Sabaton – Tankovska divizija, ki je rušila Zagreb (2015)

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“Za Sabaton je bil ponedeljkov nastop že peti v hrvaški prestolnici.”

Nastopajoči: Battle Beast / Delain / Sabaton
Lokacija: Zagreb / Tvornica kulture / Hrvaška
Datum: ponedeljek, 02.02.2015

(Please scroll down the bar and find an English version, too!)


Deset let in prek tisoč koncertov, le malo glasbenih skupin se lahko pohvali s tolikšno številko. Sabaton se lahko. Ob tolikšnem številu koncertov niti ni čudno, da so pogosti gostje tako naših odrov, kot tudi zagrebških. Tankovska divizija, ki ji poveljuje general Joakim, namreč neumorno tre odre širom sveta in iz leta v leto pridobiva več privržencev. Nalezljive melodije in ritmi v kombinaciji besedil o herojstvih posameznikov v vihrah vojn pa so to skupino, v le nekaj letih, povzpeli v sam vrh najbolj priljubljenih metal izvajalcev. In v ponedeljek, v zagrebški Tvornici kulture ni bilo prav nič drugače.

Očitno se je švedski vojni stroj za to turnejo odločil malo polepšati oder in s seboj povabil kar dve skupini z ženskim vokalom. Prvi so oder zavzeli finski Battle Beast. Mlada zasedba je leta 2010 zmagala na tekmovanju še neuveljavljenih skupin festivala Wacken, prihodnje leto pa na finskem  izdala svoj prvi album ‘Steel’. Še isto leto, jih je opazila založba Nuclear Blast, ki je poskrbela še za svetovno izdajo albuma. Leto 2012 je prineslo tudi menjavo pevca; skupino je zaradi družinskih težav zapustil Nitte Vallo, za mikrofonom pa ga je zamenjala svetlolasa Noora Louhimo. In kako se obnese ženski vokal v power metalu? Odlično! Če je bila ob začetku koncerta dvorana precej prazna, pa so jo s svojo glasbo dodobra napolnili že v nekaj minutah. Battle Beast igrajo zelo nalezljivo metal, ki gre hitro v ušesa in človeka ne pusti ravnodušnega. Čeprav tehnično ne najbolj zahtevna glasba, pa v svojem bitu ne skriva močnih vplivov svojih vzornikov od Iron Maiden in Judas Priest, pa do modernejših skupin, v kombinaciji s klaviaturami celo Sabatonov. Nastop je bil energetičen, navkljub zelo malem prostoru na odru – vsaka vojna zahteva žrtve in ker Sabaton s sabo vozijo bobnarski tank, se predskupini dobesedno drenjata na odru. Svoj polurni nastop so Finci izkoristili do maksimuma, pozitivna energija v dvorani pa je dodala še piko na i. Skupina, na katero bo v prihodnje še treba paziti!

Temperatura v dvorani še ni občutno padla, ko so svoj delček odra zasedli nizozemski Delain. Simfonični metalci namreč precej spominjajo na svoje rojake Within Temptaion, kar niti ni čudno, glede na to, da je njihov soustanovitelj Martijn Westerholt bivši član prej omenjene zasedbe. Glasbena kilometrina se skupini pozna, saj so nastop izpeljali brezkompromisno. Veliki Otto Schimmelpenninck van der Oije je z rušilnimi basi ter občasnim growl vokalom dodobra poskrbel za poln zvok, ki mu je atmosferiko dajal Martijn na klaviaturah. Na tokratni turneji so oboževalci skupine pogrešili kitarista Tima Somersa . Njegovo mesto je zapolnila mlada, še ne 23 let stara Merel Bechtold, ki drugače svoj kruh služi v še eni nizozemski simfonični metal zasedbi MaYaN, ki jo je ustanovil Mark Jansen (Epica). Strup je v malih flaškah, pravijo, in drobčkena Merel je to tudi dokazala – z Bo-Elovo sedem-strunko je skozi Englove ojačevalce rušilno prenašala svojo interpretacijo Timovih kreacij, katerih se verjetno ne bi sramoval niti on, niti kateri drugi izkušeni kitarist. Ostane pa nam še mična Charlotte, ki je poskrbela za dvig temperature predvsem med moškim delom občinstva. S polprosojno majčko in manjkom modrčka je pustila domišiliji prosto pot in zastavilo se je vprašanje, koliko občinstva je sploh poslušalo njihovo glasbo. Vrhunec je doseglo slovo pred zadnjo skladbo, med katerim so kleni Hrvatje začeli prepevati »Vadi s*se, da se igramo!« Charlotte je navkljub temu pokazala, da ji »pljuča« dajo glas, ki mogoče ni tako visok kot pri Within Temptaion ali Nightwish, a kljub temu dovolj nežen za lep kontrast nizko uglašene kitare. Občinstvo pa spet popolnoma v transu in dodobra ogreti za zvezde večera.

Za Sabaton je bil ponedeljkov nastop že peti v hrvaški prestolnici. Začetek ni prinesel presenečenj – ko so se plahte spustile z ogromne tankovske bobnarske konstrukcije in so iz zvočnikov zadoneli uvodni takti megauspešnice njihovih rojakov, The Final Countdown, je v nabito polni Tvornici završalo; dvorana je v en glas pela skupaj z Europe, ko pa se je le ta prelevila v instrumentalni intro March to War, je ozračje postalo napeto kot trenutek pred jurišom na utrjene sovražnikove položaje. Že klasična otvoritvena Ghost Division je dvorano pognala na noge in zopet dokazala, da je skupina še vedno na vrhuncu – tako glasbeno kot koncertno. Toliko pozitivizma in nasmehov, kot ga veje z njihovega odra, je resnici na ljubo težko najti. In seveda tudi tokrat niso izostale Joakimove šale med skladbami – čeprav tokrat ni bil v ospredju njegov mali penis in pozivi k še enemu pivu. Hrvaške, Poljske in Švedske zastave so mahale v tej gruči zvestih »vojakov«, družbo pa jim je delalo še precej slovenskih, na hrbtih lanskih Metaldays majic. Že pri peti skladbi je prišlo do prvega glasovanja, kjer je občinstvo z očitno prednostjo izglasovalo, da se Gott Mit Uns izvede v švedščini, kasneje pa je v istem jeziku sledila še Lifetime of War (preglasovala Carolyn’s Prayer). Pri prvi je imel čast odpeti prvo kitico Chris, pa tudi sicer, so tako on kot tudi Thobbe in Pär vneto sodelovali na back vokalih. Eden vrhuncev večera se je zgodil, ko je po koncu ene od skladb, občinstvo spontano začelo prepevati melodijo Swedish Pagans, bonus skladbe z albuma The Art of War, nakar skupini ni preostalo drugega, kot da jo tudi zaigrajo. Kot sem že prej omenil, ni manjkalo tudi zabave. Joakim je povedal, da obvlada igranje kitare in da ga je Michael Jackson izbral za tunejskega kitarista, a ga je na žalost prehitela smrt, on pa se je moral zadovoljiti s kariero pevca. Ko mu je roadie prinesel kitaro, je nanjo zaigral uvod v Beat It, nakar ga je Chris izzval z divjo solažo, Thobbe pa poslal še njega v malo šolo s svojo solažo. Nakar je Joakim pričel preigravati Iron Maiden, a se je šala končala tako, da so pričeli igrati Resist And Bite in medtem ko sta oba kitarista igrala solo dele v tercah, je Joakimu pripadla čast odigrati ritem kitaro. Ko se je skladba končala, je Joakim pričel s Seek&Destroy riffom, a mu je roadie z velikimi vrtnimi škarjami preščipnil strune na kitari in mu v roke potisnil mikrofon – seveda ob huronskem smehu na in izpod odra. Fantje so se tudi odločili zaigrati vsaj po eno skladbo iz vsakega albuma, kar je pomenilo slišanje 7734 iz redko izvajanega albuma Metalizer. Drugače setlista ni prinašala hudih presenečenj, saj sta glavnino skladb prinašala aktualni Heroes ter prejšnji Carolus Rex. Ko so odzveneli še zadnji takti Metal Crüe, pa je dvorana popolnoma eksplodirala, in videti je bilo, da so se fantje le s težkim srcem poslovili od fanatičnega in fantastičnega občinstva.

avtor: Sebastijan Videc
fotografije: Jerneja Jerak

Battle Beast
1. Far Far Away
2. Black Ninja
3. Touch in the Night
4. Madness
5. Iron Hand
6. Out of Control 

Delain
1. Mother Machine
2. Get the Devil Out of Me
3. Army of Dolls
4. Go Away
5. Pristine
6. Sleepwalkers Dream
7. Stardust
8. Not Enough
9. We Are The Others 

Sabaton
The Final Countdown (intro)
March to War (intro)
1. Ghost Division
2. To Hell And Back
3. Carolus Rex
4. Soldier of 3 Armies
6. Gott Mit Uns
7. The Art of War
8. 7734
9. Swedish Pagans
10. Resist And Bite
11. 40:1
12. A Lifetime of War
13. Far From the Fame
14. Coat of Arms

15. Night Witches
16. Primo Victoria
17. Metal Crüe


Ten years and over a thousand of concerts – there’s just a few bands today that can put such number to their credit. Sabaton can! And with such a number of concerts it is no coincidence that they are regular guests to our stages, as well as of those across the Southern border. Panzer division, which is commanded by general Joakim, effortlessly demolishes stages all around the world and from year to year gains new fans. Catchy melodics and rhythms in combination with lyrics singing about heroic deeds of individuals and units in various wars, in just a few years, propelled this band among the top metal artists. And this Monday’s concert at Zagreb’s Tvornica Kulture hall was no difference.


It seems like the Swedish war machine decided to pretty up the stage on this tour and invited two support bands with female singers. The first to take the stage were Battle Beast from Finland. Young band won Wacken festival newcomer competition and the following year released their debut album ‘Steel’ for Finnish market. The same very year, Nuclear Blast heard the album, offered the band a contract and re-released ‘Steel’ on worldwide scale. 2012 brought the change – singer Nitte Vallo had to leave the band due to family problems and the band recruited feisty blonde Noora Louhimo. And how does a female voice perform in power metal, you might ask? Superb! If the hall was more or less empty, when Battle Beast started to play, the situation changed in a matter of minutes. Battle Beast play a very catchy metal, which engulfs our ears and minds and leaves no-one at peace. Music may not be technically very complex but on the other hand they openly show their influences range from Iron Maiden and Judas Priest to the more modern power metal bands, even to Sabaton. The performance was energetic, despite the very small stage; each war demands sacrifices and since Sabaton have a huge drum tank on stage, support bands were left with little stage space. The Finns used their 30 minutes up to the maximum while the positive energy that was ruling the hall added the extra kick. Battle Beast, a band to look out to in the future!


Temperature hasn’t really started to fall yet, when their little piece of the stage was taken by Dutch Delain. Symphonic metalheads, which remind a lot like Within Temptation, which doesn’t really surprise given that Delain’s co-funding member Martijn Westerholt used to play in that band. More than a decade of musical experience was felt through an uncompromising performance. The huge Otto Schimmelpennicnk van der Oije with his thunderous bass and occasional growling vocals took care of the lower end of the spectrum, while the atmospherics were taken care of by the before mentioned Martijn on keyboards. Delain fans might have missed their guitarist Tim Somers. Instead, the shredding was done by young 22-year old Merel Bechtold (MaYaN). They say poison is stored in little flasks and Merel proved this saying – using her 7-string Bo-El, Engl amps were thundering her interpretation of Tim’s work, of which neither Tim nor any other self respecting guitarist wouldn’t be ashamed.  Last but not least there’s sexy Charlotte, which on this concert helped to bring temperature up even more – especially among the male metalheads. With semi transparent shirt and no bra, she left the imagination go wild and I questioned myself, whether the guys even heard the band that played on stage. This even led to the situation when the guys in the public started to sing »Put your B**bs out so we can play«. But that put aside, Charlotte proved that she’s a great singer with a vocal maybe not as high as those with Nightwish or Within Temptation but still soft and soothing enough for a nice contrast to the low-tuned guitar.


For Sabaton, this was their 5th concert in Zagreb. The start didn’t bring any surprises – as soon as the huge drum tank was uncovered, Europe’s megahit ‘The Final Countdown’ started to play with a united chorus from the visitors and when the first notes of March to War were heard, the energy among the crowd was such as in the WW1 trenches, moments before storming on enemy positions. Classic opening song Ghost Divison left no-one still and once again proved, that Sabaton are still at the top – in musical and performing way. You can’t see so much positive energy and smiles literally bombarding the crowds with any other band. Of course, there were now legendary Joakim’s jokes between the songs – but this time not on behalf of his little penis or drinking one more beer as is usual. Croatian, Polish and Swedish flags were waving among the crowd, joined by Slovenian ones on the backs of Sabaton Metaldays official T-shirts. The first voting of the night happened with the 5th song, when crowds decided that Got Mitt Uns shall be sing in Swedish instead of English, while later, Lifetime of War was sang in their native language as well. Gott Mit Uns’s first part was even sang by Chris, while all the three string man had an important back vocal part through the concert. One of the pinnacles of the concert was, when crowd started to sing Swedish Pagans melody and the band had no other option but to play it. One of the greater jokes on stage was, when Joakim told that he was chosen by Michael Jackson to be his tour guitarist but unfortunately Jacko’s death killed the plan. Roadie brought him a guitar and he played a few Beat It Riffs, followed by Chris’s and Thobbe’s amazing solos. Joakim again wanted to prove his guitar knowledge and started to play Iron Maiden which was soon turned into Resist and Bite, with Joakim on rhythm guitar and the other two on solo guitars. After the song, Joakim started to play Metallica’s Seek And Destroy but the roadie cut the strings of his guitar and gave him his microphone back – with huge laughter on the stage and from the crowd. Since the guys decided to play a song from each of their albums, we had a chance to hear 7734 from a rarely played Metalizer album. Setlist itself was not very surprising – consisting mostly of Heroes and Carolus Rex tracks. When the band finished their performance with Metal Crüe, the hall almost exploded and the guys had a hard time leaving the stage.

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