Archive for December, 2017

2017 – a look back.

Posted in Uncategorized on December 31, 2017 by Sara Hammerzmith

So here it goes, the official look back on my own 2017. I would dare to say that 2017 has on the other hand been an amazing year – ups and downs, as for everyone, but still been good.

January

January was an interestingly slow month – didn’t do much else but advancing in The Sims 4, which isn’t too bad. But this was indeed for a reason – it was all in preparation for going to USA!

February

The big tour, or well, the first big tour of the year anyway! We started the tour off in the UK, in London with Epica and Powerwolf on their joint tour, which was beyond amazing! Both these bands, seriously. The next day, Nathan and I headed off to Copenhagen in order to jump on our plan bound for Los Angeles and my first personal visit to United States! We arrived in Los Angeles around 18 and jumped on a very long busride all the way up to Santa Cruz where we’d attend the second show of the tour, which was a Lordi show at the catalyst. While Galway still hosts the smallest stage Lordi’s played on (when I’ve seen them) but it was still amazing. Got back to L.A. to do what I never thought I’d do – See Lordi perform at the Whisky a Go Go. I knew I’d one day see a band perform there, but never thought it’d be Lordi. But it was, and it was magical.

We stayed in Hollywood for some more time, seeing Danse de Sade at the Viper Room, visiting the Rainbow a few times and other places – perfect vacation. At the end of February I also caught my first show of Epica’s scandinavian principle tour.

March

Started the month off again with Epica tour, the second and last date for this time, but no need to be sad, as March was the month of Sabaton and a little Battle Beast. The shows was amazing – and it allowed me to discover Twilight Force as well, which has, well, you know that! Amazing show spent with amazing friends – visiting cities like Örebro, Norrköping, Stockholm and Paris. Was amazing.

In March I started three new jobs – all in the same time actually. Sometimes, it all just happens at once.

April

In April, I saw my last show of the Last Tour for this time – up in Luleå. It was interesting, as it was almost summer weather in Stockholm, but I arrived in snowstorm in Luleå. I loved it though. I also set sail for Finland and witnessing Amaranthe for the first time since the change of singer, and since the new singer was no less than Nils Molin, this was beyond amazing.

I also got my new apartment – so packing started happening.

May

May was a real slow month. I spent most of my time only moving actually. Eurovision was amazing – Portugal won, which was great. Preparations for festival seasons ensued.

June

Official start of festivalseason! Sweden Rock was first out with Sofia, Malin and Johanna, which was amazing. Sweden Rock is really like a safe haven. The week after I headed off to Belgium to attend Graspop Metal Meeting, and I found a whole bunch of new friends by accident, but friends I am happy to have in my life.

And the week after that, I set my sails for Norway instead to witness what in my own personal opinion is the most epic Sabaton show I’ve ever seen – at Fredrikstens fortress, a special “Carolus Rex” show. Beyond amazing.

July

Festival season continued, but in a lot smaller scale. One trip down to Trollhättan for Vicious Rock Festival together with Sjorven and having a jobinterview for something that would change everything. On top of that, I saw Lordi perform an amazing set. DEMONARCHY. Seriously.

August

Festival season again. I started out my August by abandoning Skogsröjet (Still painful) and set toward Germany and Wacken for the first time in my life together with Maria, Thomas, Jonathan and a bunch of their friends. Despite the deep mud and all the rain, we had an amazing stay and I do not regret going there at all! Next up was Sabaton Open Air, with Sjorven and his friends. The festival was amazing. Sjorven spent some time here, and in the mean time we managed to do Falkenberg Rock Fest and even some other things like Njupeskär and Liseberg.

September

We set off to Hagfors to catch Amaranthe live in this new cute venue called Uddeholmsladan, which is quite literally a barn. I really hope this venue kicks off real time. Next up was a minitour, going through Norway and Spain – starting in Oslo with the amazing Battle Beast and then to Spain for firstly Serious Black, which we missed half the show of, and then the next day Lordi at probably the oddest festival I have been to so far. But it was really good, really amazing.

October

October  was a bit quiet of a month, but I don’t think I mind it too much. Can be good sometimes to catch your breathe every once in a while. I took a tour down to Belgium, where I first saw, well, half a show, of Epica and then an amazing show of Twilight Force. I spent the next few days with Sjorven, playing Pokémon, shopping, dining, all good stuff, you know?

November

November was a lot busier. First off, Battle Beast tour in Sweden. I did two shows out of four, and Battle Beast aside, what was most amazing was seeing Dynazty being their opener! Both shows where amazing, I got to meet Toivo and Susanna on these gigs too! The week after I set off to the UK with my favorite brits Nathan and Niki for a great weekend in Leeds, seeing Alice Cooper with his original band! Beyond amazing!

Another week goes and go a bit south instead – Bochum and Germany, together with Sjorven, Laura and Niki to catch Battle Beast once again, but this time with Silver Dust as their supportband! Great show, and more so, a great stay. Before so, I saw Stone Sour and Pretty Reckless in Stockholm together with Robert, Ida and Adam. Two bands I have not seen before, which is quite rare for me!

December

December was a quiet and nice ending. Szilvi, Sofia and I went on the Sabaton Cruise for the first time, which was really cool. At first, a little disappointing as we had grown our expectations up too high, but once that was out of the way, we really enjoyed our stay. Will do again.

Sjorven came here for the holidays, and we went to Boda Borg together with Maria and Thomas and later my brother, playing Pokémon and boardgames. Sadly enough, I got ill for the New Years Eve, but it can’t all be perfect right?

So there it is folks. My year. It’s been filled with ups and downs, but in hindsight, it’s been a great year, and I’m not ready to leave, but on the same time I am so ready to head into 2018.

This was my predictions from last year:

  • Make it to 500 CD’s. Despite not finishing my goals last year, I raise the bar. – NOPE-
  • Travel somewhere new aside what is already planned. – I guess Wacken counts?
  • See Van Halen live – Nope
  • See Bon Jovi again – Nope
  • Start writing somewhere new. – Yes, I did indeed. In the most unexpected of places.

So, essentially, I didn’t do a very good job. But at least two of them is done.

So for the next year:

  • Make it to 500 CD’s. I’m just going to keep this.
  • Make a long distance travel alone.
  • See Van Halen live
  • Read at least 50 books.

A bit different resolutions or what you wanna call them, but here they are. I really hope I can finish the reading one, I set it a bit short for a start so it’s you know, achieveable.

And here goes my honorary mentions, people who made my year special.

Nathan, Niki, Sjorven, Ida, Curt, Robert, Santi, Frida, Misa, Thomas, Szilvi, Hansi, Stephen, Jonathan, Sophie, Angelina, Maria, The Count, Laura, Nathalie, Jill, Adam, Sofia, Sofia, Emelie, Markus, Martine, Jörgen, Alexandra, Jonathan, Cyril, Chiara, Jenny, Linn, Sebastian, Toivo, Jesse, Susanna, Juuso, Hanna, Adam, Vanessa, Erik, Malin, Elin, Sandra, Réne, Mina, Helle, Mashima, Amanda, Kim, Julia, Tero, Susanna, Saana, Alice, Alex, Ludvig, Jack, Jenny, Stevan, Adam, Malin, Tinna, Ellen, Aly, Jeffery, Johanna & Sebastian. Sabaton, Amaranthe, Twilight Force, Battle Beast and most importantly – Lordi. Thank you for believing in me.

// Sara

 

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My year in Music – Last FM

Posted in CDs, Music, Uncategorized on December 31, 2017 by Sara Hammerzmith

So, the time has come to make a summary of how I listened to music this year. Obviously, as with all these measuring things, this doesn’t show how much I listen in my car on a CD or at home on a CD to mention a few.

I’ll do it as my normal categories – Artist, album and song.

So, let’s start of with artist, from the back.

5. Twilight Force

On fifth place we found a newfound band for me in Twilight Force. Not bad, not bad, if you ask me, to climb up to fifth spot for being a band I discovered this year. Or perhaps that is the very reason, too. I’ve had the blessing to see Twilight Force no less than six times this year, spread all over (not really) and I can’t wait to see them more in the future.

4. Battle Beast

No major surprise, as this year has been a “Battle Beast” year. Or at least it feels like it. New album released, quite a few shows has been seen – six of them in total, and the WERE scattered all over the place unlike Twilight Force.

3. Art Nation

Art Nation, a band  I discovered on Skogsröjet last year and fell absolutely in love with! They are musically the new hope for the AOR kind of music that I love. I got to see this band twice this year here in Sweden, and I loved it so much.

2. Amaranthe

To me personally, this doesn’t come as a major surprise as this is the band I listen to mostly on a daily basis when I work out and things like that, and I’ve seen them… a few times. Not as many as I would normally perhaps – but the addition of Nils Molin to the roster will ensure I see them a lot more. I was sad to see Jake go really, but I couldn’t think of a better replacement.

1.Sabaton

Well, I guess it would be just too wrong to say I was surprised by seeing Sabatons name at the top, would I? Together with Amaranthe they make my work out playlist, and extensive tours for the band has helped a lot – I’ve seen Sabaton eight times this year, which has you know, had it’s impacts I guess.

And I will mention the honorable mentions:

6. Lordi
7. Powerwolf
8. Epica
9. Alestorm
10. Beast in Black – this one is remarkable considering I started with them in November.

So, let’s move on to albums then.

5. Beserker – Beast in Black

Like mentioned above, this one is quite the joker seeing I only listened to them since November. But this album is just so good, pure genious, and I can’t wait to see them next year at Sabaton Open Air really.

4. Liberation – Art Nation

The newest album from Art Nation, no wonder this is being spun a lot. The new material is just perfection, even if I at first was a tad bit disappointed.

3. Heroes of Mighty Magic – Twilight Force

If Twilight Force is on the list, they better have an album here too, right? No wonder or surprise for me that they are here, in all honesty.

2. Bringer of Pain – Battle Beast

Flawless album release of 2017, it’s no wonder this one has been going warm, especially considering the tours and all.

1.The Last Stand – Sabaton

Still, a year later, I love and blast this album as much as I did when I got it. I still love it just as much.

And the honorable mentions:

6. Maximalism – Amaranthe
7. Queen of Witches – Crystal Wipers
8. Tales of Ancient Prophecies – Twilight Force
9. Revolution – Art Nation
10. Monstereophonic (Theaterror vs Demonarchy) – Lordi

And lastly, my top ten songs of 2017:

1.Wiktoria – As I Lay Me Down

2. Sabaton – The Last Stand

3. Brothers of Metal – Yggdrasil

4. Art Nation – The Real Me

5. Twilight Force – Battle of Arcane Might

6. Battle Beast – Familiar Hell

7. Corey Heart – Sunglasses at Night

8. Michael Bolton – How Can We Be Lovers

9. Beast in Black – Blind and Frozen

10. Sabaton – Gott Mit Uns

So there you have it. My year in music, 2017.

// Sara

Sabaton Cruise part 2

Posted in Concerts, Music, Uncategorized with tags , on December 19, 2017 by Sara Hammerzmith

So after that long night I, first at most, woke up at 7 when we laid dock in Turku, and then back to sleep. Was a little hard to sleep seeing the sun was high up and we had a window without any curtains to close it, but then again – why complain when you got the creme de la creme? At 10 or so we both gave up on trying to sleep – Sofia was up since long to check out the tax free and like zombies, we got out of bed and made it to the breakfast area.

After this, headed back to the cabin to pack up as much as possible and get ready for the day. As I mentioned, the other band was Brothers of Metal, and as I made my way down to the venue there were barely any people there, so I claimed myself a spot at the front while Szilvi and Sofia headed off to Sabaton’s signing session.

Sebastian came by again, and he joined me at the front and after some very long wait, Brothers of Metal finally got on stage.

Brothers of Metal

So they got on stage, and they opened up with “The Death of God of Light” and well… the audience wasn’t exactly packed, but it was a good deal of people still. I don’t remember the exact setlist as of now sadly – but pretty much every song from the album was played along with “Swedish Pagans”.

With that said, the band put on a really good show so I was very very pleased with seeing them. I do wish they evolved more show wise, but I think that is something that will come with time rather than anything, don’t you think? We were at a time a little… like, they kept saying it would be the last song and they kept doing another song, and that went on for a while, haha!

After the show was done, Sofia went off to see a friend and Szilvi and I walked around the tax free and then wrapping up the last of the packing and, well, saying good bye to the boat in a way, if that makes sense?

We got ready to get off the boat, and another looong wait occured before we could finally disembark. Once off the boat, we got a taxi back to the city and sat down at a McDonalds for one last dinner / night snack / whatever. My bus was leaving at 22.35, Szilvi’s plane early in the morning and Sofia had a hotelnight.

Szilvi walked me to the busstop where we had a heartfelt good bye for now, and hopefully I’ll see not just her but also Sofia soon again. Got on my bus and made my way home.

The Sabaton cruise, was good. I was a little disappointed, but mostly because of my own expectations – I thought it would be a little more bands, and we also hyped Beast in Black for being the second band so it was all our own fault in a way I guess. But aside that, it was a real pleasant stay.

// Sara

Sabaton Cruise, part one

Posted in Concerts, Music, Uncategorized with tags , , on December 18, 2017 by Sara Hammerzmith

And so the day come! Finally time to board the beautiful ship and get going. But before that, we treated ourselves a nice and relaxing lunch at Espresso House before locking up our bags at the city station and then taking an hour or two to walk the city.

We had lunch someplace before taking a taxi out to the terminal where we met up with my friends Toivo, Jesse and Susanna. I met T and S while on Battle Beast tour, and Jesse we were standing next to on Sabaton Open Air. Not only was it nice to meet up with them, but we noticed we for some scary reason managed to have all the cabins next to each other – ours were wall in wall with Jesse’s, and Toivo and Susanna’s was across the hall from him.

After some waiting, we finally got to board… well sort of. One part of it. Then we had to wait even more. And THEN get to board. And then we had to wait at the door for our cabins. A lot of waiting, to be honest.

But finally, at last, we got to the cabin and it was the most beautiful. Well, sort of anyway, it was real cozy and real sweet. First thing we did was put on some music – while boarding we had discovered the other band playing was Brothers of Metal, so I cranked up “Prophecy of Ragnarök” while we got ourselves ready for the evening. The evening was serving us two shows by Sabaton, and some pause entertainment by Bombshell Belles.

After getting ready, we decided to roam the boat rather than get good spots for the shows and found quite some nice spots on the ship. I’ve never been on a cruise like this, so it was real nice in all honesty. I really enjoyed the view.

Time was closing in on the show, so we headed down to the arena bar and got… well okayish spots. We decided to be more in the “back” but this venue was very small and well, not made for metalshows, but still. We met up with Sebastian, a guy I had met on Sabaton Open Air who is a friend of Sjorven, so he joined us for the show. It got tightened up and the wait for the show to start felt like forever… until it finally started.

Sabaton

So, after “In The Army Now”, the “Primo Victoria” film started rolling, and they opened the show up with “Primo Victoria”. Well, I shouldn’t complain right? I mean, it’s not “Ghost Division” right? It was quickly followed by “Sparta”, which is well a little early for my personal taste but I don’t mind! It was a good vibe in the audience, despite all the drunkies.

A song I’ve missed a lot in the past, “Cliffs of Galipolli”, which was soooo long overdue, like, it isn’t even funny how overdue this is! But finally, finally it was back! It was a real good vibe in the crowd, but what else is to be expected from a Sabaton show after all?

Another long, not as long, but still long lost friend was found in “Attero Dominatus” which was the next on the list, tightly followed by “Saboteurs”, another song we haven’t heard in some time, if even at all.

The churchbells appeared, and my personal favorite from the last album – the title track “The Last Stand” was the next song on the list to appear, and you know, emotions explodes, adrenaline pumping – there is nothing quite like this.

“Far From The Fame” was next on the list – followed by “White Death” which I thought was really fun – I’m not sure if I heard it much before. “Carolus Rex” was ripped off before they wrapped up with my personal favorite all times “The Art of War”.

And by that, the first set of the evening was all set and done. As soon as they left the stage, people started to disappear which was so nice, as we decided to claim a table with chairs for ourselves for the next set – it got a bit intense with the great vibe, but we wanted a bit more calmer setting. Yes, I am indeed getting old.

Szilvi went out to get some air, but Sebastian, Susanna and me remained behind, watching the spot and just hanging out, later joined by her returning. Sofia had managed to get to the front row through the moshpit, so we didn’t really see much of her until after the show – and in the mean time we were entertained by The Bombshell Belles, 50’s kind of singing group, think The Lounge Kittens, real good.

And after some time, Sabaton finally entered the stage again with “The Final Solution”.

“Lejonet Från Norden” followed this beautiful song, only to throw us into “Panzerkampf”, which is also a song I have missed. I saw Sabaton a lot during the festival seasons, but it doesn’t change much in my opinion, I still miss the songs.

“Blood of Bannockburn” was next, then followed by “En Livstid i Krig.”

So, something that is really annoying is the constant chanting of “Swedish Pagans”. We heard the damn chant so much from before even boarding and up until now. And before every song, Sabaton said they’d play it but started another song, just like they did now when the “Winged Hussars” arrived instead. Which was amazing, I love this song so much.

“Nightwitches” and it’s amazing intro was followed by this, and at this point no joke, my neck was pretty dead. What was I supposed to do you know.

“Shiroyama” followed suit, and then, finally for all the chanters, “Swedish Pagans” was finally set off before they wrapped up the entire set with “To Hell and Back”.

After this, we hung around some more in the venue before getting back to the room for some freshen up and then spending the night at the bar, playing a baloon game and drinking til 6am in the morning when we finally made our way back to our cabin to “sleep” some… Good night, that is for sure!

// Sara

As Long As The Raven Flies

Posted in Uncategorized on December 17, 2017 by Sara Hammerzmith

It’s been some time since blogging, but it’s time to cover some of the things that happened. Like the Sabaton Cruise. Out of convenience reasons, we headed off to Stockholm the day before in fact.

So, for once in my life I was in fact very well prepared, so I got up in the morning like nothing, took my bag and headed off to the buss where I started working my ass off, because I really wanted to be done with work sooner rather than later to be honest. The busride was uneventful – Sofia boarded in Örebro and I kept on working because it was a real slow day – even at the end of a five hour busride ish, I wasn’t done. Oh well.

We stayed around at the busstation to wait for Szilvi who was on her way from the airport, and after some time finally we found her.

Once we found her, we headed off to the hotel, took a break to sit down and catch our breathes before going out to find some place to eat. We decided on this really nice asian restaurant where they had a real nice buffet, where we had a great dinner.

Made it back to the hotel where I finished work, took a shower and hung out until we dropped dead. Tomorrow it was time for the cruise!

// Sara