Archive for Sabaton

Iza’s highlights of 2019

Posted in Editorial/Opinionated with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 31st December 2019 by izaforestspirit

It’s that time of the year again. Time for my annual best of list or “highlights” as I prefer to call them. 2019 was a eventful year for alternative music. There was a lot of new material that caught my attention which made selecting a top 10 much more difficult than last year. After much deliberation I have narrowed it down to the following albums:

1. Eluveitie – Antegnatos
Genre: Folk Metal
Eluveitie - Ategnatos
2. Children of Bodom – Hexed
Genre: Melodic Death Metal/ Power Metal
Children of Bodom - Hexed

3. The 69 Eyes – West End
Genre: Goth n’Roll/ Gothic Rock
The 69 Eyes - West End

4. Mgła – Age of Excuse
Genre: Black Metal
Mgła - Age of Excuse
5. Combichrist – One Fire
Genre: Industrial Metal/Electro-Industrial
Combichrist - One Fire - CD

6. Hocico – Artificial Extiction
Genre: Electro- Industrial/ Aggrotech
Hocico - Artificial Extinction - CD

7. Blutengel – Un:Gott
Genre: Synth-pop/Darkwave

8. Darkthrone – Old Star
Genre: Black Metal/Blackened Heavy Metal/Doom Metal
Darkthrone - Old Star

9. Sabaton – The Great War
Genre: Power Metal
Sabaton - The Great War
10. Ad Inferna – Des Diables et Des Dieux
Genre: Symphonic Black Metal

Honorable mentions:
Aurelio Voltaire – She’s Glowing
Taken from the album What Are The Oddz?

God Module – Cross My Heart
Taken from the album The Unsound

Scandroid – The Writing’s On The Wall
Taken from the album The Light

The long-awaited new Rammstein album also came out this year. Sadly, despite a having handful of great songs including ‘Deutschland’, it was a little disappointing. I expected more from them after a decade of waiting.

Best live show of 2019
Metallica live in Hämeenlinna

Runners up, honorable mentions go to: Behemoth live in Tampere and Blutengel live at Hellsinki Industrial.

New discoveries for 2019
Raven Said, Priest and Cygnosic

Most anticipated releases for 2020
a new albums from Helloween and Vader
Mono Inc- The Book of Fire
Celldweller – Satellites

That’s all from me. Happy New Year Everyone!

Iza Raittila

Sabaton – The Great War

Posted in Review with tags , on 26th July 2019 by izaforestspirit

Sabaton
The Great War
Released 19th July 2019
Power Metal
Released via Nuclear Blast Records

Sabaton - The Great War
Swedish power metal brigade are back with yet another historically themed album. As the title suggests it is The First World War, also known as The Great War. According to their official website they have been planning to make an album on this topic for quite some time. I wasn’t too impressed with their previous work but I decided to give this a go. After all it’s Sabaton, even their so-called bad albums have a least a few good tracks on them…

Well, after a few listens I can happily say that this album is a bit better thought-out and structured than their previous effort ‘The Last Stand’. While that album felt more like a collection of various ideas crammed into one full length, the songs on this one all sound like they belong together. Many of the tracks also feature a choir in the chorus making the music sound more dynamic. I quite enjoyed the opening song The Future of Warfare. It reminds me a little of ‘Night Witches’ from the ‘Heroes’ album. As far as the music goes, it’s classic Sabaton, with most of the emphasis being on Mr. Brodén’s powerful vocals and the catchy guitar riffs. Luckily they did not overdo it on the keyboards. Seven Pillars of Wisdom is one of the tracks that stood out the most for me. It’s very guitar-centric and the guitar work is pretty good as are the vocals. Also the lyrics are very well though-out and a serious improvement compared to some of their previous songs. As much as I enjoy Sabaton’s music, some of their lyrics are a little too cheesy for my liking. The title track is easily the best song on the album. Lots of energy, catchy guitar work, good use of a choir and powerful vocals. Nice work there, Sabaton!

If only the rest of the album were as good as those three tracks. Sadly that is not the case. There are several moments on here where I had this odd sense of déjà vu. Many of the songs sound like something that Sabaton has done before, albeit slightly modified and with different lyrics. I’m not going to list which tracks sound similar to older Sabaton songs because that would make this review into an essay. Let’s just say that there are many and if you have been listening to Sabaton for as long as I have, they are pretty hard to miss. There are also two songs that I simply couldn’t get into – the ultra cheesy -sounding The Red Baron and disco-metal of The Attack of The Dead Men. The latter really overdoes it with the keyboards and that chorus is just so irritating… I’m not sure why if find it so annoying, maybe it’s the frequent repetition of “again” and “hundred men”.

Overall, ‘The Great War’ is an improvement compared to Sabaton’s previous album but it’s still a far cry from the best work. It is a good album but not brilliant one. I wasn’t expecting them to make another ‘Carolus Rex’ but this is really the best that they can do?

4/5
Iza Raittila

Sabaton w/ guests – Porto, Portugal

Posted in Gig, Live with tags , , , , , , , on 28th January 2017 by Pieni

Sabaton, Accept, Twilight Force
Coliseu, Porto (PT)
20th January 2017
Promoted by Prime Artists

00000518-copy

“The Last Tour” – named after the album “The Last Stand”, not after some early desire of retirement – hit Porto at one of its biggest and renowned venues. A bit bold, as it turned out. True, the last time Sabaton played here, Hard Club sold out its 1000-person capacity, but Coliseu holds six times that number. On the other hand, with the background videowall and all the apparatus, Hard Club’s stage wouldn’t have been big enough.

dsc_0080-copy

dsc_0014-copyThe name Twilight Force hinted of power metal, and the dragon in the backdrop brought a positive certainty, even before the fast, chirpy melodies flooded the halls. A strange mix but they’re from Falun too and Chrileon was even Sabaton’s live backup singer back in the day (and rumor has it that the Spartans in the Sabaton song are played by four of them but I haven’t been able to confirm it) so from a friendship point of view, a fantasy power metal band opening for a militant heavy metal one makes perfect sense.
Chrileon got on stage wielding a sword to the sound of “Battle Of Arcane Might”. I don’t think many people knew them, but their high-spirits were contagious and soon everybody was riding along their “adventurous metal”. Funny blokes too, always teasing each other with a smile on their faces. “Gates Of Glory” was particularly welcomed by the crowd but the whole show left a positive mark.

dsc_0179-copy

www.facebook.com/twilightforce/

00000122-copy

00000196-copyThe “Generation Clash” – song they sadly didn’t play – went wild the moment Christopher Williams stood behind the drums screaming in salute. We have a saying in Portugal that goes something like “old are the rags”, meaning that “old” is a word that shouldn’t be applied to people, and the youthful attitude that Wolf Hoffmann & Co. put on that night could as well be the incarnation of such saying. From recent tracks like “Stampede” and “Stalingrad” to classics such as “Princess Of The Dawn” and the mandatory “Metal Heart” and “Balls To The Wall”, there wasn’t a single moment where “age” meant nothing more than “experience”. The synced headbanging and guitar hero poses, which I usually find so cliche, just felt right this time. I guess it all depends on who’s bringing the cliches to life after all. My heart was full.

00000351-copy

www.facebook.com/accepttheband/

00000426-copyEven though I was happy to see the old schoolers getting off their couches to support Accept, I was sad to see many of them leave and not give a chance to Sabaton. Well, their loss – as usual, the Swedes kicked ass. Even if I appreciated the 2014 gig more, their performance skills are unquestionable.
00000433-copyThey’ve been using their cover of Status Quo “In The Army Now” as intro since the beginning of the tour, so it’s not in memory of the Quo guitarist Rick Parfitt, who died last Christmas Eve. But it was a beautiful coincidence, and nice change – as much as I love Europe’s “The Final Countdown”.
Besides the powerful songs – “Ghost Division”, “Carolus Rex”, “Primo Victoria”, “To Hell And Back”, just to name a few – and their lively presence, their good humor and empathy towards the public are just as popular. When the show was halfway through, a roadie brought a keyboard and Joakim reminded us (well, informed, as some may not know the origins of the band) that he started out as Sabaton’s keyboard player. But when he started playing Van Halen’s “Jump” it became clear he wasn’t going to resume the role that night. Chris Rörland claimed that Tommy Johansson really knew how to play piano and to prove so, the new guitarist played a little of Beethoven’s “Für Elise”. From there, he engaged on their own “The Final Solution”, in a beautiful acoustic version.

00000466-copy

Later on, someone would throw a horned helmet with the Swedish colors that Joakim put on, saying that he probably looked like a “palhaço”. That’s Portuguese for clown, and the whole venue burst out laughing. And in the end, he tied a Portuguese flag on his back, like a cape, super-hero style, wondering if his super power would be being the best football player in the world. Great musicians, great performers and funny – what more could one ask from a metal show?

www.facebook.com/sabaton/

Text & photos by Renata “Pieni” Lino

Iza’s Highlights of 2016 (Part 2: Metal)

Posted in Editorial/Opinionated, Misc. with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 31st December 2016 by izaforestspirit

Time for the second part of my highlights of 2016, the metal edition. This part was much harder to write than the first because it took me a long time to chose my top ten metal of albums and even longer to decide on the winner. So here are my top ten favourite metal releases of 2016:

1. Vader – The Empire
Genre: Death Metal

This year, Vader strikes back with ‘The Empire’… Let’s face it, they were kind of asking for comments like this with that kind of an album title. Star Wars jokes aside, this is a really good piece of work. If you’re looking for some new death metal to check out, I would strongly recommend this album. Unlike their previous work, the masterpiece that was ‘Tibi et Igni’, ‘The Empire’ shows a back to basics approach. No complex structures or atmospheric intros, just good, old-school thrashy death metal. Best tracks: ‘Iron Reign’, ‘No Gravity’ and ‘Army-Geddon’.

2. Rob Zombie – The Electric Warlock Acid Witch Satanic Orgy Celebration Dispenser
Genre: Hard Rock/Industrial Metal

This year’s runner up deserves an award for coming up with the one of the longest album titles in years. I tend to refer to it simply as ‘The Electric Warlock’… Whilst still no match for his first two albums, ‘The Electric Warlock’ is Rob Zombie’s best work in years. Favourite tracks ‘The Hideous Exhibitions of a Dedicated Gore Whore’, ‘In the Age of the Consecrated Vampire We All Get High’ and the ultra cheesy but super catchy ‘The Life and Times of a Teenage Rock God’.

3. Devilment – II- The Mephisto Waltzes
Symphonic Gothic Metal/ Groove Metal

For those of you who read my highlights of 2015, you might remember my comments on the latest Cradle of Filth album. This year their vocalist Dani Filth has been busy working on the second album for his other band Devilment. ‘II- The Mephisto Waltzes’ is a delightful opus which happily mixes a variety of metal genres including Gothic, symphonic and groove metal. There’s even a touch of humour in the lyrics and several references to horror movies, modern horror literature and art – most notably Alfred Hitchcock and Stephen King. Best tracks are ‘Hitchcock Blonde’, ‘Dea Della Morte’ and ‘Full, Dark No Stars’.

4. Mortiis – The Great Deceiver
Genre: Industrial Metal

Ever since the Norwegian musician Mortiis started his own band in the mid ’90s, there has been some debate as to what category their music fits into. The older works are very much dark ambient, followed by the synth-pop period of ‘Smell of Rain, turning into the latest era of industrial rock. Their latest effort, the ultra creepy -sounding ‘The Great Deceiver’ is undoubtedly their heaviest and most complex album to date which is why I chose to include it in my metal top 10. Best tracks: ‘Doppelganger’, ‘Demons are Back’ and ‘Shining Lamp of God’.

5. Moonsorrow – Jumalten aika
Genre: Pagan Black Metal

Moonsorrow caught my attention after I saw them live at Tampere Metal Meeting Festival in the summer. I like some of their older material and after hearing some of the new songs live I decided to check out their newest album ‘Jumalten aika’. This is one of those releases where there are no real outstanding tracks, but rather the whole album is worth listening to in full. It’s one of the best pieces of pagan black metal that I’ve heard in a long while.

6. The Vision Bleak – The Unknown
Genre: Gothic Horror Metal

German Gothic horror metal duo The Vision Bleak are back with a new album. ‘The Unknown’ struck me as being somewhat “Lovecraftian”, both in the visual concept of the cover art and the the lyrical themes. Musically it is in every bit that you can expect from a Vision Bleak album; eerie Gothic horror metal with some doom influences added creating the soundtrack to your worst nightmare. Best tracks ‘The Kindred of The Sunset’ and ‘Into the Unknown’.

7. Metallica – Hardwired…To Self-Destruct
Genre: Thrash Metal/Heavy Metal

Just in case anyone is wondering why the new Metallica is so low down on this list, the truth is that I expected it to be better than it turned out to be. After all, it’s been eight years since their last studio album. Needless to say that the expectations were high. I wasn’t expecting this to be another ‘Master of Puppets’ or ‘Ride the Lightning’ but I was hoping for something along the lines of ‘Death Magnetic’ which I really enjoyed. Luckily ‘Hardwired…To Self-Destruct’ isn’t as bad as ‘St. Anger’ but it’s hardly a masterpiece. To be honest I think that it would be have been better off as an EP with just four or five tracks instead of the 12 songs and 13 music videos. I definitely like the first disc more than the second one and my favourites include: ‘Moth To The Flame’, ‘Dream No More’ and ‘Spit Out The Bone’.

8. Sabaton – The Last Stand
Genre: Power Metal

Sabaton are one of the very few power metal bands that I like. I’ve always enjoyed their live shows and I’m very fond of the concept album ‘Carolus Rex’. As with all Sabaton albums, their latest piece of work doesn’t disappoint as far as the historical themes go. This one tells the stories of eleven defensive “last stand” battles. Each song focuses on a different battle from various historical events ranging from ancient Greece, medieval Scotland, the two World Wars to Japan at the time of the samurais. That sounds awesome in principal, if only the actual music was that good. Sadly it isn’t. It’s ok but not great and most of the time Sabaton are just recycling old ideas, changing the themes but making similar music. The only tracks that I liked are: ‘Shiroyama’, ‘The Last Battalion’ and ‘Blood at Bannockburn’.

9. DevilDriver
Trust No One
Genre: Groove Metal

DevilDriver - Trust No One

The only real groove metal entry on this list, ‘Trust No One’ is DevilDriver’s best work in years. It is an aggressive beast of guitar-driven groove metal made all the more powerful thanks to Dez Fafara’s vicious growls. Best tracks: ‘Trust No One’ and ‘Daybreak’.

10. Theatres des Vampires – Candyland
Genre: Gothic Metal

It’s been a while since the Italian Gothic metal band Theatres des Vampires have released anything new. I’ve been a fan of their music for many years and so I was keen to get my hands on a copy of their latest piece of work. ‘Candyland’ is somewhat more metal-sounding than its predecessor ‘Moonlight Waltz’. There are notably less vampire themes on here compared to the previous album but other than that not much has changed. Sonya Scarlet is still the key figure in Theatres des Vampires. Whilst I still prefer their older works, back when Lord Vampyr was still a member of the band, I did enjoy this album. Best tracks ‘The Morgana Effect’ and ‘Resurrection Mary’.

 
Biggest New Discovery: Powerwolf
Best live show of 2016: Powerwolf live in Tampere
Most anticipated albums of 2017:
Ex Deo – The Immortal Wars
New albums from Cradle of Filth and (hopefully) Behemoth.

That’s all from me for now. Happy New Year!

Sabaton – The Last Stand

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on 8th August 2016 by izaforestspirit

Sabaton
The Last Stand
Released 19th August 2016
Power Metal
Released via Nuclear Blast

Sabaton doesn’t need much of an introduction. Since the turn of the millennium, the Swedish group have been entertaining us with their historically themed, highly catchy power metal and energetic live shows. Their concerts are always great to watch; however the same cannot be said about their albums. Whilst they haven’t produced any complete garbage thus far, some of the albums are less memorable than others. As for which is their best effort, that varies depending on who you ask… Personally I’m a huge fan of the concept album ‘Carolus Rex’, which I believe is an absolute masterpiece and their best work to date. The follow-up ‘Heroes’ had its moments but it never matched the same level of excellence. This brings us to their latest effort ‘The Last Stand’, a concept album which tells stories of eleven defensive “last stand” battles.

Each song focuses on a different battle from various historical events ranging from ancient Greece, medieval Scotland, the two World Wars to Japan at the time of the samurais. So that’s the themes explained, now let’s talk about the actual music… The bombastic and “epic”-sounding Sparta has all the features you would have hoped to hear from an opening track. The ultra-catchy keyboard tunes, epic chanting and cries of “Sparta!” and “Hellas!” in the chorus is enough to make you want put on some armour and run down the nearest hill to attack. Oh wait, hold your horses! Before you start your charge you might want to stick around and listen to what else is on here…

Is that bagpipes I hear? Oh yes!! Bagpipes, a hammond organ, heavy metal and cries of “rally all the clans” along with references to The Scottish Revolution. These are all the things that make Blood of Bannockburn one of the best tracks on the album. Another song that caught my attention was Shiroyama mostly due to the chorus and references to the “the last stand of the Samurai”. I don’t know much about the Japanese history, but I’ve always found the samurai culture intriguing and after hearing this song actually decided to do some research about this battle. Arigatō Sabaton!

So those were my choice cuts, now about the rest of the album… Well, sadly there’s a few tracks on here that sound oddly familiar. Take Winged Hussars for instance, the entire structure, everything from the sing-along-narrative, the keyboards, the guitar riffs to the chorus, is very similar to another song with reference to Polish history – Uprising from the ‘Coat of Arms’ album. Then there’s The Lost Battalion which sounds like an leftover from the ‘Heroes’ album.

Overall it’s a decent effort but there’s quite a bit of recycled ideas here. The stories are all unique but some of the music is a case of Sabaton playing it safe and creating something that’s very similar to what they have done before. It’s as if someone took the best tracks from ‘The Art of War’, ‘Coat of Arms’ and ‘Heroes’, stuck them all in a blender and poured the results into new frames. I’ve been there, done that, I won’t be buying the t-shirt but I’ll probably get the album for Sparta, Blood of Bannockburn and Shiroyama.

3.5/5

Iza Raittila

Sabaton reveal title and artwork for new album

Posted in News, Studio Report with tags , , on 2nd May 2016 by izaforestspirit

The Swedish power metal band Sabaton have recently announced that their new album, the follow-up to ‘Heroes’ will be entitled ‘The Last Stand’. They are currently in the studio working on this latest piece of work with the help of their producer Peter Tägtgren.

‘The Last Stand’ is scheduled to hit the shops worldwide later this summer, on 19th August via Nuclear Blast Records.

You can check out the cover art below:

http://www.sabaton.net/

https://www.facebook.com/sabaton/timeline

 

Iza’s Highlights of 2014 (part 1: Metal)

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on 30th December 2014 by izaforestspirit

It’s been an eventful year for alternative music. Not only were there lots of great new albums and shows but also some old bands like At The Gates coming back after a long break. For this year’s summary I’ve decided to focus on the albums that caught my attention:

Best Metal albums

1. Behemoth – The Satanist
Genre: Blackened Death Metal

This is without doubt my favourite release of 2014 and the metal album which I’ve listened to the most this year. I simply can’t get enough it. It’s been five years since ‘Evangelion’ but it was definitely worth the wait. ‘The Satanist’ is multi-faceted and very complex as an album but that’s why I like it so much. It combines the brutality old Behemoth with the atmosphere and the “epic” feel of their newer work. Best tracks: ‘Blow Your Trumpets Gabriel’, ‘Ora Pro Nobis Lucifer’ and ‘O Father O Satan O Sun’.

2. Vader – Tibi et Igni
Genre: Death Metal

The Polish death metal titans are back. I’ve been a fan of their music for over a decade. While I enjoyed their previous effort ‘Welcome to the Morbid Reich’ it’s no much for this. In my opinion ‘Tibi et Igni’ is their best album after my all time favourite ‘ Black To The Blind’. If you’re a Vader like me then you probably know what to expect: aggressive and brutal death metal with thrash metal guitar mixed in. Best tracks: ”Go To Hell’, Hexenkessel’, ‘Triumph of Death’.

3. Kampfar – Djevelmakt
Genre: Pagan Black Metal

It’s been twenty years since Kampfar was formed and there’s no better way to celebrate the anniversary than with a new album. And what an album it is! ‘Djevelmakt’ is every bit as haunting and atmospheric as its predecessor ‘Mare’. Best tracks: ‘Mylder’ , ‘Swarm Norvegicus’, ‘Our Hounds, Our Legion’.

4. Sabaton – Heroes
Genre: Power Metal


Sabaton is one of the very few power metal bands I listen to. ‘Heroes’ might be a follow up to ‘Carolus Rex’ but it is very different both in terms of the themes and the overall structure. Here each song tells a story, of an individual or small group whose actions left their mark on history. Best tracks: ‘Nightwitches’, ‘To Hell and Back’ and ‘Resist and Bite’.

5. At The Gates – At War Reality
Genre: Melodic Death Metal


It’s been a while…These guys haven’t released an album since ‘Slaughter of the Soul’ back in 1995. What ever their reasons were for such a long break, I’m just glad that they’re back. The new album ‘At War With Reality’ combines the older style with their more experimental phase ‘Slaughter of the Soul’. Best tracks ‘Heroes and Tombs’ and ‘The Night Eternal’.

6. Metsatöll – Karjajuht
Genre: Folk Metal


The Estonian wolf-pack have returned. Like it’s predecessor ‘Ulg’, this album follows their tried and tested formula of catchy heavy metal with traditional Estonian folk instruments. Best tracks: ‘Külmking’ and ‘Lööme mesti’ (featuring Jonne Järvelä from Korpiklaani).

7. Vallenfyre – Splinters
Genre: Death/ Doom Metal


This band first got my attention due to the impressive line-up; it features members of both Paradise Lost and My Dying Bride as well as Adrian Erlandsson on drums. In many ways it reminds me of old Entombed, Celtic Frost as well as as the early works of Paradise Lost. Best tracks: ‘Bereft’ and ‘Splinters’.

Stay tuned for part 2: Industrial edition coming soon.

Sabaton announce several UK tour dates

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , , on 15th June 2014 by Pieni

 photo sabatonuk_zpsfade1c82.jpg

Last month, Sabaton‘s seventh studio album “Heroes” hit the stores. Now the Swedes themselves will hit the stages to introduce it to you live, bringing along Korpiklaani and Týr. UK will have a full leg on this European tour, happening on the following dates (click links for tickets):

Nov 28th – Norwich, Waterfront
Nov 29th – Brighton, Concorde 2
Nov 30th – Plymouth, White Rabbit
Dec 2nd – Reading, Sub 89
Dec 3rd – Weymouth, Pavilion
Dec 5th – Glasgow, QMU
Dec 6th – Dublin, Academy
Dec 7th – Belfast, Limelight
Dec 8th – Manchester, Ritz
Dec 9th – Wolverhampton, Slade Rooms

2015
Jan 12th – London, Forum

Pär Sundström, bass player and founding member, commented: “Finally we can reveal our plans for UK this year! We love to play a lot of shows and we love to see a sweaty sold out club everywhere! Sabaton always brings a good party wherever we go and when we take Korpiklaani and Týr with us for this run its certain that we will leave no city untouched”.

Sabaton online:
http://www.sabaton.net
http://facebook.com/sabaton
http://www.twitter.com/sabaton
http://www.youtube.com/sabaton

Sabaton release studio trailer displaying the making of Heroes

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , on 7th March 2014 by Nico Davidson

19th May will see the release of the new album, Heroes, from Swedish power metal overlords Sabaton. In anticipation of the band’s seventh studio album, they have released the first video in a series of trailers showing the making process of the new album. The trailer can be viewed below.

Sabaton online:

http://www.sabaton.net
http://facebook.com/sabaton
http://www.twitter.com/sabaton
http://www.youtube.com/sabaton

 

Enhanced by Zemanta

Sabaton unveil artwork for new album Heroes

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , on 8th January 2014 by Nico Davidson

Sweden’s premier power metallers Sabaton have unveiled the artwork, as seen above, for their upcoming album Heroes which will be released in May, later this year. The band are currently in Abyss Studio with Peter Tägtgren recording the new album. The stunningly powerful artwork was created Péter Salla. The band’s bassist Pär Sundström comments:

We will record the album in Abyss studios together with Peter Tägtgren who also did Carolus Rex for us. He still has some aces in his sleeves that we are sure will lift the new album. We had the title in mind since before we even recorded Carolus Rex and we already had ideas for artwork years ago. We had a few different ones to choose from, but when we saw this one, we knew it was the right one for this album.

Sabaton online:

http://sabaton.net
http://facebook.com/sabaton

 

Enhanced by Zemanta

Dark Essence Records post tracklisting for Alfapokalyps

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , , , on 6th January 2014 by Nico Davidson

Norwegian label Dark Essence Records recently unveiled the tracklisting for Alfapokalyps, the upcoming album from Swedish rockers Alfahanne. The ten-track album will be the debut full-length release from Alfahanne, a name that is relatively new on the scene compared to some of the label’s more venerable artists, yet it is a band that has managed to tempt the likes of Taake’s Hoest, Shining’s Niklas Kvarforth, and Helheim’s V’gandr to make guest appearances on Alfapokalyps.  Set to hit the streets on the 10th of February, Alfapokalyps was  mixed by Tore Stjerna at the Necromorbus Studio.  Artwork, as seen above, is by Mikael Skoog. The tracklisting for Alfapokalyps is as follow:

1. Bättre Dar – guest vocals from Niklas Kvarforth (Shining)
2. Ormar Af Satan
3. Såld På Mörkret – guest vocals from Hoest (Taake)
4. Dödskult
5. Rocken Dör
6. Syndarnas Flod
7. Alfa Hordes
8. Indiehora – guest vocals from V’gandr (Helheim, Taake)
9. Där Drömmarna Dör
10. Alla Ska Mé

Formed in 2010, Alfahanne’s debut release came in 2013 with the release of the Grym split 7” with Sweden’s Shining. Alfahanne plays what its members describe as Alfapocalyptic Rock, which mixes Black Metal with Classic Rock and Punk, all topped off with some Goth influences.  It is music that is both powerful and beautiful whilst at the same time is ugly, and about which the band says:

When you are into it you don’t feel pleasure and you don’t feel pain but you definitely FEEL.

Whilst Alfahanne might be a fairly new name to a lot of people, the band’s members, which include Pehr Skioldhammer on Vocals and Guitar, Fredrik Sööberg on Guitars, Niklas Åström on Drums and Jimmy Wiberg on Bass,  have been around the Black Metal scene since the early ‘90’s, playing in bands like Vinterland and early Maze Of Torment.

Alfahanne’s next live appearance will be on the 16th of April at the Dark Essence Records Club Night at the Inferno Festival in Oslo.  They are also set to appear at the Tons of Rock Festival alongside Sabaton, Sepultura and Soilwork in June.

Alfahanne online:

https://facebook.com/alfahanneofficial
http://reverbnation.com/alfahanne
http://youtube.com/channel/UCzlnEhv8tEx2GNRAqVduRMQ
http://soundcloud.com/alfahanne

 

Enhanced by Zemanta

Sabaton announce new drummer

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , on 18th November 2013 by izaforestspirit

The Swedish power metal band Sabaton have just announced that Hannes Van Dahl (ex-Evergrey) will replace Robban Bäck and Snowy Shaw as their permanent drummer.

Van Dahl had previously worked as a drum technician for Snowy during his time in Sabaton. He played his first show with Sabaton this weekend at the Metal Hammer Paradise festival in Germany.
Here is the official statement from the band:

“For some time there has been rumors about Robban coming back soon, or that Snowy would fill in for a while longer, or even take Robbans place permanently behind the drums.

To put an end to these rumors we now present our new full time member in Sabaton: Hannes Van Dahl.

We would of course like to thank Robban and Snowy for their great time in Sabaton, and we will continue to support them in everything they will do in the future!

In just a few weeks we will start recording a new album and more details will be presented very soon!”

 photo sabaton_zps4b13c637.jpg

Sabaton reveal first clip from Swedish Empire DVD

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , on 21st August 2013 by Nico Davidson

Swedish metallers Sabaton have revealed one of the tracks from their upcoming DVD release: Swedish Empire Live. The chosen track that will tease fans is Ghost Division and can be viewed below.

Swedish Empire Live is set for release on 23rd September via Nuclear Blast as the following formats:

DVD – Blu-RayCD2LP – Earbook

Swedish Empire Live will feature the band’s stunning live performance at the renowned Polish Woodstock Festival last year where over half a million fans had gathered to watch Sabaton deliver a truly epic set. Aside the main feature, the DVD will also feature live footage of the band’s shows in London, Gothenburg and Oberhausen on their extensive Swedish Empire tour.

Sabaton online:

http://facebook.com/sabaton

Kataklysm unveil artwork for upcoming album, titled Waiting For The End To Come

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , on 6th August 2013 by Nico Davidson

Canandian death metal powerhouse Kataklysm have revealed the artwork for their upcoming release Waiting For The End To Come. The artwork, which was created by Peter Sallai (Sabaton), will be featured on the standard jewel case and limited edition cassette tape versions of the new album, which is set to be released 28th October. Frontman Maurizo Iacono explains:

The new album art depicts a child, which represents innocence in humanity, covered in dirt and blood from life’s experience. In front of him is death represented by a reaper, who comes to claim his soul for the afterlife or the abyss, whichever way you want interpret what happens next. We leave it open to the fans to decide with their own beliefs. This depiction of the transition between life and death was made by Hungarian artist Peter Sallai, and will be on the standard CD jewel case and limited edition cassette tape versions.

Waiting for the End to Come was recorded by guitarist Jean Francois Dagenais and mixed by Zeuss (Suffocation, Hatebreed, Arsis).

Kataklysm are performing this weekend at the UK’s biggest independent metal festival, Bloodstock Open Air, at Catton Hall, Derby. Kataklysm will be playing on Saturday on the Ronnie James Dio Stage.

Katakylsm online:

http://facebook.com/kataklysm

 

Sabaton reveal formats for Swedish Empire Live and cover artwork

Posted in News with tags , , , , , on 31st July 2013 by Nico Davidson

Sabaton – the stars of Sweden’s heavy metal scene – have recently revealed not only the cover art for their upcoming DVD/Blu-Ray live release Swedish Empire Live but also the list of formats it will be released as plus tracklisting.

Swedish Empire Live – which is the band’s first ever DVD/Blu-Ray release – features their stunning performance at the renowned Woodstock Festival in Poland last year where over half a million had gathered to watch Sabaton. Besides that overwhelming main feature, Swedish Empire Live will also feature footage of Sabaton performances in London, Gothenburg and Oberhausen on their extensive Swedish Empire Tour.

Swedish Empire Live will be released on September 23rd, 2013 and will be available as:

2Blu-Ray Digi
2DVD Digi
CD Digi
2LP (limited black vinyl in gatefold + poster)
Earbook
(2Blu-Ray + 2DVD + CD + exclusive bonus CD, 48 pages Earbook)

Sabaton online:

http://www.sabaton.net
http://www.facebook.com/sabaton
http://www.twitter.com/sabaton
http://www.youtube.com/sabaton

 

Sabaton announce release date and title for first ever DVD?Blu_Ray release

Posted in News with tags , , , , on 23rd July 2013 by Nico Davidson

Swedish metal heroes Sabaton have announced the title and release date of their upcoming FIRST EVER DVD/Blu-Ray release. The band comments:

We can now confirm the release date of the DVD/Blu Ray we recorded last year. It will be released in the UK on 23rd September, 2013 via Nuclear Blast Records.

And… The title of our first ever real DVD/Blu-Ray release is Swedish Empire Live. More details will follow soon. We can tell you that we have watched this countless times and feel very proud and cannot wait to share all this with all of you. You are in for a great surprise!

Sabaton online:

http://www.sabaton.net
http://www.facebook.com/sabaton

Lonewolf – The Fourth and Final Horseman

Posted in Review with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on 1st July 2013 by Hannah

Lonewolf
The Fourth and Final Horseman
Released: July 2013
Power Metal
Released via Napalm Records


The Fourth and Final Horseman is a valiant effort from French power metal powerhouses Lonewolf. At times reminiscent of other fully fledged champions of the genre like Sabaton, or indeed legends such as Manowar or Blind Guardian, they also promise variety and versatility with tinges of Children of Bodom, Wintersun and even the late, great Bathory. However, this variety never fully manifests, and it’s something that lets the band down here.

Don’t get me wrong, in the long run, I think TFAFH is a cracker of an album. Jens Börner’s often criticised vocal style actually works in their favour, in my opinion; his voice is intensely gravelly, very throaty and I can understand why it puts people off, but I think it elevates their sound beyond the normally ultra-slick and squeaky clean production of most power metal bands and adds a heavy, gritty edge to their music. Of course there is a major Running Wild influence throughout but Lonewolf get too much flack for this and I think it’s time we accepted that, and moved on!

There are some fantastic tracks on offer here. Opener and title track ‘The Fourth and Final Horseman’ is a strong start, with a simple, repetitive and infernally catchy chorus that will get stuck in your head for the rest of the day- a formula Lonewolf tend to stick to throughout the rest of the album! Here, Börner and guitarist Alex Hilbert definitely show off their virtuoso capabilities with spiralling guitar harmonies; again, a formula they will stick to. Most of the time, this faithful adherence to this tried-and-tested method of song writing doesn’t detract from their sound, and I am tempted to say if something works, then by all means go for it! It works well in tracks ‘Hellride’ and ‘Time for War’, for example, but leaves ‘Throne of Skulls’, ‘The Brotherhood of Wolves’ and ‘Guardian Angel’ quite uninspiring.

Where TFAFH reaches its most impressive heights for me is in the tracks that promise echoes of something more; those hints of variety that I mentioned previously. ‘The Poison of Mankind’, for example, starts very strong with an almost cinematic, choral tinged opener that slowly builds into a stomping tune that eventually reverts to the usual Lonewolf formula, but still maintains that atmosphere created by the start of the track. A similar effect is achieved in ‘Dragonriders’, with its almost Celtic, folk-tinged melodies and in album closer ‘Destiny’, in which a slow, almost acoustic feeling promises a brooding and atmospheric closer before it once again falls into simply another stomping, energetic power metal track.

Don’t get me wrong; their formula works, and I don’t think any of the songs on this album are bad; on the contrary, they are impressively energetic, and good all-round metal songs with more than a tinge of the retro. I just wish they had the balls to stick with the slower, more melodic and quieter elements sometimes! This is why the standout track for me, by far, is the only one in which they manage to maintain that epic, melodic atmosphere throughout, and that is in the Bathory-esque ‘Another Star Means Another Death’. Change the vocals and it wouldn’t sound that out of place on Hammerheart or Blood Fire Death. It begins with a beautiful, brooding, slow burning melody that quickly builds into heaviness but manages to keep that brooding atmosphere bubbling throughout.

Overall, there is some fantastic guitar work going on throughout this album, and I enjoyed most of it. However, I can’t help but think that Lonewolf would silence their critics if they only managed to shake things up a bit, and show off the versatility that is so blatantly hiding under the surface. Having said that, I do think that this is a good album and a must for any fan of power metal, and I even think that this would be a good choice for those that don’t usually dabble in the genre. A good effort; I just want to see more variety on the next album.

3/5

Hannah O’Flanagan

 

First bands for Wacken 2013 announced

Posted in News with tags , , , on 4th August 2012 by Nico Davidson

Wacken Open Air, which is considered the biggest metal party of the year, is still in full swing but like last year, the pre-sales proved to be such a success that the organisers have decided to announce the first lot of bands for next year.

Confirmed acts so far include Anthrax, Nightwish, Sabaton and Arch Enemy. Pre-sales of the X-Mas Wacken 2013 package begin at midnight on Monday 6th August.

Source: MetalMouth.net

Former Blaze Bayley guitarist returns

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , on 27th July 2012 by Nico Davidson

Former Blaze Bayley guitarist, Jay Walsh, returns with new UK based thrash metal outfit Bull Riff Stampede (featuring British and Italian band members who’ve shared stages with Anthrax, Sabaton, Amon Amarth, Sikth etc).

Bull Riff Stampede’s debut album ‘Scatter The Ground’ is out now.

Bull Riff Stampede are turning heads; having already been billed with Sepultura, Evile and playing the UK’s prestigious Download Festival.

 

Avven – Kastalija

Posted in Review with tags , , , , , on 25th May 2012 by izaforestspirit

Avven
Kastalija
Released: April 2011
Folk Metal
Self-released

‘Kastalija’ is the second album from the Slovenian folk metal band Avven. According to a statement by the band their name is derived from the Welsh term ‘awen’ meaning “inspiration”.

From the start of the intro of the opening track ‘Zmaji’ the music shows its true colors as Slavic folk metal akin to the likes of Nomans Land. Avven like to sing in their native tongue and this along with the combination of metal and traditional folk instruments such as the tin whistle and the flute definitely work towards their advantage. This is seriously catchy stuff!

‘Ros’ features a female singer which gives a somewhat softer touch to the music in contrast to the main, male vocals. The violins also make the song stand out for all the right reasons. There’s something really uplifting about this particular track which tempts to try and sing along. ‘Nuala’ is slower and more sombre in nature but the cello, violin melodic duet between male and female singer makes it worth a listen.

Other noteworthy tracks include: the accordion-infused, catchy folk metal tracks ‘Ibo’ and ‘Hej ti!’; two definite crowd-pleasers and festival hits, and ‘Tarak’ which reminds me of Sabaton due to the song structure and the vocal style with a hint of Alestorm as a result of the violin parts. The only disappointment on here is the final track ‘Tornach’ which seems a bit disjointed at times as though it was compiled of bits from earlier recordings.

3.5/5

Iza Raittila