give them thumbs up for going through with their set!

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After this, I first of all hit the merchstand to pick up on Beyond Visions and Tyranex albums and was set to see Hellshaker, when I noticed that the remote to my car was missing. The car-key was there, but the remote was gone. So I went back to the camp in order to look for it, hoping it was there, and while I was at it start to pack up. Gladly, the remote was in the tent and not lost somewhere randomly, even though I REALLY can’t understand how it got detached, since nothing was broken and it’s on a keyring.

Regardless, I started packing out and took two turns to load everything in the car. It took some time to remove all the baby snails and baby worms that were living on my tent, seeing it was placed in a water puddle, and it’s now full of mud because of the.. well, mud. I love this tent, but I’m glad we’re getting another one for next years festivals.

I made it back to the festival area pretty much in time to catch Imber, however, I decided against it. I’ve never been a bigger fan of their music, and I felt that I at least once on this festival should be front row, so I went to pick up a bottle of water and headed over to Bandit stage and started the hour long wait for Bloodbound.

Bloodbound

So, last week when we saw them at Noch Ein Bier the set was pretty short, so I was rather excited to see them doing a longer set at another venue with BETTER WEATHER. And again, to avoid making a Noch ein Bier long post, I’ll keep it short.

First of all, we learned pretty early in the set that Patrik’s father had passed away the day before the show. It was quite a shocking thing to learn, and I salute him, and the band for pushing through with the show.

They played a bunch of my favorite songs -such as “Moria”, “When all Lights Fail” and, biggest surprise to me – “Nightmares from the Grave”. I absolutely low this song. It was massive hearing it live. Although, I must admit I missed “Satanic Panic” a bit.

But over all – very good show, good energy and good set. And especially seeing the circumstances, we should all raise the horns one more time for them.

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Besserbitch

After this, I went over to the other stage to catch the first few songs of Besserbitch before getting in line for the Bloodbound signing session, but I realized pretty quick that I could BOTH stand in line and still see Besserbitch! Bingo!

Besserbitch is a four piece band from Stockholm formed in 2008, released their first two EPs on their own label and gave out their debut album in 2013.

First of all: Where’s the crowd? Seeing the playtime they got, you’d assume they’d have a big crowd. Bloodbound had a full crowd, so people where there, but none seemed to stay for Besserbitch. It was perhaps around 10-20 people, and I wanna add we weren’t THAT many in line for Bloodbound signing session, and NO OTHER BAND was playing at the same time. It’s like the band doesn’t draw an audience.

And while their music is good, I can see why. Now, I’ve never seen this band before, but where is the stage presence of the singer? I spoke of it yesterday, the importance of stage presence, something Jocke and Erik got, but also Mia(Crucified Barbara) and Linnea (Tyranex). That was completely lacking here. Maybe it was a bad day, who knows, but I almost felt like… I should go away, I don’t know how to put it better. It was surprising, to say the least.

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The signing session started in the middle of the set, so I missed out on half a song. It went pretty quickly – Patrik wasn’t there, and I had a quick chat with Fredrik about Noch Ein Bier and the weather there, before getting back to Besserbitch. The crowd was less now than it began with. What the heck just happened? Afterwards, I headed back to Bandit to see Junkstars.

Junkstars

In an attempt to make the festival worth it’s money, I decided to try to catch as many bands as I could today, so it was time to see Junkstars, formerly known as Rock n Roll Allstars. They were supposed to be the final act of the day, but as a result of Doro cancelling, they got her time and Bullet filled in her spot.

It was a good set they delivered with good energy, and you can tell they hit home with the audience, as there were quite a few people there. I still think Junkstars and U.D.O. should have switched, but still. Good to see some energetic and charismatic people on stage. Those are my favorites.

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Right after Junkstars, which finished a bit earlier than Doro’s original time, I went to buy some last minute items and headed to the car to get dressed for colder weather and drop off my newly bought merchandise. On my way, I bumped into Robert and it was SOOO Great seeing him there. We had a quick chat before I ran to the car, fixed my shit, and ran back the the venue to catch U.D.O.

U.D.O.

I’ve been looking forward to see U.D.O ever since I reviewed his album earlier this year, “Decadent” is sure one fine piece of work. So I was very, very glad to see him playing Skogsröjet.

The set was really good, he was on top and delivered a good gig, but I must admit I’m a bit unsure as to WHY he’d play the small stage. The crowd was PACKED in front of it, and people on the side could barely see anything. It would almost have been better if they did what Sweden Rock did, to put him earlier in the day, or, following the cancellation of Doro, but him in Doro’s scheduled time and Junkstars on U.D.O’s. Oh well, what can you do?

What I’m especially fond of is him playing “Pain”. It was always a favorite of mine on the album, and I’m usually so unlucky with favorite songs that this hit hard at home.

Good show, good energy, good set. Loved it!

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Dream Theater

After U.D.O, it was time for the last gig of the day and the festival for me, Dream Theater. I’ve heard of the band, but never really paid a lot of attention to their music, but I have a few friends who are fond of them, and therefore decided to see them.

They celebrate thirty years as a band, and therefore played material from all of their albums, which was pretty nice, or I guess so for the die hard fans.

The show was good, and I really enjoyed it. It was a good ending to a good festival.

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After this, I went to pick up some last minute candy for the ride home, prepared my car and left the festival for this year. I got home already around 2 am in the morning, which was really good. To sleep in your own bed.

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Thanks to all the bands for this festival, you made it what it is. And thank you, Skogsröjet, for once again proving you the best biggest smallest festival in Sweden.

// Sara

 

Noch Ein Bier Fest 2015 @ Amphitheater, Gelsenkirchen, Germany 25/7 – 15

Posted in Concerts, Music, Thiz Izz Djermani with tags , , , , , , , , on July 25, 2015 by Sara Hammerzmith

Due to the heavy rain, there’s a slight lack of pictures in order to protect the camera. So I apologize on beforehand on the lack of pictures.

The D-Day was here! Noch Ein Bier Fest, Sabaton first attempt at a German festival. It it is a one day ”festival” hosting five bands – Bloodbound, Civil War, Korpiklaani, Powerwolf and Sabaton and was hosted in the Amphitheater in Gelsenkirchen.

The day… Well, we started the day with some quick shopping, which I will tell you all about another day, and then headed to the venue. We had originally planned to take the bus to the theater since we got free bus tickets from the hotel, but apparently German buses are wussies. Said to us the bus was full even though it could easily have fitted all of us in there, we people had just moved a bit closer. After further inspection, we noticed that the next bus wouldn’t go until 30 minutes later, leaving us missing out on the first band.

And fuck that. So we went back to the hotel and asked them to call a taxi for us. A nice bunch of guys offered us to go in their taxi with them, however, they apparently don’t carry minibuses here, so it was a no can do. The taxi arrived fairly quickly, and after an about 15 minutes ride we were at the arena.

And seriously, compared to Sweden, Germany is so cheap! The taxi cost us about 15 euros, that’s 5 euros a person! Like, 15 euros would be starting price per PERSON in Sweden. What a nice surprise!

Unlike yesterday, where it was so warm we almost melted despite having barely any clothes on, today was a different story. Rain, A LOT OF IT, and cold. You see, we had originally gone to Primark to pick up a raincoat for me, since I was in desperate need for one. The other two decided to get one each as well, and guess what was the best purchase of the day? Yup, the raincoats.

We arrived at the venue about 20 minutes or so before the door opened, and the line was… half full, now that I look back on it. At the time, it felt like it was A LOT of people, but after further inspection, we noticed the doors were closer than we thought they’d be. Anyway. The time hit 15 and…. nothing happened. At least not in the back. The time hit 15.30. Bloodbound was about to play, and I was so pissed, because, guess what? NOTHING HAD HAPPENED.

But on the other hand, I didn’t hear a band play either so all good. About 15.45, it started moving. Babysteps, one step at a time. At 16, we had maybe gotten three meters. Somewhere after 16, about 16.10 or so, we finally, FINALLY made it in.

The first thing we did was to get down to the arena in order to look for Antoine, and let me tell you this.

I was under the impression this was an indoor arena. So when Madlen broke the news to me about it being outdoors, my mood went from very high to very low, to put it nicely. So when I got in, I got even more of a shock. Basically, what I saw before me, was a smaller version of Dalhalla.

It was a small area infront of the stage, and then lots of stairs all the way up where we stood, where people would sit. So imagine our surprise to see there were very little people down there.

I’ve been to Sabaton shows before, and I know how it goes down. Pressed against the fence, and you can do nothing. Not fun. This is the major reason why I’ve started to withdraw more and more on concerts, because of the freedom to jump around and headbang without being pressed against a fence.

Just right after we got out Bloodbound got on the stage.

BLOODBOUND

So basically, to give you some perspective – Bloodbound was supposed to start at 15.30, and when they actually started, it was about 16.15, 16.20. We are talking almost an hour delay. Did this have an effect on how long their set was? I think so.

I didn’t track time exactly how long they played, but they played only about 4-5 songs. Despite this, the show was energetic. They started off with “Satanic Panic” and seemed to do the best they could with their short set. For my personal record, I’m just really happy they did “Moria”. Thank god.

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This festival did already from the beginning have a pretty tight time schedule, so already towards the end of the last song of Bloodbound did Michelle and I withdraw ourselves in order to catch some merchandise.

Which seemed to be near impossible. After trying to choose which one of the two merchstands we’d go to, we ended up doing the first one, and gladly, this was the very one Jaqueline was working at! It was so good to see her again, although a little odd to see her outside of Lordi, but you know, it’s a small world after all?

After this, we headed back to the “arena” and we arrived JUST as Civil War went on stage.

Civil War

I was pretty excited to see them – I’ve been in love with the band ever since I first heard “Rome is Falling” , so I got quite excited when they got on stage (not SlipKnot or Lordi excited, but excited). Just as with Bloodbound, they delivered a good and energetic set, which sadly came to an abrupt ending when they played “Bay of Pigs” and Patrik all of a sudden goes “That was our last song, good night”.

Like wait what. What just happened? Apparently they were supposed to play longer, but because of the delays they couldn’t. And I really missed “Rome is Falling” in the setlist, I must admit. Oh well, what do you do?

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Korpiklaani

Ok – so here’s the deal with Gelsenkirchen – when I arrived on Thursday, and also during Friday, it was hot. Like, MELTING HOT, it felt like it was twice as hot as it was in Sweden. Sun shining high, no cloud in sight, no wind, nothing. And then, when Sabaton came to town, apparently, they thought it was a good idea to bring swedish summer with them and POF – rain and thunder. So by the time Korpiklaani were to begin, we were all soaked. Like, through and through. Like I told you in the beginning, I wasn’t a fan of this being an outdoor show.

However, in the wait for Korpiklaani my SlipKnot-excitement starting coming to me, and me and Michelle were already bouncing around like rubber balls even before they started, and I may have cursed the short times between the bands earlier, but at this point I was happy. So, since we were already bouncing around, you can imagine what happened when “Viinamäen Mies” started. Yup.

That’s the thing with Korpiklaani – it’s just one big fucking party. Everyone is dancing, everyone is hopping around and everyone is moshing. I told Michelle “We should go in there the next time” and later on we decided to go for it in “Vodka” and so we did.

It was fun actually! I found myself tripping once, and got back up immediatley thanks to strong arms behind me, and this is probably something we’re gonna find ourselves doing a lot more. A sidenote to this: When I tripped, I hit my elbow and got really scared I had broken my new parkas. Gladly, I hadn’t. However upon further inspect, my Swedish Lordi crew shirt broke. What the hell?

But, back to Korpiklaani. The set was pretty similar to Graspop – and even though I love “Sumussa Hämärän Aamun”, I must admit it was a bit of a mood killer this particular day. But this gig DID make it clear for us that we will try to do both Korpiklaani days in September. Happy days!

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However, this festival, or perhaps Korpiklaani, started to take on my powers, so we decided to “sacrifice” Powerwolf (Madlen and Daniel are going to kill me now) and have a seated show and dinner. See guys – there’s the other perk of not being in the front. You wanna sit, you sit, you wanna stand you stand. So we went out and bought crêpes and got back in right when they started and sat on the side and had a calm dinner.

Powerwolf

Because of the weather, the band wasn’t able to use their stage props, so the stage was a bit weak compared to how you usually see Powerwolf, but it doesn’t really matter, in my opinion. They still put on a good show no matter what, and hadn’t it been because of my smaller leg injury I got in the pit, we would have been in the middle of the crowd for “We Drink Your Blood”. Trust us, we really wanted to (because at that time we had finished dinner, ok)

But you know, I don’t really know what else to add to this. It was a good show, they had good energy and delivered despite problems with the props.

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Sabaton

Rather sooner than later, did “The Final Countdown” start, and originally Michelle and I did plan to sit throughout the entire set, because hey, some day gotta be the first right?

Anyway. This show has been real hyped. Like crazy hyped. So many crazy things would happen, the best show ever and so much special and AHH! And then they go on stage and be like

“Hello Gelsenkirchen! We’re Sabaton and this is GHOST DIVISION”.

“Ghost Division”. Still. The. Fucking. Ghost. Division. After. Seven. Fucking. Years. Still. Fucking. Ghost. Division. 

Like, how about spicing things up a bit? “We’re Sabaton, and we are the lions from the north”??? Or how about, for this superextrahypersuperduper special show, why not go further back in time and open with “Panzer Battalion” (Peace&Love 2007). Seriously, none of you, my readers are strangers to my animosity towards “Ghost Division”. I really love the song, as well as “The Art of War” (competing in the top with “Carolus Rex” about best album) but I’m SO. OVER. THIS. SONG. Thank you.

Regardless of that, it’s a decent opener, and the crowd loved them as always. And by the time the intro for “To Hell and Back” came, I said fuck leg injury and we jumped (!!) off the stone staircase and went on the side of the audience (actually fairly close, but very much on the side) and joined in for the jump party. Didn’t feel shit in my leg, I’m happy.

“Carolus Rex” was next, and you know. It’s strange, the fact you feel the most patriotic when you’re not at home. And I still don’t know the English lyrics to it. And it wasn’t until now that the first real surprise came, or well, at least for me. “No Bullets Fly”. Nice! Not my favorite, but finally things are happening.

The crowd started chanting the intro for “Swedish Pagans” which naturally “forced” the band to play it already now, and I do like it, it’s a favorite of mine, followed by another favorite, “Resist and Bite”.

This far in the show, no major surprises had happened aside “No Bullets Fly”. The pyros were weaker than the stuff they had in Karlstad, and this MIGHT be because of the weather, but come on. Lordi has survived without pyros since like 2008, and they still put on a good show. Get creative guys!

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I am, however, gonna give them some creds for playing “Screaming Eagles” after, at least saying, they saw a sign in the audience requesting it. There was indeed a sign, I just really this is why they played it. But it was fun to hear it live, you know?

And it was right after this, the first real highlight for me came. A guy from the crew came out to “fix” the panzar that is Hanne’s drumset, and Jocke started talking about panzers, and about a song. I said to Michelle “I hope it’s ‘Panzerkampf’, because I really miss it, but it could be ‘Panzer Battalion'” BUT OF COURSE, TO MY DELIGHT, IT WAS INDEED “PANZERKAMPF”.

THANKYOUTHANKYOUTHANKYOU. I’ve missed this song so much, I can’t even! Thank you thank you!

“Attero Dominatus” followed, by “En Livstid i Krig” (in Swedish, thank god!) and then a little.. surprise. “Coat of Arms”.

The thing with “Coat of Arms” for me is that the album as well as the tour is one big blur for me. “Coat of Arms” is one of the weaker eras for me when it comes to Sabaton, was never a big fan of the album or anything, BUT, I do love the song “Coat of Arms”. Maybe Sabaton should have opened with that one, to spice it up a little bit?

This one was followed by one of my all time faves – “The Art of War”. Seriously, anyone who doesn’t love this song can just stop talking to me right now. My hair had been dried, thanks to my intense headbanging, but then it got wet again because my hair kept hitting the ground and the water puddles. Because of this song.

After this, they brought out a song the German fan club had voted up, which is considered a rare song for anyone who doesn’t live in Karlstad and has a hockey-team whose fanclub is called The Wolfpack, because if you do, you are one of the few people who actually had the blessing to hear “Wolfpack” live QUITE a few times, only because of Färjestad. And I don’t complain, it’s my favorite song off “Primo Victoria”.

But to top it off, as what could possibly become the most exciting thing of the evening, was the temporary and very short re-union with Daniel Mÿhr, which started with a sexy dance ala Mÿhr in his military hotpants that showed more than it should.

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The performance of the song was beyond perfection, and to top it off even more, Daniel did indeed undress completely. Thank you Daniel, for bringing the humor. I love you.

And then it happened… a divine voice out of nowhere…

Pretty much so. I have one favorite song with Sabaton. This number one, that beats everyone else. Which one?

“7734”. I already told you how much I died on the inside when I saw it was the bonus track on “Heroes”, and my brother looked weirdly at me and was like “but everyone loves ‘7734’”, but that was never my impression. So the fucking fact that they actually played, they FUCKING PLAYED IT… makes me forgive them for opening with “Ghost Division”. Yup. I said it, and you heard it.

I fucking forgive them for “Ghost Division”, because they gave my “7734”. Lindyhopping the night away.

After this, they left the stage and the lights went bananas. Michelle turned to me and said “Nightwitches”? and I just nodded. Of course. What else. So first song of the first round of encores was “Nightwitches” followed by “Primo Victoria” and “Metal Crüe” and for the love of God, while we are at it to retire “Ghost Division”, can we also retire “Metal Crüe”? That one has been going on since I even saw Sabaton live the first time in 2006, and if you thought I was over “Ghost Division”, imagine how fucking OVER I AM THIS ONE. Come on! “Metal Machine” and “Masters of the World” are like 100 times better. And again, you readers are no strangers to my animosity for this one either. Ok, I’m calm. Even if I’m tired of it, it’s still fun. I admit it.

They were supposed to leave the stage, but came back again, this time starting with “Panzer Battalion”, and seriously, I love this song. They played “Saboteurs” dedicated to the Saboteurs and wrapped the whole thing up with “Gott Mit Uns”, or as it is renamed now, “Noch Ein Bier”. Haha.

Noch ein bier, vår konung har talat, hör vårt stridsrop Noch ein Bier!” Uhh. Hahaha.

After this, they REALLY left the stage and thanked for the night.

And ok, time to get serious. To be honest, I think this show was way too hyped. Apart from a few songs, the setlist wasn’t anything extraordinary, the stage setting wasn’t anything extra ordinary, and I even think I dare to say Daniel Mÿhr saved everything with his sexy dance.

But on the same time, I can never be thankful enough for “7734” so I guess it all evens out. Regardless of it all – it was an amazing night with amazing friends, and no animosities for songs or repeating setlists can ever change that.

Right after it was over we left off to say good bye to Daniel and we headed for Burger King for some late night dinner and then hitting home to the hotel where we had a smaller after party and then crashed.

Thank you all for this amazing evening, but a little more so to Korpiklaani and Sabaton. Thank you!

// Sara