Archive for February, 2017

Epica @ Tavastia, Helsinki, Finland 28/2 – 17

Posted in Concerts, Finland, Music, Travels, Uncategorized with tags , , on February 28, 2017 by Sara Hammerzmith

Well! It isn’t very long since I returned home from the last “tour” in the United States, but no rest for the wicked, right? Off I was on an early bus to catch a not-so-early-flight to Helsinki. It was weird, but also somewhat relaxing to for once this time be on a short haul flight after all these long hauls.

Once in Helsinki, I met up with a dear old friend that I hadn’t met in the longest of times – Argo. You remember him? The guy I used to travel everywhere with because of Lordi? Yeah that’s right. Turns out he was coming. As I took a somewhat late flight, the first thing we did was getting to the hotel and then getting out on the town for a quick look around before getting back and getting ready for the evening.

We headed over to Vapiano for dinner and then off we were to Tavastia. We were running a little late because of reasons, so we missed out on most of the supportband – however, the supportband for this evening was Crimson Sun, assumingly a finnish band and the little we heard sounded great!

Epica

So, exactly on time as scheduled – 22.00, “Eidola” started echoing through the speakers as the lights went down, and the band slowly entered the stage and later opened with “Edge of the Blade”. Much to my delighted eye, Simone was wearing the “Holographic” dress as I’d call it – the silver black one. I rarely comment on clothing on the musicians, but this time I just have to since I’ve been in love with this dress ever since it was presented.

“A Phantasmic Parade” was the next song on the set, followed by “Sensorium” and “Universal Death Squad” and I must admit… I was a little disappointed in the crowd. They were somewhat responsive, but not at all what I’d be used to when it comes to Epica. Gladly, it did pick up a little. The band delivered really well – last time I saw them Simone seemed to be a bit off, but today everything was going just fine.

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“The Essence of Silence” followed suit, and I think this is around the moment where Simone would drop her microphone. I’m pointing this out, not because it’s bad, but because this is probably the first time I see this band being anything but “perfect” as far as behavior goes. It was funny. And then, what seemed to be a big audience favorite in “Marty of the Free Word”. “The Obsessive Devotion” was the next song, and finally we start get some action in the crowd! I’m glad to see that something started to happen, so the band would have something to go on.

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“Ascension” was next on the list, followed by “Dancing in a Hurricane”, and I seriously love the vibe this song sets, especially live. My own personal favorite – “Unchain Utopia” was next on the list and I cannot describe my love for this song. I don’t know if it is that very special bond you have to the first song you discover a band with, or if it simply is that amazingly good, but every time Simone starts singing the first lines, it’s like something just awakens.

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“Once Upon a Nightmare” wrapped up the set for the night, and the band left the stage. They later returned, starting off with “Sancta Terra” which would become very interesting. Coen fooled around with Simone, leading her to have so much of a laughing attack that she had to leave the stage numerous of times throughout the set, missing out big parts of the song.

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“Beyond the Matrix”, my personal favorite off “The Holographic Principle” was next, and I was very happy to see all of Tavastia jumping with with the band. Again, this song live was just… Indescribable.

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The wrapped up the entire set with a Wall of Death and “Consign to Oblivion” before saying their good byes and leaving the stage.

This even was really good. Despite being sleepdeprived, as Mark claimed, they really delivered. I’m just thinking back to the London show and this was so many times better, I guess it helps it’s in the beginning of a tour. Thank you Epica, for this amazing night! I can’t wait to do it all again tomorrow.

// Sara

 

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My month in Music

Posted in Music, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on February 27, 2017 by Sara Hammerzmith

So! It’s not really the end of the month just yet, but as I’m off to Helsinki tomorrow to watch the incredible Epica, I will have to give you this little update right now. Essentially, what I’ll be doing is collecting my data from LastFM and speak a little bit about the top six bands at the moment, that I’ve listened to the most this past month.

6. Danse dE Sade

So this is a new discovery – at least in a way. This band, together with Tower Guard, were the only of Lordi’s supportbands I did listen to one or two songs prior to the shows, but this band was the only one I remembered at the time (sorry Tower Guard).

Probably because as with most bands  I’ve grown to be fond of- they intrigued me. During our stay in L.A. we saw them twice – first supporting Lordi on their show at the Whisky, which was something I will never, ever forget. Honestly. What a band! What a show! We saw them two days later again at the Viper Room, and enjoyed it just as much this time around.

5. Art Nation

No surprise. Art Nation was a band I first thought “hey lets check them out” at Skogsröjet, and have now rapidly grown into being one of my favorite bands. I am beyond excited for their new album “Liberation”, as their previous one “Revolution” just as with H.E.A.T’s albums, is nothing but pure perfection. They recently released the new single “The Real Me” and I’m addicted to it.

4. Amaranthe

I don’t think I give this band enough credit toward myself on how much I enjoy their music. I must admit I was a little bit disappointed in “Maximalism” as it felt far away from what I’ve gotten to know as Amaranthe, and it felt sloppy – the lyrics weren’t what they once were, and as well as singing style. But then again, it’s hard to follow up a masterpiece like “MASSIVE ADDICTIVE”.

3. Lordi

They need no further introduction. I’m a little personally surprised they are behind Powerwolf, seeing we saw Lordi live this month (ok, we did see Powerwolf as well but) but it was only by three songs, so I can survive.

2. Powerwolf

Doesn’t surprise me too much. This is one of those bands whose album I’ll put on when I need something to listen to, be it in the background or just to enjoy myself. It’s something about the music with this band that drags you in – for every time you see this band, you fall more in love with them. It’s a dangerous thing.

1 . Crystal Viper

This is a bit of a surprise. Crystal Viper recently released a new album, the comeback album if you like just days ago, and it appears I liked it more than I thought seeing the numbers. They have twice the amount of plays compared to Powerwolf, would say something.

So. That sums up my month in music. It is interesting to see where your listening patterns actually are. Huh.

// Sara

 

 

The Real Me

Posted in Music, Uncategorized with tags on February 24, 2017 by Sara Hammerzmith

So! Seriously, I’ve been waiting for this day to come for ages. It was some time ago, probably over a month ago, that Art Nation teased their first single of their upcoming album “Liberation”. And since that day, I’ve been waiting for the song to be released so badly, and finally, FINALLY – it is here. I found myself the other thinking “Damn, it’ s along time left” only to realize it was just days left. And here it is!

(I hope it works – else here is the Spotify link)

So. What do we think about this song? IT. IS. SO. AWESOME.

Seriously, the song did not disappoint. It’s a bit rawer, faster if you like, than what we are used to from “Revolution”, but the raw verses eventually emerges into an amazingly energetic chorus that fills you with the right kind of energy, leaving you no choice but to jump around the room. And the lyrics… Well, seems like very typical Art Nation lyrics if you judge the first album, but also really great.

God. If the album is only half as good as this song, I’ll love this new album. I really hope it won’t disappoint the way Amaranthe’s new album did.

I’m addicted. I can’t stop listening to this.

// Sara

REVIEW: Bloodbound – War of Dragons

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Well done, Bloodbound!

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(Label: AFM Records)

CDON I Amazon I Ginza

// Sara

 

Glorious

Posted in Uncategorized on February 18, 2017 by Sara Hammerzmith

So, the illness isn’t getting better to be honest. It’s not getting worse either, it’s just where it is, and what can you do? Nothing.

Right now, despite only being home for a couple of days, I’m trying to sort out all the upcoming tours and shows. It’s crazy to think you know, that I am already at it again. But no rest you know, and all of that. Second of all.. Festivalsummer. I’ve pinpointed three festivals + one I really want to go to, but it’s something lacking. It feels like there is something more or so out there, and I have either forgotten about it or I just haven’t really found it yet. Have any suggestions?

I have also started my journey to make sure to thoroughly listen through every band playing the festivals these years to make sure I don’t miss out on ANY band like I have done in the past. First I’ll sort them out under “Have to see”, “Maybe” and “No” and then I’ll sort out “Have to see” and “maybe” once the running orders are up. Obviously, “Have To see” is the most important. It’s going to take some time as I always listen through at least one entire album, but it will have to just work.

I can’t wait for it though. Festivalsummer.

// Sara

Secrets

Posted in Uncategorized on February 17, 2017 by Sara Hammerzmith

So, something hit me that I thought would never ever hit me – Jetlag. And it’s not beautiful. I fall asleep around 6 in the morning, and don’t get up until 13 earliest. And on top of that – hello end of tour illness! Why does this always happen? I have no idea. To be fair I did start to catch something already in the U.S, so maybe it was simply bound to happen.

But aside that, things are slowly going back to normal. Got some concerts to prepare for – like the Epica ones coming up that I have almost completely forgotten about. And then we have Sabaton tour, and I have yet to make a decision on where I should or shouldn’t go in April. Decision, decisions.

And they all seem to have to made now. Like, why? I don’t know.

// Sara

Out of Control

Posted in Uncategorized on February 16, 2017 by Sara Hammerzmith

First day home has been the laziest day ever, trust me. I have done some smaller attempts at unpacking, without any actual success more than putting some stuff in a bag only to take everything out of said totebag. I guess it didn’t help that I woke up somewhere along 15 on the afternoon, probably due to the lack of sleep. But you know, what can you do?

It’s weird being home. It’s just… It’s always like this after a tour you know. It’s odd to think that just two days ago, I was in L.A., now I’m back here – what we planned for six months is already over. It’s always like this with touring, with traveling. Everything comes to an end quicker than you expect it to, makes it question if it really happened.

On a more serious note. The first thing I noticed at the place we stayed in in L.A. was the Ireland tourist handbook. It’s funny, because our last Lordi vacation was actually to Ireland. And to make it even better, we found so many shops that was from the same country as our next Lordi vacation will be. I just laughed at the fact that everything just connects to each other. Perfection.

I can’t wait to get on the road again. It might sound weird, but that is where I really belong.

// Sara