Sabaton, Alestorm, Bloodbound @ Music Hall, Aberdeen

2nd March 2016
Reviewed by Alexis Evans

Sabaton, Alestorm, Bloodbound

 

This is a mighty treat for the power metal fans of northern Scotland as it is set to be an energetic night of mayhem for the people in Aberdeen. The colossal Sabaton, fierce-some Alestorm and the vicious Bloodbound make up the monstrous line up that is sure to set alight a fire for power metal fans old and new, creating a night not to be missed or forgotten.

The tour, an extensive attack on European lands, making up 11 dates marching their presence across all corners over the UK and Ireland, has been catapulted into action by the latest release from Sabaton, ‘Heroes’.

First band to hit the stage is the menacing Bloodbound (4/5) from Sweden, new rivals of the power metal scene since joining forces in 2004. This was the first time for Bloodbound playing in Aberdeen, so fans were sure in for a surprise. Being the first band to start up this colossal night is a lot of pressure on the band as it’s their task to set a tone for the rest of the evening, but this didn’t stop them from them doing what they do best and personally I would say they set one hell of a standard to match.

Bloodbound didn’t ease anyone in by starting the night with ‘Iron Throne’ from latest album ‘Stormbound’ released in 2014. The song smacks you right in the face from the get go and grabs on to your soul with no intention of letting go. As soon as the song got underway so did the head banging along to the upbeat tempo stylised in the typical power metal rhythmic ways. The crowd began to really get into the song towards the middle when pits soon began to take shape, seeing cheers coming from the audience in excitement. This proved a very promising start to the night for Bloodbound and the perfect way to start a show.

Finally the band finished up with ‘Nosferatu’, which was  released in 2005 and seems to now be my personal favourite track from Bloodbound. This song starts with a very haunting and eerie ring of church bells, then incomes the intertwining patter of guitars telling a story that draws you in further and further. Once the vocals begin the song truly transforms in an emotional way that’s different to the rest of the songs they covered tonight. The song then goes into a fast pace assault from the menacing drums alongside Patrik Johansson’s spell binding vocals. Overall ‘Nosferatu’ is one heck of a song and live the guys do it complete justice- utter perfection.

Even though this set was quite short you could easily see why these guys fitted the bill. The band do have some mannerisms which remind me of an early Sabaton, but they do have their own approach which is also refreshing by coming across with certain black metal themes. I am sure this band have made many new fans on this enchanting night, and I know because I am one of them, through the way they spellbound the crowd whilst conjuring up one heck of a show.

Setlist:
Iron Throne
When Demons Collide
When The Kingdom Fall
Moria
In the Name of Metal
Stormborn
Nosferatu

Next to conjure up a pirate metal storm was the fearsome Alestorm (4/5), who created a tidal wave of carnage as soon as ‘Keelhauld’ began to bellow from the intertwining of guitars, drums and keyboards which created a storm that unleashed a pit of chaos. Everyone in the crowd went wild for this as it’s a classic known to the mass of fans that had gathered there tonight due the band’s Scottish origin, and it was easy to see that full support was behind them.

One song I must mention is ‘Hangover’ from the album ‘Sunset on the Golden Age’, which seemed to plague and mesmerise the audience into a trance of recent memories. Everyone in the crowed soon burst out into a pit frenzy which was soon to be followed by  a stream of fans crowd surfing and reminiscing drunken fond memories. I feel this was a special moment for the crowd as everyone connected on a personal level to the song, swaying in an almost drunk manner, creating a perfect atmosphere.

Alestorm finished their mighty set with ‘Rum’ from the ‘Back Through Time’ album, released in 2011, which I must admit was a perfect song to end on. As soon as the electrifying guitars intertwined with the fast paced drum beat, everyone knew what they were in for. The crowed burst into a frenzy knowing this was the last chance they had to create pure mayhem, with pits exploding into action. The majority of the audience knew the words, shouting at full force the lyrics back at the band which was something to be seen and felt. This was a great overall performance from Alestorm, showing the ways of Scottish pirate metal to fans new and old, and I’m sure the crowd felt the same.

Setlist:
Keelhauled
Over the Seas
Magnetic North
Shipwrecked
Surf Squid Warfare
Nancy the Tavern Wench
Walk the Plank
The Sunk’n Norwegian
Wenches & Mead
Drink
1741 (The Battle of Cartagena)
Hangover
Captain Morgan’s Revenge
Rum

Last but by all means definitely not least, the mighty and thunderous masters of power metal, Sabaton (5/5), conjured up a storm that will be remembered by all. The crowd rumbled eagerly awaiting the presence of Sabaton coming on to the stage, and as ‘The Final Countdown’ began, the starting uproar of chants was soon to lead the band onto stage, causing the audience to go wild. Even from the beginning, frontman Joakim Brodén commanded the stage and everyone’s attention.

First song to open up the energetic pandemonium was ‘Ghost Division’ from the album ‘The Art of War’, which created head banging havoc. The whole band felt the vibe from the crowd, connecting to the mass by uniting one and all in a fierce chant which built up the excitement of what was yet to come. This was a perfect way to grab and demand attention whilst exciting the audience of what was yet in store.

One song I must mention is my personal favourite of the night- ‘Resist and Bite’. Never before have I felt more alive at a gig then as the whole crowed head banged and swayed as one. The song started with a united salute of horns which transformed into a full throttle pelt of arms in the air along to the thunderous drum beat. Once the song began to get underway so did the pits, which opened up in a mighty roar causing mayhem to all near. Throughoutt the whole set I don’t think there was one person in the hall that wasn’t in full trance to this song, jumping, head banging, horns in the air, all in awe at the mighty Sabaton and their masterful ways of power metal.

Sadly it was time for Sabaton to depart the stage with their last song, ‘Metal Crue’, released back in 2006 on the album ‘Attero Dominatus’. The sadness of their last song was felt by the crowd but in a way that was bitter sweet, in the sense that such a great performance had preceded. From start to end this song mustered up the last and ultimate energy of the audience, everyone giving it their all to show there utmost support to the band. In addition, this saw an energy that I’ve never witnessed before in the way that even looking behind me, everyone was going crazy and not a single person wasn’t moving along to the intoxicating sounds of Sabaton.

Personally I see Sabaton as the biggest power metal band to date in their own right due to their masterful skills and genius lyrics. Yet at the same time I have no doubt these guys will kick back with even more in the coming future that will blow every one of the metal persuasion away. Furthermore I can personally say this has been the best performance I have seen from the band in an intimate setting, which suited them greatly as the crowed connected on an ultimately personal level. Well done guys! Pure power metal mayhem was had and was thoroughly enjoyed.

Setlist:
Ghost Division
Far from the Fame
Uprising
Midway
Swedish Pagans
Gott mit uns
Resist and Bite
Carolus Rex
Soldier of 3 Armies
Attero Dominatus
The Art of War
Always Look on the Bright Side of Life
To Hell and Back

Encore:
Night Witches
Primo Victoria
Metal Crüe

Overall this was an extraordinary line up to be seen up in Aberdeen and I must say one of the best gigs I have been to to date. I feel many others will say the same in that this was a night that won’t be forgotten with superb performances by all bands, showing true skill and talent. Each of these bands are masters at what they do, with Sabaton leading the way to success. I look forward to seeing each of these bands again and hopefully sooner than expected.

The perfect gig in my eyes.

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