Archive for the Music Category

We are the Legion

Posted in Music with tags on January 4, 2018 by Sara Hammerzmith

For the first time in many, many years, Crashdiet finally made some noise about themselves – and quite some noise too.

They announced their new lead singer Gabriel Keyes, a day we never thought would come – but that aside, I was so, and beyond happy, to see them coming back. I might have drifted off to metal wonderland, but it never takes away my love for my bands.

So, seeing him announced makes me so happy – and even better when the first song featuring him was released. “We are the Legion”.

I love his vocals first and foremost – he is very close to Dave Lepard in his vocals, which makes it a bit unusual for someone who was very fond of Simon Cruz, but I don’t mind it at all. The song is sooo Crashdiet, or at least the Crashdiet I liked. I have such good vibes and feelings about this, and seeing them booking gigs and festivals makes me so happy. Finally, Crashdiet is back and I couldn’t be happier. I can’t wait for the or maybe a, new album with these guys. I am so ready for this.

My boys. Finally back. I wish I could attend Gabriel’s first gig, but I guess it’s all young still so we’ll see what happens.

// 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

Battle Beast @ Matrix, Bochum, Germany 18/11 – 17

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

(So long overdue it isn’t even funny)

So, we got up quite late in the morning, the due arrival time for our two companions was later in the day, so we took the opportunity to sleep in a bit. We headed in toward town, as I wanted to do some light shopping and for lunch, we shared a big pizza at Pizza Hut and even managed to pick up a lotion for Sjorven! What a day.

We made it back to the apartment just in time for Laura and Niki’s arrival, and seriously, what a beautiful get together. Cars from all over Europe gathered, and we even managed to squeeze in Niki’s big one in the drive way. Which was ironic, as her car was the car we had to use.

Once inside, we treated Niki and Laura to some of our left overs from yesterday as we all started to get ready. Which included Sjorven trying on one of Niki’s corsets. Because why not?

Once we were all ready, we headed off to the venue and gladly, it wasn’t too much of a line, I’d expect more from Germany on a Saturday – but I guess not! The venue was right next to a food store, so once we secured spots, Sjorven and I headed into the store to get refreshments and candies for after the show, and I’ll be damned. I turn around when Sjorven goes after some drinks, and there’s Battle Beast! They even waved to me – I suppose this is because of the hoodie, but I’ll be damned!

We got our stuff loaded into Niki’s car and then we went back to wait. Soon enough, they opened the doors and we were let in… to another door. Oh well. Gladly, this bought us some time to go to the bathroom, and finally they let us in. Very much on the side, but still front. Happiness! And so, we waited, and then, Silver Dust began.

Silver Dust

I was quite excited to see Silver Dust tonight, they were part of the reason I flew out to Germany in the first place –  I really liked them on the last tour, so I was excited. And it got even better, as I got to see a proper show with actresses and theatrics. They performed a good set, and they got good response from the audience.

After this, we waited and soon enough, Battle Beast began.

Battle Beast

They came out and kicked us right in the face (almost literally because no fence) with “Straight to the Heart” before launching straight into “Bringer of Pain” and then “Familiar Hell”. It was good to be back “down on the continent” where fans are more respectful and crowds are crazier. I don’t feel so alone for once. I love it.

“Into the Heart of Danger” followed suit, and then “We Will Fight”. Noora was energetic as usual, and drove you over like a tank before they continued with “Let it Roar” and then into “Black Ninja”. The crowd had such a good feeling to it, loving every second.

They slowed it down a moment with “Far From Heaven” before getting into a more serious setting on “Lost in Wars”. This song is seriously so magical. “Iron Hand”, mighty “Iron Hand”  before the powerpack that is “Bastard Son of Odin”.

“Touch in the night” was following, and it was magical to once again experience this sexy and absolutely amazing song together with my Laura. She’s the one who makes this song, really. The band rounded up the show with “Out of Control” before leaving the stage, but returning quickly.

“King for a Day” and “Beyond the burning skies” were the encores even for this night, and the band thanked for the night and then left the stage.

We stopped by the merch to say hello to Silver Dust and pick up small items before heading back to the hotel.

We had a small afterparty, and then crashed in bed preparing for tomorrow mornings take off.

It was a great show, once again, with a great band and great company. Thank you!

// Sara

Stone Sour @ Annexet, Stockholm, Sweden 16/11 – 17

Posted in Concerts, Music, Uncategorized with tags , , on November 16, 2017 by Sara Hammerzmith

So, three weeks of weekend tourings has reached the start of the end, and so I went on the train, again, seems to be a new normal for me, and headed off to Stockholm for a pitstop and then onwards to Germany. But this must have been the trip to hell.

On my way to the trainstation, it dawns upon me that I have forgotten my SL card, buscard for public transport in Stockholm. Which I had topped up specifically for this. While seated on the train, I realize I have forgotten my carry-on pouch which contains my toothbrush and toothpaste, and then a day worth of necessities, in case my checked in bag would get lost. Oh well. Fuck my life. And then I realize another thing.

I forgot the concert ticket at home.

There were a few frantic moments of panic, until I could read on the ticket in my mailbox that it’s fine to scan it directly off your phone at the entrance. Thank. Fucking. God. On top of that, the train got delayed.

So, once in Stockholm I went back to Birka Hostel, my new “home” in Stockholm, and conveniently enough, I had the exact same room as I had earlier this year when I saw Sabaton. How awesome? Ran off to a convenience store to buy my now third travel toothbrush and some paste and then down to Sergels Torg to once again meet up with Robert.

This time around though, we chose to have dinner at Burger King instead. Why not you know. We headed off to the arena and got a bit lost at first. It’s a bit confusing, seeing the venue is Annexet, which is not really Globen, but still is Globen. Eventually we found our way in, made the bathroom break and then headed off to the merchandise. Robert picked up a shirt of each band, and then into the venue.

It was somewhat empty in fact, to my surprise but also to our joy, I guess. Ida and Adam soon joined us, two of the people I met while at Graspop, and it was BEYOND to see them again. And then.. lights out and show starting.

The Pretty Reckless

First time for me to see this band, and I listened a lot to their “Going to Hell” album at the time it came out, but after that I kind of lost track of them? If that makes sense, but I was very happy to finally see them.

They walked on stage and just stood there, almost as if in pain, and then started off with “Follow me Down” which is the perfect mixture of both subtleness and in your face kind of thing. They followed it up with “Since You’re Gone” and “Oh My God”.

“Hangman” was next to the list, and even if the crowd might have been a little bit thin, it was still a good vibe coming from them. The band was delivering as well, so it was all good. “Prisoner” was next, followed by one of my personal favorites “Sweet Things” before they cranked out their big hit “Make Me Wanna Die”. Or I don’t know if it’s their big hit, but it was the first song they released anyway. Somewhere here, Robert manages to drop our beerglass. ALL OVER MY NEW BATTLE BEAST HOODIE. And Ida’s hair and dress. Oh well.

Guitarsolo was ripped up before “Heaven Knows” which is also one of my own personal favorites, it’s the perfect crowd song, if you think about it really. “Going to Hell” and “Take Me Down” wrapped the set for this time, and the band thanked for themselves and left the stage.

While I enjoyed the show, I still found it a bit dull. Musically they delivered, but I wish to have seen more energy in them, I’ll admit.

After this, I headed out to the bathroom, and still miraculously made my way back where we were, and Robert was nowhere to be found. What the hell. Turns out he’d gone too, after all, so I made my to the side of the crowd rather than in the middle of it. And before Robert even returned, the intro started rolling..

Stone Sour

As they came on stage, they opened the set with “Taipei Person / Allah Tea” and the crowd… sort of lost it, I guess. It’s not exactly as I’ve seen it happen before, but the place had gotten packed and everyone was in a good mood, and the band seemed to be too.

“Knievel Has Landed” was the second song on the setlist, and Corey was… he was good. He was energetic. I’ll leave it at that. “Made of Scars” followed suit, and “Reborn” was next. The crowd was decent, but not really there yet. BUT – when next song was announced, they woke up a little bit

“Say You’ll Haunt Me” took place, and I do personally love this song a lot, so I was more than happy. “30/30-150” followed suit, and then “Hesitate”, which he fittingly enough dedicated to all of us ladies. Thank you for that, Corey. I love this song.

“Tired” was next, and the thing is… The band performed. And delivered. But I miss that energy. They lack that energy that I wish to see in a live band, which surprises me. Even Corey Taylor was a bit calmed down, and it felt like it was just another day at the job for them. Which it was, in a way.

“Rose Red Violent Blue (This song is dumb and so am I)” from the most recent album followed suit, alongside “Do me a Favor” and “Cold Reader”. At this point, the crowd had warmed up a little bit… but still not entirely there, you know?

“Get Inside”, “Song#3” were done and then… Corey started singing, and the whole arena more or less exploded. Yeah, I guess you can guess. “Through Glass”.

After the song, they left the stage and the intro for “Gone Sovereign” started echoing, and they returned to finish of the song. A screaming competition between the sides emerged, to set the intro for “Absolute Zero” and FINALLY the crowd woke up. Well, for a second anyway.

The whole set was wrapped up with “Fabuless” before they, for real, left the stage and said their good byes.

Robert and I hung around for a while, and we both managed to score setlists despite not being in the front, and he also got a pick. How awesome, huh. We hung around for a while to make the line go down, and then got out and got home to our respective places.

It was a good night with good friends, and I loved that. Tomorrow, Germany.

// Sara

 

Alice Cooper @ First Direct Arena, Leeds, United Kingdom 11/11 -17

Posted in Concerts, Music, Travels, Uncategorized with tags , on November 11, 2017 by Sara Hammerzmith

So it was time. It was the D-day. Lazy, I guess, as we were, we got up as late as possible to still make it to breakfast, although we made it in different… times. Niki was first down, then I followed and I really tried my hardest to make Nathan come, but he was too tired or something.

So, Niki and I enjoyed a nice breakfast, and we were indeed joined by Nathan at the time. He came last, but also left first so he could take a shower. You readers may remember, Nathan takes a few hours or so in the shower.

Once everybody was done and ready, we headed off to town to check out the city. There was a German christmas market going on, and as well as some additional shopping. We then settled for Wagamama for some dinner, which was delish! We made our way back to the hotel – even if it was a bit of a walk, it was a fairly easy way, gladly. In the elevator there were some people we thought were going to Cooper, so Nathan said “Let’s play a game, everyone seeing Cooper tonight raise your hands” and we got it confirmed. Was in fact a lot of Cooper people in the lobby.

Got a quick change and make up done at the hotel and then we headed back the same way toward the venue. The whole area surronding the venue was cut off, and it was extensive controls before getting in, but do you know what I love? The feeling of no rush or stress to get in. We had our seats, and we didn’t have to worry about a damn thing.

We headed straight for the merchandise and Niki and I picked up some merch before heading into the venue to find our seats and casually looking at the supportbands. I’m sorry, but I won’t be writing about them as I wasn’t really paying that much attention. The Tubes and The Mission was the support bands though!

Before Alice Cooper, or perhaps it was before The Mission, I did a Katy Perry and went outside to get popcorn and a cola. I mean, if I’m gonna sit here I might as well make the most of it right? Except on Katy Perry I didn’t have any seats, I just had the popcorn in front of me.

We saw the backdrop, or perhaps the curtain, for Alice Cooper being risen and we just got so goddamn excited. This show, we knew it was going to be one hell of a show.

And then.. the arena went dark and the intro “Spend the night” started echoing.

Alice Cooper

He opened up with “Brutal Planet”, much similar to earlier this year, and then continued into “Under My Wheels”. Seriously, Alice Cooper is indeed among the bands I’ve seen live the most, but for some reason I get childishly excited whenever I see him. Perhaps it’s because of the rarity.

Backdrop change, and next song “Lost in America” was delivered to us in a perfect way, and then continued with “Pain”, which was a bit of a surprise if you ask me! This was such a dream, this show. It is nothing but amazing to see Alice Cooper live.

We had seats quite high up, in the back, but I honestly didn’t mind. The seated people on the floor ended up standing up, so it was probably just as well that we were sitting this high up to be honest. “Department of Youth” and “The World Needs Guts” followed suit, by “Woman of mass Distraction”.

And after that, Hurricane Nita got to show off her skills, and seriously – this woman. She’s something else. I love her stage prescence and showmanship. She’s amazing. The guitarsolo wound up in “Poison”, and later one of the more amazing surprises for the night – “Halo of Flies”, which also featured a drumsolo by no one less than Glen Sobel.

“Feed My Frankenstein” was next on the list, followed by “Cold Ethyl”, and to my big surprise, and happiness I may say, “Only Women Bleed” was next. It was not yesterday I heard that song live, that is for sure.

“Paranoiac Personality” off the new album followed suit, and then “Ballad of Dwight Fry”. As you can see, a pretty normal setlist of Alice Cooper with some occasional easter eggs. “Killer” and “I Love the Dead” followed suit together with the execution… and then the arena went black.

And Nathan just hit my leg and was like “YOU WANT TO KEEP THAT CAMERA ROLLING” so I turned it on again. Which was great, because this was the entrance of the original members.

“I’m Eighteen” is usually a song I have a hate love relationship to. Because this was the only song that I repeatedly rehearsed with my band. But tonight? With the original bandmembers? Magical. Absolutely magical.

“Billion Dollar Babies” was next on the set, followed by “No More Mr Nice Guy” and “Muscle of Love” before also the current line up joined the originals to end up an amazing show with “Schools Out”. What a line up, what a set up. It’s hard to grasp, you know?

Seriously… this was beyond magic. Hearing Alice Cooper introduce all the bandmembers, all the current as well as the OG’s…. that was just. I can’t believe I got to witness this. It’s beyond me, really.

After the show, we headed straight back home, had one last drink together in the hotel bar before going to bed.

// Sara