Archive for Sabbaton

Happy New Year 2016!

Posted in Concerts, Heavy Metal, Music, Rock, television, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 31, 2015 by 80smetalman

For the first time in seven years with the company, I am working a sleepover on New Year’s Eve. At least I get double time for it. Therefore, I will wish everyone a happy new year now and reflect on 2015 and what there is to look forward to for 2016.

Amon Amarth at their best

Amon Amarth at their best

Huntress

Huntress

Savage Messiah

Savage Messiah

The year started with a great concert in Bristol featuring Amon Amarth with special guests, Huntress and Savage Messiah. I can’t think of a better way to start any year. While it seemed that on some occasions in the year, I was in danger of disappearing up my own rectum, with work, blogging and other commitments, music of past and present kept me sane. Although, I did have a wonderful break in August to go to Bloodstock and see three bands, two of them I missed in the 80s and the third, I was too partied out to fully appreciate them. They were Nuclear Assault, Armoured Saint and Overkill plus I headbanged to the likes of Sabbaton and Trivium that day while discovering a great little known band in Fire Red Empress. I hope the new year brings all of those bands greater success.

Overkill playing to the crowd

Overkill playing to the crowd

Fire Red Empress entertaining the crowd

Fire Red Empress entertaining the crowd

Nuclear Assault  in full assault

Nuclear Assault in full assault

Armoured Saint establishing their dominance

Armoured Saint establishing their dominance

Sabaton wowing with their sound

Sabaton wowing with their sound

Trivium in full swing

Trivium in full swing

As so many of you have pointed out, there was some great music throughout the year with new releases from Iron Maiden, Queensryche and the Scorpions to name a few. Plus there was a new album from The Darkness. Let’s hope their resurgence continues into the new year.

imbos

Of course, we can’t forget out losses with the recent passing of Lemmy and Phil “Philthy Animal” Taylor. Two-thirds of a great band gone in the same year is nothing short of a tragedy. However, I am confident that they are jamming away together in another place. On a personal, non musical note, the year also saw the final episode of my favourite television show, “Sons of Anarchy.” Fortunately, my eldest step son got me the entire series on DVD for Christmas, so there will be some happy viewing for me.

Lemmy

Lemmy

20121115-sons-of-anarchy-306x306-1352997102

Like with every year, the new year gives everyone a chance for a new start or things to look forward to. For me, while Sons of Anarchy is gone, I still can watch “The Blacklist” and so far in season 3, I like what I’m seeing. Then there’s the chance to see Twisted Sister’s farewell gig at Bloodstock this year. That is something I intend to move mountains to go to.

blacklist

Twisted Sister

Twisted Sister

So it leads me to say that whatever your hopes and dreams for the new year are, I hope it all works out for you. Just remember one thing, no matter what the year may bring, there will always be some great music to keep you going.

Happy New Year!

 

 

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My Concert Superstition

Posted in Concerts, Heavy Metal, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on August 5, 2015 by 80smetalman

I thought I’d sneak one more in before I head off to Bloodstock on Friday. Are you a superstitious person? Normally, I’m not but I do have one that relates to music. Friends have found this weird and even frustrating at times but I have always had this one superstition about concerts. It is that when travelling to a concert, it is bad luck to listen to any of the acts you are going to see that night. My logic being that it would somehow detract from the live show. I don’t know where this idea came from but it’s firmly in my head even though it was disproven once when I went to see the Stormtroopers of Death and a friend put them on in the car on the way. My logic to why it didn’t ruin the night was the fact I hadn’t even heard of them until that day. Strange isn’t it? Although I have no problem with listening to any of the artists seen on the night on the journey home. That is why I told my stepson that we will listen to his Sabaton CD on the way home instead of the way up.

That’s my metal superstition, do any of you have any?

Great Metal Albums of 1982: Michael Schenker Group- One Night at Budokan

Posted in 1980s, Concerts, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 17, 2015 by 80smetalman

220px-One_Night_at_Budokan

After letting their great studio album “Assault Attack” slip through my fingers, it was the live album from the Michael Schenker Group, “One Night at Budokan,” that I finally bought. This was because I was looking for one song in particular and although my record buying rule has always been never to buy a entire album on account of one song, I was so determined to get something with the song “Cry for the Nations” on it, that I broke my rule. On this occasion, my gamble paid off because not only I got the song I wanted, I got twelve other kick ass tracks as well.

“One Night at Budokan” adds the Michael Schenker Group to the list of bands I regret not having seen live. From what I hear on this album, I’m sure that they would have totally ruled in concert. Like with so many live albums, great guitarists just use their time in the spotlight to just let loose and Michael Schenker does that so well many times here. The most stand out for me is his efforts on “Lost Horizons.” Schenker just goes into a long mad solo and I find myself lapping up every second of it. Needless to say, though I’m going to anyway, his guitar work is just as mad on many of the other tracks and it’s a shame I took so long to recognize his talents.

Graham Bonnet does not appear on this live album but Gary Barden does an excellent job at the mike here. His vocals are enough to make me wonder why I haven’t heard him anywhere else. Another thing I didn’t acknowledge all of these years is that the Michael Schenker Group are part of the Deep Purple family tree. I have already pointed out Graham Bonnet but beating the drums on this album is none other than Cozy Powell. I don’t think I need to say any more about the quality of the drumming, do I? He is recognized on the album as he is introduced to the audience who show their appreciation to having such a great drummer on stage. With all of these elements in place, it is little wonder why “One Night at Budokan” is such a great live album and yes, they also do a great rendition of the song I was looking for in the first place.

Track Listing:

1. Armed and Ready

2. Cry for the Nations

3.  Attack of the Mad Axeman

4. But I Want More

5. Victim of Illusion

6. Into the Arena

7. On and On

8. Never Trust a Stranger

9. Let Sleeping Dogs Lie

10. Courvoisier Concerto

11. Lost Horizons

12. Doctor, Doctor

13. Are You Ready to Rock

Michael Schenker Group (as on One Night at Budokan)

Michael Schenker Group (as on One Night at Budokan)

Michael Schenker- guitar

Gary Barden- vocals

Paul Raymond- rhythm guitar, keyboards

Chris Glen- bass

Cozy Powell- drums

Breaking my record buying rule on this occasion paid off. I got myself a killer live album. However, there will be a tale when I get to 1983 where doing the same would bite me on the bum. So for the moment, let us linger on the success with Michael Schenker Group.

On another note, it was an eleventh hour decision buy my step son and I will be going to this years Bloodstock Festival on the Friday only. For my step son, it will be the headliners Trivium  and Sabbaton that interest him. As for me, I’m dying to see Overkill, Armoured Saint and Nuclear Assault and of course, I will post a full account of the day.

Next post: KISS- Creatures of the Night

To buy Rock and Roll Children, go to http://www.strategicpublishinggroup.com/title/RockAndRollChildren.html

Also available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Froogle and on sale at Foyles Book Shop in London

 

 

Three Pronged Metal Assault On Bristol

Posted in Concerts, Heavy Metal, Music, Uncategorized, video games with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 19, 2015 by 80smetalman

It’s Monday morning and I still haven’t fully recovered from Sunday night’s mayhem. Last night, my stepson and I went to see a concert at the Thekla in Bristol, UK, with viking metal giants Amon Amarth, California metallists Huntress and  homegrown Savage Messiah. Let’s just say that the night was one to remember.

It’s about a forty-five minute ride from my home in Stroud, Gloucestershire to Bristol but that’s not important. We did have Megadeth’s “13” album to make the ride enjoyable and provide the inflight entertainment. Once we landed in Bristol, we immediately headed for a nearby pub called The Gryphon which specialises in metal. Four years ago, I had my most successful book signing evening for “Rock and Roll Children” there. There were only three other people in there plus the bartender but I did manage a pint of real ale and the entertainment provided by Sabbaton on the pub’s sound system. Great place for a pre-concert party.

Inside The Gryphon

Inside The Gryphon

Leaving the Gryphon, we made the ten minute walk to the Thekla, which is an old ship turned into a night club. This turned out to be a bit ironic since the headline act prided themselves on being descended from vikings. An email from them gave me the impression that the show would start at 7 but the reality was that that would be the time the doors opened. So, we had to wait in line for fifteen minutes but some rather partied out concert goers who play too much Skyrim made the wait more amusing. My stepson informed me that they were loudly making quotes from the game, although I can’t remember what they were.

The Thekla

The Thekla

So, we went in, found a good place near the stage and waited. The wait was well worth it because at precisely 7:30, Savage Messiah hit the stage at 300 mph. They might have only been on stage for a half an hour but they made sure you took in every minute of it. They gave every ounce of energy they had into that short time span with some powerful playing. I had little experience of them before this night but they were kind enough to play two songs of theirs I did know, “Hellblazer” and “Minority of One.” Both were done brilliantly as were the other songs they played. They only slowed down long enough for lead singer, Dave Silver, to lament how their van broke down four days into their tour and had to pay over £600 in repairs. He said he was going to put the bill on Twitter, so I may have to check that out. Still, it didn’t detract from their performance one bit and when they finished, they still had enough energy to play another half hour.

Savage Messiah

Savage Messiah

More Savage Messiah

More Savage Messiah

The audience didn’t have much time to catch their breath before the second band of the night, Huntress ascended the stage. They wasted no time in carrying on from where their predecessors left off. Huntress wowed the crowd with their own brand of powerful metal which brought out all the ghouls and thrashers. It was in the middle of their set that a mosh pit opened up. This only fueled Huntress more. Lead singer Jill Janus lead the procession very well with both her engagement with the crowd and her singing. I loved her quote, “Put the stars in your bong and smoke the galaxy.” Of course all backed up by her band who proceeded to hammer the ear drums of anyone who was inside the Thekla. Like Savage Messiah, I’m not too familiar with Huntress’s material but they did play the “love song” Lemmy wrote for the band, “I Want to Fuck You to Death.” That brought their show to a thrilling climax and when they left the stage a couple of songs later, I was thinking to myself, that couldn’t have been 45 minutes.

Huntress

Huntress

Blake Meahl hammering out a guitar solo

Blake Meahl hammering out a guitar solo

The only decent shot I got of Jill and she has her back to me

The only decent shot I got of Jill

From the moment they got on stage, it was crystal clear that Amon Amarth were not going to take any prisoners. Viking drums beat, swords and shields clashed and most importantly, guitars, bass, drums and vocals reigned down fire from Valhala as they launched into their domination of the night. A mosh pit opened up straight away and would stay that way for the rest of the evening. My step-son even went into it only to come out a few minutes later drenched in sweat. Like many of the established head liner acts I have seen over the years, Amon Amarth played exactly the right blend of classic and new material. Songs I remember from the night included “Loki Falls,” “Deceiver of Gods,” “Guardians of Asgard” and “Twilight of the Thunder God.” Just over the midpoint of the show, they paused the carnage long enough for lead singer Johan Hegg to explain that he had lost his voice the night before and his band plus assistance from Jill Janus saved the show. Let me say that last night, there were no signs of any vocals problems with Hegg. The band hammered the rest of the night in style and did return for two encore songs, the last of which Hegg got the crowd to sing along. I can only vaguely remember the first line, something about vikings in a ship. Still, the crowd singing was good enough for Johan to declare us honourary Vikings. When Amon Amarth left the stage, it was to thunderous reverence of having conquered Bristol that night.

Johan Hegg leading his troops

Johan Hegg leading his troops

Amon Amarth at their best

Amon Amarth at their best

More Amon Amarth

More Amon Amarth

Johan Hegg talking about his voice

Johan Hegg talking about his voice

Under the green lights

Under the green lights

The residents of Bristol may not realise this but on Sunday January 18, 2015, their town was taken over by vikings assisted by to metal forces in the forms of Huntress and Savage Messiah. The Thekla provided that small club setting which provides an atmosphere all on its own. Three bands reigned supreme that night and I was glad I was there to experience it.

Next post: Outlaws- Los Hombres Malo

To buy Rock and Roll Children, go to http://www.strategicpublishinggroup.com/title/RockAndRollChildren.html

Also available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Froogle and on sale at Foyles Book Shop in London