Sabaton is a Swedish power metal band that has been rocking out since the late 90s. Their new album, Carolus Rex, was released on November 2nd and will be touring America this December.
The Sabaton roars into America with unmatched force is a band that has been playing for over 20 years. They have released 10 albums and 1 EP, and will be coming to the United States in September.
Sabaton, the Swedish metal masters, may come as a surprise to some if metal is about keeping one’s poker face intact, being cautious to be pompous enough, and “looking frightening” at the appropriate moment. Sabaton, on the other hand, may be the top banana if you’re seeking for unwavering musical skill, lyrics with depth and meaning, and a band that is clearly enjoying the time of their lives on tour (and isn’t afraid to show it…even to grin!).
Who could blame them for having a good time at this point? Sabaton has risen to such heights with their distinctive brand of power metal that they have been given the honor of opening for one of the greatest bands in music history, Judas Priest – a band commemorating almost 50 years(!) of producing metal.
The tank in Youngstown, Ohio
WE ARE ON TOUR AGAIN! We played our first performance on the Judas Priest tour in the United States and Canada yesterday, and you can’t imagine how wonderful it felt to be back on the road, seeing all of you again! -YOU ARE AMAZING! Dates and tickets are available at https://t.co/2Z7qvwK7ON. pic.twitter.com/zpxRYayLZ6
September 9, 2021 — Sabaton (@sabaton)
Even when fans are metalheads who are accustomed to numerous severe aspects, small clues during heavy metal concerts will frequently whisper to them that they are in for something very explosive. The lack of a foredrop curtain separating the stage from the fan’s perspective is one method to provide such a suggestion. Instead, the stage set is out there for everyone to see as they approach the stadium, unobstructed.
Of course, having a two-story background of a World War One combat soldier in the middle of being shelled, camouflaged items strewn around the stage (including the monitors), and… oh, yes, a tank with twin cannons as a drum riser helps to create the atmosphere. To say the least, that tends to stick out.
Even yet, once a band has created an atmosphere for themselves, it is their Herculean job to maintain it. It doesn’t help a band if they display a tank instead of a Yugo (we’re looking at you, Ghost), and this was a job that Sabaton enjoyed from the minute they took the stage.
Their entrance music sounded like “You Are My Sunshine,” a children’s song, but with half of the notes amplified to a chord, making the innocent ditty seem like a soundtrack for a film filled with heroic fights and brave deaths.
Keep in mind that it wasn’t quite “You Are My Sunshine,” but there’s no other way to put it. It was triumphant, but not in the sense of “black,” but in the sense of “victorious.” It featured a “sing-songy” tune that made everyone want to stand, which they did in droves.
Joakim Brodén, the singer, even expressed worry that no one would get up since the pit area had real chairs. He looked astonished that all of the supporters did, but he shouldn’t have been given the magnitude of their arrival.
With that, the tone had been established.
It was time for bassist Pär Sundström, drummer Hannes Van Dahl, and duo guitar virtuosos Chris Rörland and Tommy Johansson, along with the aforementioned Brodén, to keep the pedal to the floor and entice those who didn’t seem to be overly familiar with much of Sabaton’s music as well as excite their established fans who were undoubtedly also in attendance.
This was accomplished via a great combination of commanding stage presences, excellent musicianship, epic songs that made the audience feel as though they had just seen an epic battle before the credits rolled, and plain ol’ Tom Foolery. Brodén, for example, had his sweaty, mohawked head decorated with guitar picks, compliments of the duo ax team, to which he grinned in bemusement and playfully flipped them the bird during an open period.
The burly vocalist also cautioned a 9-year-old fan called Julian, whom he brought on stage with his uncle (at the child’s request) for the band’s last song to headbang and air drum, to stay away from the “fat Swedish guy” who brings death, a humorous reference to himself.
However, this occurred towards the end of the performance, and the audience was already ecstatic to see them, so it just served to emphasize what an incredible group of men Sabaton is.
Julian said that out of the 20 performances he had previously seen, this was unquestionably the best. (This same fortunate front-row boy would also be chosen at random by Judas Priest for their close.)
Aside from their humorous antics, any heavy metal fan will struggle to find any band that appreciates the art of precision musicianship as much as Sabaton. Songs like “Red Baron,” which blended solo shredding with some of the most catchy melodies this side of Tyr, helped to emphasize this. There were melodies inside melodies, from both the voice and the guitars – both within and outside of the solo work.
Each melody welcomed the next or seemed to sing together with it as they swirled together and complimented one another.
Sundström and Rörland had a stage presence and interaction that was almost palpable, and each lyric given during the night was presented with such conviction that one could easily forget that the singer had not been there during the fights he remembered with fondness and clarity.
“Defending Moscow” was similarly moving, with a tantalizing combination of blazing breaks and timing shifts that served to distinguish Sabaton from many of its genre contemporaries. Key shifts were often utilized to make an already regal song more greater, a technique that was used with precise timing throughout the night.
Sabaton’s stage became a sickening green for “Attack Of The Dead Man,” as the fog whispered softly and the band (except the drummer) donned gas masks. Brodén managed to sing his vocals effectively while wearing a WW1 trenchcoat and a chemical weapons backpack, a fact that is also a testimony to their immaculate sound team.
If there’s a flaw in Sabaton’s otherwise successful conquest of Youngstown, it’s that they employ some of the most powerful and overpowering keyboards in all of power metal, yet they don’t have a keyboardist. Despite the fact that some of the keys are ingeniously programmed in ways that would make Trent Reznor blush in some places, the band decided to sample these very important portions of the performance rather than travel with a keyboardist.
A live keyboardist might have really contributed a lot to the delivery for this band, and the setup could have also added a lot to the already amazing layout of the stage, given the amount of space the band had stage right.
However, if Sabaton’s popularity continues to increase, which seems to be a foregone conclusion if they continue to deliver the goods as they did in Ohio, one would not be shocked if they tour with a full symphony at some point in the near future.
…but we’re all hoping they still leave space for the tank.
The coach bishop 2k21 is a song by Sabaton, and it’s about the U.S. military. It’s about how America has always been at war with itself, but now they’re adding more troops to the fight in places like Afghanistan and Iraq.
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