Archive for serious black

Serious Black @ Sala Caracol, Madrid, Spain 15/9 -17

Posted in Concerts, Music, Uncategorized with tags on September 15, 2017 by Sara Hammerzmith

So, this is going to be a ride from start to finish. So bare with me, seriously. So, in the morning after Battle Beast we got up… well a bit early, I will say, but we did also go to bed fairly early so it was a win win I guess. We took the airport train out to the airport, I said goodbye to Hansi who were going to continue homewards and I got ready for my flight.

The flight was uneventful, the only thing really was that Santi, who was coming in from Mallorca, had his plane delayed, and at the time we had really no idea of knowing when he would come. So, once arrived at the airport I found a nice spot and sat down and waited for him.

An hour and a half later than he was supposed to arrive, he arrived and we headed off to the car rental place. Upon now, I notice the doors for Serious Black is opening at 19, and at the time we arrived at car rental place it was 18. Where there was a line. Because the place didn’t have enough cars or whatever.

So, at like 19.30 or so, we finally got our car. We drove to the hotel, and were lucky to get a decent parking spot. At 20 or so we were at the hotel, resting one moment, getting changed and then hitting the road again, as Serious Black would go on stage at 21.25. So, we left the hotel at 20.30 ish and left with the car at 20.50, when it was half an hour drive to the venue. Oh shit.

So, we arrived at the venue at 21.23, cutting it close…. and then we spent another 30 minutes ish looking for parking.

So for the first time in my life, I’ve managed to miss out on a band. We gladly found one of those big parking houses like ten minutes away, and we walked shitfast to the venue and arrived somewhere in the middle of the set.

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So, yeah, the venue was half full, which was good to see! I mean, last time I saw them they were opening act for HammerFall and Orden Ogan and we weren’t many fans. Three albums in now, and they are doing so good on their own headline tours.

They had a whole theme going on based on the recent release “Magic”, and it was nice to see them with more of a stage show. Correct clothing, nice surroundings. Sadly, I do not remember exactly when in the set I actually came in, but the first song I can still remember hearing is “Castor Skies”, so lets take it from there.

“Lone Gunmen Rule” was next song on the list, and what I really love about this little gig is that, the turnout was relatively good, and I was happy to see that like, all the people in the venue knew the songs and were big fans. I shouldn’t be surprised, it’s a headline tour, but still. It makes me so happy.

“This Machine Is Broken” was next song on the list, then followed by “Now You’ll Never Know” which is, as you guys know, my favorite song on the most recent album, so I was so happy to see they actually played it.

“As Long as I’m Alive” was fired off, followed by “Setting Fire To The Earth” before it was time for the single off the recent album, “Burn Witches! Burn”. “I Seek No Other Life” and “High and Low” wrapped up a pleasant evening, and the band thanked for themselves and left the stage.

We hung around a little bit in order to catch up with them quickly, before we head off back. We tried to find a place to eat – Burger King – and instead started cruising the streets of city Madrid while blasting Rammstein about as loud as we could.

It was a beautiful evening and night, and a nice drive back to the hotel and we got to bed to enjoy a nice night of rest before the big day tomorrow.

// Sara

REVIEW: Serious Black – Magic

Posted in CDs, Uncategorized with tags , , , on September 8, 2017 by Sara Hammerzmith

Serious Black – probably one of the most productive bands in metal today, is out with their third album in just three years – and their career has been going nothing but up. Starting out with a few tours with HammerFall and Gamma Ray, they then continued on to have successful headline tours – and are currently out on one more as we speak. “Magic” is their first attempt at a concept album – fitting concept, seeing the name is inspired by Sirius Black from Harry Potter. Aside the concept, the band hoped to achieve a diverse and organic- feel album, without too much production.

So how about the album then?

As mentioned, this is a conceptalbum. Throughout the album, lyrically, we follow the story of Mr Nightmist and his journey to unravel the secrets and mysteries of the world. The lyrical theme follows through on each song, binding it all together. The lyrics are well made – you can follow the story quite easily, and they all link together.

Musically, the album starts off with a, at first spoken, intro that moves into instrumental, launching you into the first song of the album, “Binary Magic” which carries and in-your-face kind of intro, and then calms down for the verse only to pick up the speed again, merging into a pretty powerful chorus. The album then continues on with an aggressive second song, “Burn! Witches Burn!”, which sadly falls a bit flat at the chorus for me personally.

And the album moves a bit up and down like this – the catchy “Lone Gunmen Rule” to the very sentimental “Now You’ll Never Know” which quickly grew into be one of my favorites off the album. While the album is quite diversed, they still link together nicely, with the common Serious Black sound we have all gotten used to.

The final ending of the album is a more calm and hidden song called “One Final Song” which I find very interesting – consisting of hints toward “Bohemian Rhapsody” it quickly becomes the most interesting song on the album, and also personally for me, the only song that actually grasps the context of magic.

Because that is what I felt was missing. The songs linked together, the lyrics was fine – but I missed some sort of ‘magical’ or ‘carnival’ kind of accessory to keep the concept up, making it a red thread, which shouldn’t be an impossibility as we’ve seen bands like Lordi and Avatar do it before – and even the band themselves in their last song.

The album is, all in all, pretty good though. Certain points as mentioned would have made it even better, but songwriting wise it was really good. All that is missing is the whole feel of a concept.

Favorite song: Now You’ll Never Know
Least Favorite: Serious Black Magic. But it’s hard to pick.
Dance-friendliness:  4/14
Headbang-friendliness:  8/ 14
Crowd-friendliness: 3/14


(Label: AFM Records)

// Sara

 

REVIEW: Serious Black – Mirrorworld

Posted in CDs, Music, Uncategorized with tags , , , on September 1, 2016 by Sara Hammerzmith

Serious Black, the “All-star-group-but-not-a-supergroup-in-that-sense” coming literally out of nowhere slamming down like an asteroid, are back already a year after their critically acclaimed debut album “As Daylight Breaks”. It’s been quite the year for them – good highs touring with bands such as HammerFall, Gamma Ray and Kamelot – and now it’s finally time for them to grace us with a second album – “Mirrorworld”.

And buckle up folks, “Mirrorworld” is an album that will take you for a ride.

It all begins a bit cautiously, you are slowly getting into the ride, the more adventurous ride I’d say – building up the excitement before stopping for a brief moment – then starting again. It builds up the tension, the excitement, prepares you for what is yet to come – and then unexpectedly throws you into the first song of the album, “As Long as I’m Alive”, that starts off as a statement, to the world – to the fans, to everyone.

It continues on in the, on the more aggressive side, “Castor Skies”, which is essentially a very typical metal song with bombastic choruses and hammering drums. After this – the ride slows down, and we are thrown into the highlight of the album. The heartbreak songs. “Heartbroken Soul” which brings the thoughts back to Cinderella’s 80’s hit “Nobody’s Fool”, with a bit of KISS’s “Forever”, it’s like mash of the two but with Serious Black’s own imprint on it. The song is followed up by one on a similar theme – “Dying Hearts”. There’s something about these two songs that simply catches me, drags me into and keeps me there.

Noteworthy, is Urban’s vocal work in this album. While I am familiar with some of his work with Bloodbound, I don’t think I’ve ever really heard him being so versatile as I find him on this album, especially with these two tracks. It’s almost to the point where I don’t recognize it being him and that’s a pretty good thing for me personally – showing the different sides of one persons talent.

The pace is picked up in “You’re Not Alone” which fills the function of giving you a hint of hope after dragging you down in the heartbreak sever, and then an echoing, almost Amaranthe-like intro starts off to prepare you for the titletrack – The “Mirrorworld.” A song dealing with the emotion of being locked up in a situation you can’t get out of, suffocating you and trying to find your way. It’s followed up by “State of my Despair” which follows up the theme of the previous one, before wrapping up the album with “Unborn Never Die”.

To conclude it all, while still being in the spirits of “As Daylight Breaks”, it’s elevated. It’s better, bigger and essentially, taking more space. It’s got cheerful and big songs with adrenaline pumping lyrics as well as low key songs with touching lyrics and I also sense a little bit of 80’s inspiration – unintentionally or not, I love it. The album has a clean production and a good consistency throughout the album – there really aren’t anything I can complain about. Well done, boys!

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(Label: AFM Records)

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// Sara

 

 

Our leader’s heart is made of gold

Posted in Music, Tankar och funderingar, Uncategorized with tags , , , on February 7, 2015 by Sara Hammerzmith

So, it’s hard for me to wrap my head around the fact that just mere two days ago, I was in Frankfurt, Germany enjoying six amazing live shows. Serious Black, Orden Ogan, HammerFall, SinHeresY, Palace and Lordi.

And not only that. But this could possibly the best trip that I have ever done. That I have ever been on. Together with my two best, and most pathetic I might add, friends, going to the scared land of Metal (yes, Germany is because you guys get all the concerts!) to catch some of the best bands in the entire world live.

I still can’t comprehend what happened during HammerFall – how Stefan literally locked eyes with me, stuck with me for the majority of the gig and made sure I got a pick after the show. Like, since when did this happen? Or Serious Black, where do I even begin with these amazing people? Down to earth friendly kind of people. People are seriously missing out on something fantastic.

And then we have the monstars. The best band in this world, that award will always go to Lordi. I don’t want to know how much money I have spent on this band, but I sure as hell know that it’s worth it. It’s worth it, for everytime we’re there and raising our Swedish flag with pride, most certainly during “Hard Rock Hallelujah” and “Would You Love A Monsterman” because yes, we would love a monster. Or would, we do.

Some people don’t get it. Why we do it. Who the hell travels to Frankfurt, to catch the opening act of a show? Who travels to Frankfurt to see some stupid Eurovision band? Well. I can only say one thing.

Passion. It’s the passion for music, the love for music that drives us. The long days outside the venues, despite the minus degrees. It’s the moments when a bunch of Lordi fans stands together in a pile to keep warm, it’s the moment when you sit outside the doors at Neue Stadthalle and people ask you if you are really there all the way from Sweden.

It’s about the adrenaline rush that hits you when the doors open and it’s a game of life and death to hit the first row. It’s about the moment when Mana hits the drums after the keyboard to set off “Blood Red Sandman”. It’s the moments when you are all there singing “Ooooh Ooooh Ohhh HAMMERFALL!”. When you come home and see that the amazing people you met want to stay in touch with you.

And you know everything was worth it, when you get home and find these kind of messages waiting for you.

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Our leader’s heart is made of gold. It sure as hell is.

I can’t wait to get on the road again. I seriously can’t.

// Sara

Seroius Black, Orden Ogan, HammerFall @ Stadthalle, Langen, Germany 4/2 2015

Posted in Concerts, Music, Thiz Izz Djermani, Uncategorized with tags , , , on February 5, 2015 by Sara Hammerzmith

Alright people! Yesterday was the D-Day, and it was fucking amazing I’m telling you! So, once we hit the hotel we started to get ourselves ready for the gig, mentally and physically. After an hour or so (we actually had to go pick up some candy at a store, hello!) we were ready to hit the road. We had planned to be by the venue by 16-17, so yeah, hurry hurry!

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Since we didn’t manage to get on the train we planned, we had to take a later one and after running around a little bit in Langen we finally found Stadthalle. And you know, remember what I wrote about Amaranthe when we got to queue INSIDE with a private bar and everything? Like, sure, we didn’t have a private bar, BUT we did get to queue inside! And that was more than enough for us. The queueing system was a little fucked up, but yeah. It’s inside, what more can we ask for. We even spotted a REALLY cute guy, and that doesn’t even happen that often.

But aside that, it was fun as hell. Being with the girls on the road again just makes you SO FUCKING happy. Of course – most of the people around must have thought we were insane given that we were pretty rude to one another, but you know. This is how we roll, so if you ever see us at a gig and catch us almost starting to beat the crap out of each other, that’s good. If we sit in silent, that’s bad. VERY bad.

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They opened the doors around seven, and after a few ifs and buts we managed to get to the front row and Paula and Michelle held my place as I dashed to the merchtable to pick up some Serious Black merchandise. Tank top as planned, as well as a patch! Bingo! Ran back to the crowd, which wasn’t even a crowd and eagerly waited for Serious Black.

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At around eight sharp, Serious Black entered the stage and opened the show with “Temple of Sun”. To my surprise, we seemed to be the only fans upfront for this band. And what disappointed me SO MUCH is that everyone else, but us, stood completely still. You remember how said in my Amaranthe review that there really is a certain place in hell for people who aim for the front row and doesn’t do shit? Well, they are gonna get some new people down there!

The band however, was really energetic despite bad lame as fuck. They continued on with “Setting Fire to the Earth” before ripping off “High And Low”. Gladly, some people seem to awaken a LITTLE when “H&L” started, but I was still very surprised. I thought they had gained a LITTLE more popularity than this. Appears not.

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Well, I’m gonna have to admit that I was again defeated by my camera this time around, so not a whole lot of good photos sadly. The show went on with “Older and Wiser”, “Sealing My Fate” and wrapping it all up with “I Seek No Other Life”.

This was was REAL good. I really enjoyed it, despite it being very short, but then again, how long can you go with only one album? I was well pleased, and to top it off even better Mario flipped his pick at me! Woho!

Urban said on stage that the band would be by the merchstand so naturally, me and Michelle dashed! The first person we came across was Mario, and this is insane. He asked us what brought us here, all the way from Sweden, and I told him that I was really only at the HammerFall show because of them, and do you know what happened.

Do you fucking know what happened.

He got down on his knees.

And kissed my shoes.

LIKE. WHAT. That’s what I could have done with him. I didn’t even know what the hell to do, I was just standing there like oh my fucking god.

We worked our way around the band, and since Orden Ogan just started, we didn’t manage to Urban THIS while, so we dashed back to front row (how the hell was that even possible?) and rocked it out to Orden Ogan.

The only album I ever heard really and thoroughly with Orden Ogan is “Ravenhead”, so obviously I wasn’t very familiar with them aside the “Ravenhead” songs. BUT – they were REALLY good on stage, REALLY good live. I enjoyed it far more than I usually enjoy bands I’m not too much into.

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After Orden Ogan was done, we dashed back to the merchtable and caught up with Serious Black again, and this once around, we actually got to Urban thanks to Jan. I’m quite shy as you know and I don’t like interrupting other fans, but eventually we got there. At first he asked me, in Swedish, if we should exchange necklaces, but being half deaf as I am, apparently, I had to ask him three times what he said haha. But all was well – and we got to meet&greet him before running back with a LITTLE better time plan to HammerFall than we did for Orden.

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Like, this is something that intrigues me though. How the hell is it possible for us to continually running in and out between the shows, and still make it to the front row? The people didn’t cheer much more for Orden, I might add. I was so surprised, I thought “Well, this is gonna suck” but on the same time I felt like, have we gone this far, and managed to get to the front row, then we sure as hell are going to stand in the front row too.

Pretty much right on time they entered the stage and opened with “Hectors Hymn”. FINALLY – the audience awoke a little, not a lot, but a little. They followed the epic opening up with “Any Means Necessary”. I fucking love this song, do you even know? Like, “No Sacrifice, No Victory” is really my FAVORITE album with HammerFall, and particularly this song is SO FUCKING GOOD it ain’t even funny.

“Renegade” was next song to go, and I’m just. This is like the perfect setlist. Why are the bands treating me so good these days?

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“B.Y.H” was the next song to go, unfortuneatley, the amount of people ACTUALLY banging their heads was close to zero. Like, I expected SHIT TO GO DOWN in Germany, but it appears not?!

After “BYH” it was time for the song Paula had been waiting for all night – “Bloodbound”. Seriously, why are they so good to us? All this amazing songs, we don’t even deserve it! The band was going hard at it too, giving us a damn good time.

“Heeding the Call” was next, and finally we see some fists in the air and some singalong. Damn. Took you long enough.

Something that caught my eye on this particular gig was Stefan. Not that he was there, because that I knew. But how happy he was. Like, he seemed to be so FUCKING HAPPY to be back with the crew. I don’t mean to say he was unhappy before, I know nothing about it, but on the same time, it was just… so good to see you know?

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After “Heeding The Call” it was time for the big ole one – “Let The Hammer Fall”. And here’s the deal people. You know you’ve seen HammerFall live before if you can even talk with Jocke with all he says – “What do you say if I say Let The Hammer?”. I’m not sure how I should deal with that.

A new song was the next “Live Life Loud” before it was time for Stefan to get some spotlight. At first it started with Pontus doing his thing, and all of a sudden he let go of his guitar and it kept playing. Oscar made himself visible, so everyone was like “what?!”, ok, not really, most of us understood it was Stefan.

So he came out, and together with David, Oscar and Pontus on bassguitar they went over quite some HammerFall solos from many familiar songs. LOVED EVERY BIT OF IT.

Right after, the continued on with “Threshold”. “Threshold” hold a bit of a special place in my heart, as it was my first HammerFall album EVER, and my first HammerFall show ever was a the Threshold tour. So yeah, it was kinda mighty to hear it again.

“Last Man Standing” was next to be executed and they soon continued with “Glory To the Brave”. I fucking love it when they play this one live – it’s so mighty in a way, you know? Joacims voice doing all the work in the beginning and then it just.. it’s like “Amarathine”.

Another song off (r)Evolution was next – “We Won’t Back Down” before they wrapped the whole show up with “HammerFall” and left us wanting more.

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They soon returned, of course, and started off with “Templars of Steel”, “Bushido” and then wrapping the whole show up with “Hearts on Fire” (what else). And here’s where the next weird thing happens.

Throughout the show, Stefan has continuely played by me. He’s looked at me, and he’s interacted with me. Almost ALL the time. Afterwards, he locked eyes with me and threw the pick my direction, but someone else took it. So at first, he went onwards to the other side, BUT. He returned, and again locked eyes with me, POINTED at me, and I pointed at myself and was like “me?” and he nodded, and threw the pick at a closer distance and this enabled me to catch it.

Like. This is kinda surreal for me. This has NEVER happened to me before, that bandmembers have LITERALLY locked eyes with and been like “YOU are gonna have it”. Jesus fucking Christ.

After HammerFall was done, we headed back to the merchtable, first in order to pick up “Ravenhead” and have it signed by Orden Ogan and then to catch up a little more with Serious Black before we were removed from the area.

Seriously, I cannot remember a single time where I’ve interacted so much with bands as I did this time. And I’m kind of proud of myself, as I’m usually so bad at this because of my shyness. So yeah, I’m proud and happy. Together with Paulas friend (who is a doll, who kept our spots when we chased after Serious Black) we went back to the trainstation, back to Frankfurt and back to our hotels with one of the most epic experiences in our hearts.

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Now we just prepare ourselves for Lordi. Second night – COME AT US.

// Sara

REVIEW: Serious Black – As Daylight Breaks

Posted in CDs, Music, Uncategorized with tags , , , , on January 14, 2015 by Sara Hammerzmith

You may ask me, Sara, what is Serious Black? Well, I’ll tell you. Serious Black is the result of musicians from various successful metal bands coming together as one – but unlike most all-star bands, this is an actual band rather than a project. The idea for the band formed during a backstage talk in Spain during 2013, and after if’s and but’s they got together in the studio in Munich in January 2014 and started working on material, which ran real smooth and already after seven days together they had the foundation of what would become “As Daylight Breaks”.

The album is 11 tracks long and… how do I describe it. Imagine you taking your favorite songs from various different bands, and put them together as on a “Best of” album, and you get this album. Aside this isn’t a best of album by various bands.

We are talking about 11 powerful, melodic and at times EPIC songs. Like, first of all, we have the pretty raw and intense opener that is “I Seek No Other Life” – I can’t help but somehow think of the formation of this band when I hear “The time and place must be now”. The intensity and, how do I say it, seriousness in “Sealing My Fate”, the epicness that is the title track – sweet, serene and later on bombastic power-ballad. And this is only mentioning a few of the amazing songs on this album – if I was to go through each and every song, this would be a very long review.

A song I NEED to bring a little extra attention to though, is “High And Low”. This is the single, but it’s also the best song on the album, for a change. Normally I don’t fall for the singles, but this one… I can’t even. I’m literally sitting here, listening to it right now and swearing over the fact I won’t be seeing them any time soon.

This is a good production – solid material, fantastic production technicality wise and just a damn good start. I don’t know what else to say, but let me just say this: This album is so good, I was pulled over by the cops while driving. Headbanging deluxe!

4.5/5

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Label: AFM Records

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// Sara