Archive for alestorm

Alestorm – No Grave But The Sea

Posted in CDs, Music, Uncategorized with tags , on June 2, 2017 by Sara Hammerzmith

Scotland based Alestorm were bein’ formed back in 2004 originally as a simple power metal band, but th’ success o’ “Heavy Metal Pirates” made them adapt th’ pirate theme completely, and incorporatin’ some folk elements in their music – th’ music we today be knowin’ as pirate Metal, by Davy Jones’ locker.  At th’ time, they were active under Battleheart, but changed th’ name as they signed with Napalm Records, and in 2008 their debut album “Cap’n Morgans Revenge” were bein’ released. Now, several years and three additional albums later, they be back with “No Grave But the Sea”

th’ album starts off with an epic and adventurous, yet energetic and heavy openin’ track, which also happens t’ be th’ titletrack. It continues on in th’ exact same vein with th’ single “Mexico” until it falls into th’ more… Yo-ho-ho, pass the grog! I dern’t be knowin’ exactly what th’ word I’m lookin’ fer be, but melancholic kind o’ songs, ye scurvey dog. Lowkey songs which gives ye th’ feelin’ o’ sittin’ below deck chattin’ about tales told o’ pirates long gone. They be very detailed, in fact, just as we remember them from previous albums. Elliot be back screamin’ in “Alestorm”, which be great t’ hear, even though it saddens me a bit that th’ shanty seems like a watered down version o’ “Drink” from their previous album.

After bein’ “serious” fer a while, we get another one o’ those “give fucks all” kind o’ shanty in “Fucked with an Anchor”, and dinna spare the whip! I’ve come t’ grow very, very fond o’ this shanty, which surprises meself a lot, seein’ I dern’t have a lot o’er fer songs like this. After this, we get back t’ th’ tales o’ ancient pirates and th’ whole album be beautifully wrapped up with th’ almost eight minute long last shanty, “Treasure Island” which be an euphoric and adventurous shanty, bringin’ thoughts back t’ bands like Bloodbound, wrappin’ up all th’ quests we have already been through.

Musically, th’ album be very similar t’ previous works, but has gotten th’ extra spice as far as th’ arrangements goes, avast. It’s bigger, ’tis bolder and it feels like there’s been a lot o’ thought put into it, and dinna spare the whip! I’m in complete love with all th’ sudden violin breakdowns that happens throughout th’ album, avast. Overall, I think ’tis a good album. At times, it gets a bit… same barnacle-covered same barnacle-covered, I guess ye could say, but o’er all ’tis really good.

And swab the deck, and a bottle of rum! Filled with many crowdfriendly anthems, aggressive songs t’ mosh t’ and tales t’ barrel o’ rum t’, we’ll keel-haul ye! And not t’ mention: An entire album dedicated t’ dogs, avast. What a time t’ be alive.

Ahoy me hearties!

Favorite shanty: Fucked with an Anchor
Shanty makin’ me wanna walk the plank: Alestorm
Dance-friendliness:  5/10
Headbang-friendliness:  7/ 10
Crowd-friendliness: 9/10

// Sara

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Sabaton @ The Nick Rayons LCR, Norwich, United Kingdom 26/2 – 16

Posted in Concerts, Music, Uncategorized with tags , , , , on February 27, 2016 by Sara Hammerzmith

So, finally the day was here! The day we were going to see Alestorm and Sabaton’s co-headlining tour, supported by the amazing Bloodbound. We started the day off wandering about in Norwich, but I figured I’d save that for it’s own entry that I’ll schedule to appear during our flight. But, later in the night it was finally time. We were unsure whether the time on the tickets was showtime or doortime, since in Sweden, it could as well be the show time as the doortime, so we figured we’d get there around 6 – just half an hour before door opens, or in case of showstart – we are there half an hour before the show starts. After that it was just time to get ready. It’s tricky when two ”costumed” bands play the same show – what band do you dress for? So basically, Sabaton gear and Alestorm make up. That should do the trick.

But then, getting there was interesting enough. First and foremost, gladly, we found a bus we could take so we didn’t have to walk for a good hour. The ”scary” thing is that there seem to be no such thing as station-announcer on the buses, so we basically just prayed to God that someone else was also going to get off at our stop, and I kept close track on the GPS to see when we got closer.

Gladly, a lot of people were getting off, so it was no issue. Then we arrived at this university campus, because apparently, the concert venue is on campus grounds. After walking around like lost squirrels for a while, we finally found the ”Heroes On Tour” trailer and the line for the show.

While the UK are a lot warmer than Sweden these days, it was still one cold wait for the doors. When they finally opened we got in, and it’s sort of weird in a way, because the line felt pretty long, and the venue was rather small, despite this, we were two people, TWO PEOPLE away from making it to the front row. So we stationed ourselves in the middle of the arena instead, and figured we’d remain there until it got too crowded, if it ever did. But first Bloodbound merch, and then, bathroom.

And while in the bathroom, I hear the tunes to Bloodbound’s intro song. Good riddance on me, that I was done. So I rushed back into the venue, had to struggle to get a hold of Michelle and then go get her because apparently she forgot where we were supposed to stand, haha.

Bloodbound opened with the song ”Iron Throne” strongly. It wasn’t a lot of people there, surprisingly, or well, at least not on the floor. They followed up with ”Metalheads Unite”, which is kind of interesting, because The Singer *NAMN* actually introduced ”In The Name of Metal” but they all were like, screw that.

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After this, they continued with ”In The Name of Metal”, followed by my personal favorite – ”Moria”. Damn, how much I love this song and this band. This was followed by ”Stormborn” before they wrapped up the set with ”Nosferatu”. Yes, you saw right. Somewhere along the way they lost ”When All Lights Fail”, which is sad, it was my favorite off ”Stormborn”.

After this, the wait for Alestorm began. Now, it started to get quite crowded. I’m not surprised though – they are actually co-headlining, and I must admit even I was looking more forward to Alestorm than I was to Sabaton. After some time, the intro got off and they opened their show with ”Keelhauled”. They followed up quickly with ”Over The Seas” and seriously, the crowd was going mad! I’m not surprised, because I did too, in all honesty.

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”Magnetic North” was next to be done, followed by a, according to the band, rarity of a song, “Surf Squid Warefare”. This was followed by “Nancy the Tavern Wench”, and then “Walk the Plank”. “The Sunken Norwegian”, “Wenches and Mead”… and I’m gonna tell you something. So, basically, LCR is like, they have stairs down to where the “floor” is, and during “Wenches and Mead”, I shit you not, I was pushed UP ON the staircase. The pressure seriously! This was followed by “Drink!” and it was during this song, and starting from here that Michelle and I decided to join in on the moshpits. “1741” followed, “Hungover” “Captain Morgans Revenge”

They wrapped the set up with ”Rum” before they and their duck left the stage. Lucky us, we had just planned to go and get water when Michelle caught the water bottle thrown out by Elliot. Free water, yay!

So, they left the stage and now the wait for Sabaton began. I swear to God, I was sitting there shaking like a leaf, had to sit down on the floor in attempts to recover. It sure has been sometime since SlipKnot, that’s for sure. Need to work out more, this stamina is absolutely horrible when it comes to metal shows. I’ll do over and do right for Blessed & Posssessed tour.

So, pretty much right on time 21.30 ”The Final Countdown” started and then the intro, and then of course the damned ”Ghost Division”. I told Michelle that if they open with ”Ghost Division” one more time, I’m going to fucking punch someone. And I almost did. It’s been eight years can we like… move on?

Anyway. They followed this song up with ”Far From The Fame” before they did the first surprise for me – ”Uprising”. I was glad to hear it, since it’s like the only song I actually care for on ”Coat of Arms”, what I did not care for though, was the people trying to mosh to this song. I mean, moshing is all fun and games, but seriously, to ”Uprising”? The following song, ”Midway” was on the other hand all cool to mosh to.

The band had really good energy, and the audience was insane. Jocke made a comment about it being too many pirates in the crowd tonight, but on the same time, Jocke, what do you expect? Haha, the heck.

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My beloved ”Wolfpack” was next on the list, and damn, chills every time. Also a little sad this is not a Karlstad exclusive anymore, but then again, the more people who get to hear this amazing song the better in the end! ”Wolfpack” was followed by ”Resist And Bite” and then ”Carolus Rex”, damn this song. This song. There’s no other song I think, by Sabaton that empowers me as much as this one. Not even sure why.

Next up was ”Swedish Pagans”. Like, Thobbe started playing a bit and Jocke made the joke that ”now we have to play it” and no, no you don’t. I know I title myself a Swedish Pagan to mark my spot in the Sabaton fandom, but seriously I’m so over this song. But, the crowd enjoyed it!

”Attero Dominauts” was next, or actually, it wasn’t supposed to be ”Attero Dominatus”. Jocke admitted right afterwards that they were supposed to do ”Soldiers of 3 Armies”, but he mixed it up. So, they simply followed up with it. Strange, this is the second Swedish band out of two on the same night who mixes up the setlist.

My personal favorite of Sabaton, ”The Art of War” followed and damn. If I didn’t have a slayerneck already, I sure as hell got one now. They wrapped up the first part of the set with ”To Hell and Back”. Damn I love this song live.

Here’s the funny thing. They left the stage, but I’m not sure anyone really noticed. Because they sort of left, and the ”Night Witches” intro started directly almost, so I don’t think anyone really noticed. But ”Night Witches”, ah what a song. This is the song they should open with. So fucking perfect.

But, to get back to ”where-they-really-leaving” part, imagine my surprise when they all of a sudden did ”Primo Victoria”, and then wrapped up the set with ”Metal Crüe”? And then it was over?

Sabaton’s set went by so fucking quickly, I barely even noticed it passing by! It’s insane. The setlist over all was pretty boring in my opinion – perhaps I’m comparing too much to Noch Ein Bier set, but seriously, where’s ”Gott Mit Uns”? I really missed that one. And I’m sure I’m not the only one. The gig per se was very scaled down, just the band and us. I liked that.

But. Despite the set being boring, I guess we can say they never fail to entertain, like, ever. Considering how fast it went by. God, I love all these men who performed tonight. They are the reason I breathe.

After the show, we headed over to Alestorm’s merchbooth to pick up on a shirt where I almost ran over Chris Bowes, and later wound up chatting and hanging out with the guys in Bloodbound. It was nice to talk to some people from home, and we spoke about everything from touring to Australia to Noch Ein Bier to early days of corpse paint.

We did a quick stop by Sabaton’s merchtable to catch up with Jaqueline before we left the venue and got home.

Seriously, thank you all for this amazing evening. You are great.

// Sara

Shipwrecked

Posted in CDs, Music, Uncategorized with tags on June 16, 2015 by Sara Hammerzmith

Today was a pirate kind of day, an Alestorm kind of day. For today’s pleasure, I blasted their 2011 album “Back Through Time“.

I haven’t to this day listened through this album, as it was a part of the big haul from Sweden Rock and it has taken me some time to go over that (because I also have to spend time listening to the bands I’ll be seeing on Graspop)

Without having heard “Sunset on the Golden Age”, I can say that this far “Back Through Time” has to be my favorite Alestorm album. Songs like “Sunk’n Norwegian”, “Shipwrecked”, “Back Through Time” and “Swashbuckled” (this one this one this one!) are just some of the perfect examples on better tunes on this one.

What really caught my attention, I must admit, with this one is how short it is. I managed to go over it about three, four times in a very short period of time (I have a schedule I have to be done within) which surprised me. But when you notice that one of their songs is seven seconds you aren’t all that surprised anymore…

But yeah. I’m not sure really what to add to this – it’s the same Alestorm as always, and always as enjoyable. Gives you that extra strength to climb all the stairs at 4 am in the morning.

// Sara

Sweden Rock Festival 2015 – Friday

Posted in Concerts with tags , , , , , on June 5, 2015 by Sara Hammerzmith

So, even though it was a wee bit earlier than previous night, it was still fairly late for my liking. So I got up around noon, or something like that and started out with a slow breakfast and slow preparations for Alestorm. Seriously, some days I’m really fast, some days I’m really slow. Not sure why.

Went down around 1pm in order to check out some shopping tents, and also did I round in the 4sound tent to check out various guitars. I love all these little exhibitions Sweden Rock have all over their festival area. It’s like an amusement park – there is always something to do.

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So, around 2 or a little after I headed over to Sweden Stage to catch the first show of the day – Alestorm. They opened up spot on time with “Walk The Plank”, and the audience was well-recieving. It makes me glad when the audience is great to the band. They continued with “The Sunk’n Norwegian” and the show was pretty much a fact.

Like I’ve said previously, I’ll keep it rather short. But it was an energetic set, despite the heat (where did that come from?!) and good audience response kicked off this first day pretty perfectly. However, the backdrop still sticks needles in my eyes…

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ROCK GODESS

Directly after Alestorm, seeing I had gotten rather hungry, I head over to one of the food trucks to pick up some quick food before running over to 4Sound stage to catch Rock Godess live. I’m not too familiar with this band from before, but the little I had heard I liked, so I figured it’d be fun to catch them.

And I don’t regret I did! They delivered a good set with good energy, perfect lunchdate, if I may say so.

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After Rock Godess I had my first major break during the day, and with that I headed over to MailMetalOrder to pick up “.5: The Gray Chapter” on vinyl (double) as well as Korpiklaani’s new “Noita” and then heading over to Rock Stage where one of the highlights for me this year would soon enter: DOKKEN

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It’s interesting. About a year ago I waited at this exact spot for another group of big heroes of mine to play, TNT, with Tony Harnell. Why is it that most of the most important concerts in my life, happens to be at Sweden Rock? Is it because Sweden Rock is legendary? Probably. It was almost like a deja vu feeling, you know, standing there waiting for a band (or in TNT’s case, a line up) you’d thought you’d never see, and yet, here we are.

The band entered the stage and fired off the gig with “Kiss of Death” and continued on with “The Hunter”. After here, is where THAT happened.

Don started to talk a lot on stage and the drummer started to play slowly. For a split second, I actually thought they were gonna play my personal favorite, which is “Dream Warriors”. But I shoved the thought away – Why would they EVER actually play this song live? Bahahaha. Since I’m so wrapped up in my own thoughts I don’t really listen to what Don is saying. I heard him saying something about nightmares, but then he said two words that caught my attention.

Elm. Street.

You see, “Dream Warriors” is one of the many songs of the soundtrack to “A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: The Dream Warriors” and because of this, I figured they’d never play it.

But then he announced, that the next song was indeed “Dream Warriors”. And this, my friends, is what cause a CD enthusiast like me to drop my newely purchased .5 and Noita to the  ground with a big gasp. And wide eyes. Like… what. On. Earth. Just. Happened.

BEST MOMENT OF THE DAY, I’m telling you.

They continued on with a fresh set and a lot of… bad jokes if you ask me, but the gig was decent! But seriously, Dream Warriors… can’t get over it.

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After Dokken I had yet another break in which I took the oppurtunity to get some of my stuff down to the car to make it easier for me once I was on my way home. The next gig of the day for me wasn’t until 22.15, when Mötley Crüe would enter the stage, so I had quite some time. Of course, this wasn’t the only thing I did. I spent some time at Hot Shot’s as well. Where else?

MÖTLEY CRÜE

But sooner than later it was time for the guys in Mötley to take over the festival, and the stage setting was pretty massive, for being Mötley, I have to say. What especially caught my eye was Nikki’s microphone, which hung from the roof of the stage down in this big steel work with a Shout at the Devil kind of star on it.

They opened up the whole gig with one of my own personal favorites – “Saints of Los Angeles” which set off a good start… and then it kinda fell. Counting roughly on my hands, I’ve seen Mötley Crüe live about four times before, making this my fifth time. In 2007, they were really good. 2009 and 2010, they were decent. In 2012 they were horrible. Like, maybe it’s because I stood far away munching on popcorns due to my cold, but seriously… Vince didn’t sing half of the words or anything, but the band was pretty good. It can’t be worse, can it?

Apparently I was wrong. Apparently, it could be worse. I didn’t get any vibes from this, any energy whatsoever, and there were occasions I barely recognized the songs at first because they were literally all over the place. I don’t mean to sit here and dog and talk shit about Mötley, I know I have a lot of people who loves them, and so do I, but seriously… It’s like the Lordi gig in Brighton. Now I know what a bad gig are. Difference is just that Mr L actually sang.

But yeah, I guess I should give them some kudos for going on stage and all. At least they are doing more, and better, than I am at the moment. But to give some creds – Love the setlist. It was perfect. And the pyro show was mindblowing. Especially the last piece where a big piece of fireworks went on a line straight over the audience. Loved it, and it helped keeping warm in the night. Thank you!

And I will see you again, in November. No worries. Not abandoning you now.

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H.E.A.T

Towards the end of Mötley I started slowly moving backwards, as I wanted to have some good spots for H.E.A.T, partly for the show and the band, and partly because I had to warm up. Got there right in time for it to start, and they opened the set strongly with “Point of no Return”.

And here’s the deal ladies and gentlemen. You can say what you want about Alestorm, about Sabaton, Mötley Crüe, Toto, HammerFall or even Dokken. But no one, comes close to be a frontman like Erik Grönwall. Ones first instinct is to ask what drugs he’s on, but on the same time, I could totally see him really being like this.

But what I’m meaning to say is that Erik, never, ever fails to entertain. I have yet to see a gig where he is bad. I doubt it will ever happen. He’s the kind of frontman that gets the crowd going without any effort, he’s the kind of frontman who makes a duracell rabbit look slow. He’s the kind of frontman who makes like laugh, like when he was going to do a sing a long in “Beg Beg Beg” and instead belts out our Midsummer-drinking song (Helan Går). I’m glad I’m seeing these boys on Midsummer, will be PERFECT.

So what can I say. This was the perfect pick up after Mötley’s low-energy gig and I just want to say that I love H.E.A.T with all my heart. I know that wasn’t the case about seven years ago, but amends have been made.

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And them ending with my favorite song off “Tearing Down The Walls”, “Laughing at Tomorrow” made it just perfect.

And around 3 am, later than normal again, I knocked out in the tent, preparing for the last day of the festival.

// Sara