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Tuska 2015 – Suvilahti Helsinki Finland

August 20th, 2015

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BY ARTO LEHTINEN AND MARKO SYRJALA

The Tuska Open Air Festival is definitely a real metal institution amongst all other metal festivals in Europe. This Suvilahti area located in the heart of Helsinki, is only a few kilometres away from the downtown of Helsinki, is a perfect place for the metallic onslaught during the weekend. As far as the line-up of 2015 is concerned, it offered a wide range of different sort of metal. Even a few hiphop vomits had been added to the line-up to draw other type of audience, which is truly odd. However Alice Cooper, Sabaton, In Flames as headliners and of course Amorphis did the whole TALES FROM THE THOUSAND LAKES album as well as Stratovarius doing all of VISIONS. All in all 25.000 people made a visit to Tuska during these three days. As usual Metal-Rules.com was present to check out a lot of bands and enjoy the burning sun.

 

FRIDAY

FORESEEN

Foreseen has carved the reputation as an aggressive live band. The four piece crossover outfit raged extremely hard when supporting Madball some time ago. However the slot at Tuska wasn’t that ideal and obviously the thrashers haven’t found this savage live band yet, because the venue wasn’t full at all. However during the 20 minute slot the band with the bald  singer delivered the uncompromising crossover metal with real old school style.

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EXODUS

Exodus has been on a long European tour, crisscrossing several countries. The gig at Tuska was the last one on the long run. As Gary Holt has been rather busy with his obligatory commitments with Slayer, the Heathen axeman had stepped in to take care of the guitars. Exodus sounded thrashingly brutal at Swedenrock and offered a real lesson in the thrash metal violence with the metal commader Steve Souza. Obviously the long run through several European fests may have squeezed the water out of the guys even though the band sounded tight and handled the gig in the professional way, but it was a bit sterile and plastic at Tuska. The set list had been shortened for a mere one hour sting unfortunately. They should have chosen a better slot for sure.

Black 13
Blood In, Blood Out
Children of a Worthless God
Piranha
Blacklist
Body Harvest
Bonded by Blood
The Toxic Waltz
Strike of the Beast

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LAMB OF GOD

Lamb Of God was supposed to enter the Tuska fest a few years back, but was cancelled due to all the hassles with Blythe’s arrest in the Czech Republic. The band was definitely highly anticipated amongst the audience. Yes, the band pulled the massive crowd and all hell broke on loose, when the opening riff cut the air. The massive pits were rioting in the audience when LOG whipped up the crowd to go insane and loose their minds. The frontman Randy Blythe proved to be one hell of a raging frontman as raging and running like a maniac all around the stage. The set included a plenty of well known LOG  tunes as well as the brand new songs from the new output STURM UND DRANG. LOG is a tremendously tight live band. Especially the current fill-in drummer Chris Adler is definitely the man behind the drumkit. Hopefully LOG will be seen in Finland soon again.

 

Desolation
Ghost Walking
512
Walk with Me in Hell
Ruin
Set to Fail
Still Echoes
Hourglass
Now You’ve Got Something to Die For
Vigil
Laid to Rest
Redneck
Black Label

 

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SABATON

Sabaton enjoys massive success at the moment. The band draws a lot of people to the show and especially now when the stage got its prestigious setup when a tank-look-alike had been dragged to the stage. Didn’t Kiss already have a tank on the stage back in the day?  Basically it is fun to see how newer bands recycling the old ideas. The whole massive spectacle was started out by the intro being the legendary wellknown Europe’s Final Countdown. It was rather odd as well as surprising to see how the kids born in the late 90’s kept singing the old 80’s hitsong. As for the gig, it was one big of comedy show thru the 90 minutes. The frontman Joakim seemed to have one kind of stand-up comedian talents to joke and act on the stage. It got a bit out of hand as Sabaton should let the music roll and reduce the amount of joking. Besides the joking, the pyros and bombs gave the bombastic fiery feeling to the warlike show. All in all Sabaton sounded tremendous great and delivered a brilliant show despite the joking. The Swedish warpowermetallers will return to Finland with Gamma Ray as a supporter…

The Final Countdown (Europe song)
The March to War
Ghost Division
To Hell and Back
Carolus Rex
Swedish Pagans
Resist and Bite
The Art of War
Soldier of 3 Armies
Gott mit uns (Swedish version)
White Death
Night Witches
Talvisota
Primo Victoria
Metal Crüe
Dead Soldier’s Waltz
Masters of the World

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SATURDAY

 

BLOODBATH

When the Swedish retrodeathmetallers tapped Nick Holmes to growl on the newest output, the interest toward the band increased tremendously.  Therefore the band has been crisscrossing the European festivals with the tight schedule. Bloodbath hit the main stage right in the afternoon. Obviously the timing wasn’t that perfect after all as Nick Holmes announced Bloodbath will never play again… in the daylight. Well, at least the sun scorched the ground so did Bloodbath. The old school death metal sounded pritive and raw. If Bloodbath had been around about 25 years ago, would they have achieved the success or remained on the cult status. However the nostalgia in the old school death metal is high  at the moment and especially having the known frontman as a singer definitely drew more attention. Bloodbath would definitely work in the underground death metal gig better than some open air festival under the burning sun.

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OBVLISCARIS

Ne Obvliscaris hail from Australia. The Aussies self-financed their trip to European soil and it was a worth of every penny for these Australians Prog-whatever metal they want to claim to be. However the true prog heads were totally obsessed and possessed by Ne Obvliscaris’ skills and extraordinary playing, at least judging by all the reactions in advance and especially after the gig. The band seems to have two different kind of singers, the first one was like some nice fellow looking like a dude dragged from some office, whereas another one presented more the evil screamo-emo approach. Obviously this sort of technical and skilled playing with the complex song structure appeals to Prog Metal fans, whereas for other metal fans it sounded pretty confusing.

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LOUDNESS

Japanese hard rock legends Loudness played in Finland for the second year in a row. Last year, the band received a lot of positive feedback from their Jalometalli metal, gig and now was Tuska’s turn witness the Thunder from the East. Loudness opened up with the bands biggest hit and best known song “Crazy Nights”. Although most of the audience are friends of heavier stuff it seemed that the song was well known and widely accepted among people. Maybe “Crazy Nights” can be describes a timeless classic, at least in the Loudness repertoire. The set list included only nine tracks and the classic THUNDER IN THE EAST was present with 4 tracks. The rest set was also from the early 80’s with the exception of “The Sun Will Rise Again” which is the title track of the band’s latest studio-album (2014).  Akira Takasaki proved his amazing guitarist skills but honestly it must be said say that Loudness is a bit obsolete band nowadays. Vocalist Minoru Niihara has never been the greatest vocalist on Earth and his singing sounds still barely English at times. The rhythm section of bassist Masayoshi Yamashita and drummer Masayuki Suzuki played tightly but so do countless other bands so that’s not a big news here. This show was purely a nostalgia but there were also unintentional humor that was certainly not intentional.  Maybe this band would work much better in different situation, such as intimate club gig where band could play a full 90-minute set, which would include material from the bands entire career.

Crazy Nights
Like Hell
Heavy Chains
We Could Be Together
Crazy Doctor
In the Mirror
The Sun Will Rise Again
S.D.I.

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AMORPHIS

Amorphis had announced to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the legendary TALES FROM THE THOUSAND LAKES they would be playing the entire album and some other songs. The gig was kicked off by doing the opening song INTO THE HIDING. Each song from the album got played in the chronological order. The songs sounded bombastic and truly awesome. Most of songs have been played after the album came out or rarely since.  The vocalist Tomi Joutsen hit each song perfectly with the true old school death metal style.  Especially his death metal vocals fitted to the old Abhorrence tune “Vulgar Necrolatry”. The next songs were the obvious choices such as My Kantele, Better Unborn. The Tales album is one of the most important metal albums in the Finnish metal genre.

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ABBATH

When Immortal kind of got drifted into the personal crisis, the frontman of Immortal launched the solo band of his own with his very own name Abbath for obvious reasons. The debut gig of Abbath was carried out at the Tuska Open Air. That was kind of weird as that sort of debut gig could have been expect to happen in his domestic country Norway. Well whetever, the debut show of Abbath at Tuska was a cool event. Abbath kicked the set off by doing the songs of the I project such as Warrior, Battalions. Of course Fenrir Hunts as a new Abbath song was the part of the set. Of course a bunch of Immortal tunes were the essential such as One By One, Nebula Ravens Winter etc. Nice set, but the band could have done more rare jewels from the past, but on the other hand this was an open air festival with the limited playing time, therefore seeing Abbath in a club would be awesome.

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IN FLAMES

In Flames is either liked or disliked nowadays. The older fans don’t appreciate the current modern approach whereas the younger fans seem to be fanatical for the newer style of In Flames. Even though the band divides the opinions they however deliver a good and professional performance. Even though they looked to have more aged in a few years than Gene Simmons in the last two decades, the Swedes managed to pull thru the show. Obviously Anders Friden is used to seeing the crowd surfing, as demanding the crowd to do the surfing cos Friden wanted to smell the crowd. There were some crowd-surfers which the security tried to kick them out. In Flames did a solid professional performance by delivering the 21st century stuff as well as two songs off from Clayman. It is obvious the younger metal generation are obsessed by the newer material. Even though In Flames seems to focus on the modern approach, the five-piece is still a pure live band and in a great way for sure.

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SUNDAY

WARMEN

Warmen is a fun side project of the keyboard player of Children Of Bodom.  However they featured  Alex Laiho on the mic for the last two songs and the session COB guitarist in the rank as well. Obviously Warmen should be considered some sort of tongue-in-cheek thing because of Laiho’s manners and all those guest showing up on the stage. The band was having fun and seemed to enjoy the time and joking to each other. Obviously it was time to take a bit relaxed mood for the COB camp to enjoy the flexible and not tight performance.

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 THE SIRENS

The Sirens is a project band thing featuring Liv Kristine, Anneke van Giersbergen and Kari Rueslåtten. All these ladies have gained the reputation of their own in various different bands in the past and present.The three female singers shared their duties and songs between them. However, each of these female singers definitely has the loyal fan base of their own with certain fave tunes. This more poppish sounding stuff was quite Listening to their singing was both utter pleasure and grim torture for ears.

 Treat Me Like a Lady
Vervain
Saturnine
Death Hymn
Stay
Image
Fearless
Push
Venus
Ride
My Wilderness
Strange Machines   
Sisters of the Earth

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DR.LIVING DEATH

It wasn’t that long time ago when the offspring of Suicidal Tendencies, Dr. Living Dead debuted at Tuska. The band hasn’t changed any since them, and why would they as the current concept seems to be working more than well. Of course, the mask thing is weird, but the crossover thrash ruled by causing a nice reaction amongst the audience. The circle pit was burning the floor up.

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OPETH

Opeth is tremendously celebrated and popular and enjoys the fanatical following in both amongst the metal fans as well as the progressive rock fans. Even though Opeth is also a tremendously boring live act, but in a way or another they manage to create a touching feeling with the atmospheric hymns and sounds. The frontman Mikael Åkerbelt’s singing has developed a lot and reaches the ethereal feeling with the catchy riffs blasting out of the speakers. Opeth is Opeth, there is no way the band would start venturing into some non-prog rock/metal direction.

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STRATOVARIUS

Finnish power metal pioneers Stratovarius have encountered many difficulties but nevertheless managed to continue their career successfully. A good indication of this is the band’s previous NEMESIS (2013), album, which is one of the best releases in band’s career. This time the band had no new album to promote but instead they played the bands most important album VISIONS (1997) in it’s entirely. In recent years, many bands have done the same. At least Dio, Iron Maiden, Kiss, Slayer and Accept have already done this in the past. But now it was Stratovarius’s turn. “Forever Free” opened the gig somewhat surprisingly, when it is not the first song on VISIONS.  The album’s hit single “Kiss of Judas” was second and it was followed by “Legions”. 10-song-long show ended with the band’s biggest favorite, “Black Diamond,” and then it was over. No encores and other songs. In fact, I’m not such a big fan of shows like this because on every album there are inevitably some filler songs and on the other hand so many great song remain missing. But don’t get me wrong. There was actually nothing wrong with the show and I’m sure that most of the old school Stratovarius fans were pleased. The band sounded great, Timo Kotipelto performed impressively, and Jens Johansson was as crazy as always. But in spite of everything, this gig was nothing more but “quite nice”.

Forever Free
The Kiss of Judas
Legions
Before the Winter
The Abyss of Your Eyes
Holy Light
Paradise
Coming Home
Visions (Southern Cross)
Black Diamond

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ALICE COOPER

The legendary king of shock rock doesn’t need much introduction here. Alice Cooper’s outstanding career has lasted almost 50 years already and there’s no end in sight. A man’s next album HOLLYWOOD VAMPIRES, will be out in September and it is his 27th studio album. During the past year and a half, Cooper has been on tour as a special quest for Motley Crue’s final tour. But he’s been playing one off headline shows as well and Tuska show was one of those.

The band opened up with classic Judy Collins cover “Hello Hooray” followed by one of Cooper’s late 80’s hit “House of Fire”.  The band looked really great and there was a lot of action on stage which also looked good with all those little details including skulls, monsters and much more. Alice himself was wearing a cool looking black/red striped costume and the rest of the band looked like a bunch of guys from the 80’s Mad Max movie with the exception of female guitarist Nita Strauss who looked just damn good on her tight leather suit. The set continued with old standards “No More Mr. Nice Guy” and “Under My Wheels” followed by “I’ll Bit Your Face Off” which was the only track from Cooper’s previous WELCOME 2 MY NIGHTMARE album. The band played songs from four different decades. “Billion Dollar Babies”, “Hey Stoopid”, “Lost in the America” and “Dirty Diamonds” proved that Cooper has managed to provide high quality material during his entire career.

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There is no Alice Cooper show without some stage gimmicks. During the “Welcome To my Nightmare” Cooper bring a giant constrictor on stage. This lucky snake is owned by “Finnish monster” and a huge Cooper fan Mr.Lordi. And of course the snake is called Alice. During “Feed My Frankestein” there was a huge “Frankestein” walking on stage. Of course Alice’s head was cut off with a giant guillotine after he tried to kill a lunatic house nurse on stage. All the classic show elements were present and in fact it didn’t matter that this everything happened in daylight. Musically the band was superb. Cooper himself was just as good as ever. It’s just amazing how Cooper in his mid’ 60’s can still deliver such performance both vocally and performing wise. If you now compare him to almost any other artist at same age you will see the difference. Three guitarists on stage might sound useless idea but it works great as every one of them has a totally different role. Strauss is clearly the main shredder whereas Tommy Henrikssen plays mostly rhythm parts and Ryan Roxie does everything in between. Bassist Chuck “Helvis” Carrick is another strong character on stage and he does a lot of backing vocals. He and drummer Glen Sobel are solid rhythm section and they make a great justice for the songs from all eras of Cooper.

Like said earlier, the set list was a great mix songs from four decades of Alice Cooper’s career. Among the classics my personal highlight was “He’s Back (The Man Behind the Mask). The song is from Cooper’s mid’ 80’s comeback album CONSTRICTOR and it sounded just phenomenal. The only blemish I can complain a bit was the number of cover songs played in the end of set. Maybe just one cover or a medley could have worked better than four full songs although those all were immortal 70’s classics. Beatles’s “Revolution” sounded great but otherwise the cover set was a bit boring to be honest.

The trio of Alice Cooper’s biggest hits closed down the show. “I’m Eighteen”, “Poison” and finally “School’s Out” featuring Michael Monroe were a perfect way to end this over 100 minute spectacle. All in all this show was a great and valuable end for this exquisite weekend.

Hello Hooray
House of Fire
No More Mr. Nice Guy
Under My Wheels
I’ll Bite Your Face Off
Billion Dollar Babies
Lost in America
Hey Stoopid
Dirty Diamonds
Welcome to My Nightmare
Go to Hell
Wicked Young Man
He’s Back (The Man Behind the Mask)
Feed My Frankenstein
Ballad of Dwight Fry
Killer
I Love the Dead
Break On Through (to the Other Side)
Revolution
Foxy Lady
My Generation
I’m Eighteen
Poison
School’s Out

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All in all 25000 metalheads made a visit to the Tuska Open Air festival of 2015. Even though Tuska definitely divides people’s opinions from one side to another side, but the fact is, Tuska will carry on. However, the organization has to find new ideas, but adding some weird reggae hiphop on the list was kind of weird. Metal bands can hardly be seen in hiphop festivals!  Overall, it would be superb to have less jokes and worthless crap in the line-up instead more metal and above all serious ones. Tuska should seriously think of having more classic metal bands in the list beside the newer generation of the metal genre. See ya Tuska 2016 !!!

WWW.TUSKA-FESTIVAL.FI

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Posted in 2015, Concert Reviews, Heavy Metal | Comments (0)

Bloodstock Open Air 2015

August 20th, 2015

Bloodstock Open Air 2015

@ Catton Hall, Derbyshire

6th – 9th August 2015

Review by Demitri Levantis

Photography by Michelle Murphy

 

Bloodstock2.0

Picture the scene: a field in south Derbyshire. One moment, quaint and calm; serene, leafy and undisturbed.

But then, as the sun arises to the midday point one cloudless Thursday in august, thousands upon thousands of heavy metal fans swarmed forth out of the woodwork that is England 2015, to attend the twelfth official Bloodstock Festival (11th open air to be exact).

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SABATON To Film Hometown Show For Upcoming DVD/Blu-Ray

July 18th, 2015
Sabaton

Sabaton

Swedish metallers SABATON will film their performance at the Sabaton Open Air in their hometown of Falun in August for an upcoming DVD/Blu-ray, to be made available in early 2016.

Says the band: “[Sabaton Open Air] is happening for the eighth year in a row, and this unique event has, over the years, brought people from around the world to this special show. Fans who have travelled there know what is so special about it, and now our plan is to share that with the rest of the world, so we decided to record the 2015 year’s show in full! [The DVD/Blu-ray] will also contain more SABATON stuff, including more live shows that we will explain more about later.

“We feel that the time is right for another live release. A lot has happened with SABATON since the last release which was recorded 2012 in Poland. We have a new album and Hannes [Van Dahl, drums] is now in the band. But not only that… we now have two new members on the stage. [Tanks] Audie and Walther! And, all together, we now make a show which is better then ever before. This is something we would love to record so it stays forever!

“If you wanna be part of a totally unique thing, come to Falun and join in the worlds biggest SABATON party.”

 

 

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SABATON – BRAZILIAN MILITARY ORCHESTRA PERFORMS “SMOKING SNAKES”

May 23rd, 2015

‘Smoking Snakes’ from SABATON’s current release, Heroes, deals with three Brazilian soldiers who were separated from their group in Italy in WW2. Refusing to surrender, the three soldiers fought against the German forces, which had more of soldiers than the Brazilians, until the bitter end.

On Brazil’s National Military Day, the Swedish heavy metal band was thanked by the military with a performance of their track “Smoking Snakes” by the orchestra of the 14th infantry brigade who are based in Florianopolis, Santa Catarina.

Watch the orchestra of the 14th infantry brigade’s performance of “Smoking Snakes” here:

SABATON’s bass player Pär Sundström commented about the performance: “This is one of those moments we are happy that we sing about history and not fiction. It’s absolutely fantastic to see that our music being performed like this!“

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SABATON ON AIR – Band launches their own radio station

May 13th, 2015

sabaton001Sabaton says:

Today we launch our very own radio station in cooperation with Radio Bandit Sweden. Its something we worked on for quite a while, and we feel really proud of it.

It is a digital radio station which mainly will play Sabaton songs, but also bands who have played or will play at our festival Sabaton Open Air – Rockstad: Falun can be heard there, which ensures that the mix will be just great.

Here you can hear your favourite Sabaton songs 24/7, and also hear us talk about the songs in a way you never heard before. Both historical and fun facts combined with unknown stories from our tours.

We talk Swedish, but you can listen from anywhere in the world.

Tune in and rock!

http://ilikeradio.se/

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From Hell’s Heart: Top 5 “NEW” metal singers

April 16th, 2015

From Hells Heart

From Hell’s Heart: Top 5 “NEW” metal singers

This list is meant to highlight NEW TALENT. For our purposes, that is defined as a singer who made their professional recording debut in the past 10 years (from 2005-2015). This means the singer was not on any recorded label releases prior to 2005. Keeping that in mind, we focus on some of the younger/newer talent that is out there.

We asked our staff to give us their top 5 selections and some thoughts on them. Check out the results below.

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SABATON: HEROES DELUXE EDITION DETAILS REVEALED

March 13th, 2015

To celebrate their triumphant return to North America this spring, Billboard-charting Swedish heavy metallers & avid war historians SABATON are releasing a special, 3-disc limited edition deluxe version of their 2014’s Heroes album, due out in the U.S. and Canada on April 7th.

SABATON: HEROES DELUXE EDITION

SABATON: HEROES DELUXE EDITION

Limited to 5,000 copies, this deluxe edition includes two discs of live audio recorded on the 2014 SABATON Cruise in addition to the original ten Heroes album tracks. Read the rest of this entry »

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SABATON w. Delain, Battle Beast Aura and Roadkill Soda – Jan 27th, 2015 Bucharest, Romania

January 29th, 2015

Sabaton, Delain, Battle Beast, Aura, RoadKill Soda

Bucharest, Romania
27.01.2015

Reporter: Anamaria Carla Ionita

(Please note: There were some last minute issues with access to the photo pit. )

Sabaton: Bucharest, Romania; 27.01.2015

Sabaton: Bucharest, Romania; 27.01.2015

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SABATON OPEN AIR (DE) ANNOUNCEMENT

January 8th, 2015
SABATON OPEN AIR GERMANY

SABATON OPEN AIR GERMANY

We are so excited for today’s announcement since its definitely something special. For a long time we have had the plans for doing a special and totally unique show in Germany and now that has become a reality.

In July we will organize Sabaton Open Air / Noch Ein Bier Fest, a headline concert where people for sure will get a unique show.

For this concert we have chosen the stunning (and famous from Rock Hard Festival) Amphiteatre in Gelsenkirchen and as support on this show we will bring some bands we know that you fans have requested. Our touring colleagues in Powerwolf & Korpiklaani as well as our old bandmates in Civil War.

So, there is the Sabaton Open Air / Rockstad:Falun festival in our hometown Falun, there is the Sabaton Cruise on the Baltic Sea and now there is also Sabaton Open Air / Noch Ein Bier Fest in Germany!

Tickets will be out Monday 12:th of January. www.sabatonopenair.net

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Sabaton @ The Slade Rooms, Wolverhampton

December 27th, 2014

Sabaton

@The Slade Rooms, Wolverhampton

December 9th 2014

Review by Andy Edwards/Nikki Ryan

Pics by Nikki Ryan

Sabaton

Sabaton

When ‘Heroes’ was released to critical acclaim earlier this year, it was obvious that Sabaton’s inevitable UK tour would be a mighty success. With arguably their best material since 2005’s ‘Primo Victoria’, it came as no surprise that Wolverhampton’s Slade Rooms sold out months before Sabaton’s return to our shores.
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SABATON Open Air 2015 – more bands announced

November 13th, 2014

sabaton0017 bands are now confirmed for the 2015 festival! They are:

  • Wintersun (FIN)
  • Orphan Gypsy (SWE)
  • Falconer (SWE)
  • Persuader (SWE)
  • Krisiun (BRA)
  • Orden Ogan (GER)
  • Saffire (SWE)

And of course Sabaton. Shortly we will announce more bands.

A few EARLY BIRD tickets is still available at: http://rockstadfalun.se

The festival takes place August 13,14 & 15 2015.

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Rockstad: Falun – Sabaton open Air 2015

October 27th, 2014

Sabaton have announced details for Rockstad: Falun – Sabaton open Air 2015:

Welcome to our hometown Falun and the eight edition of our festival. We can now announce the dates for our festival next summer. It will be August 13,14, 15. For all of you Sabaton fans who travels from near and far we do not need to introduce our festival any closer. But for anyone else we can just say that this is THE show you shall not miss if you want a very unique Sabaton experience.

Over the years bands like Helloween, Testament, Crimson Glory and D:A:D have done great shows here. The coming weeks we will start to announce other bands, more details and such. For now we think that all that was necessary was the date, and the fact that the early bird tickets will be out from 2.00 PM on the 29th of October @ www.rockstadfalun.se

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Amon Amarth Calgary Oct 4, 2014

October 14th, 2014

Amon Amarth

Deceiver of the Gods North American Tour 2014

October 4, 2014

Review and Photos by Monika Deviat

Amon Amarth © Monika Deviat

Amon Amarth © Monika Deviat

The Deceiver of Gods tour had finally made its way to Canada and on October 4, 2014 Amon Amarth stormed Flames Central in Calgary Alta., along with fellow Swedes Sabaton and Skeletonwitch from the U.S. The show was sold out and fans had lined up early before doors opened and the lineup, consisting of some peopled clad in Viking costumes, spanned a few blocks. Amon Amarth has played Calgary many times but it was their first time in the local hockey team’s themed venue. Calgary Flames symbols and paraphernalia decorate the venue. The room itself is decent for getting a view of the stage even if the venue is packed as it is multilevel. Merch tables were tucked away from the floor and had a constant line up of people buying some new items. The varying styles of bands worked well for this bill as each has developed quite a large following in Calgary.

Ohio’s Skeletonwitch were up first and the floor was already packed. The five pieces from Ohio launched right into a high energy and aggressive set. “More Cruel Than Weak” off their last release, Serpents Unleashed [Prosthetic Records, 2013], was the first song in the set and got the crowd moving right away. Vocalist Chance Garnette was stalking the stage menacingly and with the stage lights set up so high above the band, his eyes appeared to be ominous black pits. Guitarists Nate Garnette and Scott Hedrick delivered a skillful double les Paul attack. Skeletonwitch closed the set with “Within My Blood” and the audience was left thoroughly thrashed and ready for the next bands.

Skeletonwitch © Monika Deviat

Skeletonwitch © Monika Deviat

Skeletonwitch © Monika Deviat

Skeletonwitch © Monika Deviat

Skeletonwitch © Monika Deviat

Skeletonwitch © Monika Deviat

Skeletonwitch © Monika Deviat

Skeletonwitch © Monika Deviat

Smoke crept across the stage and the audience immediately began chanting “Sabaton!”. The band took the stage with big smiles and vocalist Joakim Brodén was bounding around the stage and lunging down to the audience’s level to make eye contact and throw some horns. The band was ready to entertain and the crowd was ready to party. Sabaton had made a great impression on Calgary in April 2014 and fans were singing along and jumping around with the band. When Brodén tried to get the audience to join in a rendition of YMCA there was little enthusiasm for it, so the band delivered a few more songs. Then Brodén brought out a guitar to have a riff/solo challenge with guitarist Chris Rörland and Thobbe Englund. Brodén was of course good naturedly showed up. He then pulled out a few bars of Metallica’s “Master of Puppets” and afterwards tentatively started singing “YMCA” and the crowd actually joined in fairly boisterously. Calgary had another fun night enjoying Sabaton’s music and stage antics.

Sabaton © Monika Deviat

Sabaton © Monika Deviat

Sabaton © Monika Deviat

Sabaton © Monika Deviat

Sabaton © Monika Deviat

Sabaton © Monika Deviat

Sabaton © Monika Deviat

Sabaton © Monika Deviat

Sabaton © Monika Deviat

Sabaton © Monika Deviat

By this time in the evening a large portion of attendees were inebriated and everyone was eagerly awaiting the Viking metallers to take the stage. There was already so much energy that when “Run to the Hills” played over the speakers during set change, everyone in the venue was singing along and some people even started crowd surfing. Amon Amarth opened with “Deceiver of the Gods” and hair started flying. Fans were singing along to choruses, headbanging, and the pit was kept consistently chaotic throughout the ninety minute set. After the second song “Runes Carved to My Memory”, frontman Johan Hegg customarily addressed the crowd under a single spotlight before thundering into “Death in Fire”. Other crowd favorites were “The Last Stand of Frej”, “Guardians of Asgaard”, and “Cry of the Blackbirds”.  The set was powerful and captivating this night. Non-stop crowd surfers had security working hard and diligently in the very small space allotted between the stage and barrier. Amon Amarth finished with “Twilight of the Thunder God” and “The Pursuit of Vikings” that had everyone roaring lyrics back to Hegg.

Amon Amarth © Monika Deviat

Amon Amarth © Monika Deviat

Amon Amarth © Monika Deviat

Amon Amarth © Monika Deviat

Amon Amarth © Monika Deviat

Amon Amarth © Monika Deviat

Amon Amarth © Monika Deviat

Amon Amarth © Monika Deviat

Amon Amarth © Monika Deviat

Amon Amarth © Monika Deviat

Amon Amarth © Monika Deviat

Amon Amarth © Monika Deviat

Amon Amarth © Monika Deviat

Amon Amarth © Monika Deviat

Overall it was a successful night for all the bands. Starting with the straight up intense brutality of Skeletonwtich, to Sabaton’s jovial set and Amon Amarth’s crushing ferocity, fans were left battered.

For more photos of the show, click here.

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Posted in 2014, Concert Reviews | Comments (0)

Sabaton Cruise 2014 – SOLD OUT!

September 7th, 2014
Sabaton Cruise 2014 - SOLD OUT!

Sabaton Cruise 2014 – SOLD OUT!

From Sabaton:

Last night we got the amazing news that the 5:th issue of our own cruise on the Baltic Sea was sold out in just a few hours!

Last year it took only 7 days and the year before it took around 3 weeks, but this years interest for our cruise was way over our expectations!

The staff at Tallink Silja says that this is a new record for them, BIG TIME! This is by far the fastest selling special cruise ever!

For all of you who didn’t  get a ticket:
Have a look every day online and / or call Tallink Silja to see if there is cancellations: http://www.tallinksilja.com/sv/web/se/sabaton

– Thank you, and see you aboard!

Tags:
Posted in Festival/Tour News, Power Metal | Comments (0)

Sabaton’s new album goes to #1 in Sweden!

May 24th, 2014

From Sabaton:

“Wow, we never had a number 1 chart entry before!”

It is now confirmed HEROES has gone straight to the #1 position on the official Swedish album chart.  Its predecessor, Carolus Rex has been on the Swedish charts ever since it was released two years ago!

SABATON - “HEROES”

SABATON – “HEROES”

Tags:
Posted in Heavy Metal, Power Metal | Comments (0)

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