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Sabaton, Eluveitie & Wisdom - HMV Forum, London - 09-11-2012 | FESTIVALPHOTO

Sabaton, Eluveitie & Wisdom - HMV Forum, London - 09-11-2012



First up tonight were Wisdom. Despite being on fairly soon after the doors opened, there was already a large crowd by the time they came on stage (well done to the venue staff for opening the doors on time and also getting fans in so quickly and efficiently). In fact the venue was probably already 60% full. Wisdom are a Hungarian power metal band who put in a highly energetic performance with the band members racing around the stage (indeed it's hard to photograph the singer as he never stays still for more than half a second) or headbanging furiously. The crowd certainly give them a good response, and their cover of Iron Maidens "Wasted years" goes down particularly well. A fairly short set but a very good one.

Wisdom setlist:

Fallin Away From Grace
Somewhere Alone
Live Forevermore
Wasted Years (Iron Maiden cover)

Eluveitie were next up. The Swiss folk-metallers fill up all the available space on the stage - with 8 members they need more room than your average band. The band use traditional instruments both in the studio and on stage, so are probably the only time you can go to a metal gig and see someone on stage playing the hurdy-gurdy. This year is their tenth anniversary so they have two albums to promote - their latest album (Helvetios), and the "Early years" album which took their first EP and re-recorded it and then added in a re-mastered version of the band's first album (both the first EP and the first album have long been unavailable). Tonight's show is made up largely of songs from Helvetios - seven of them in total. Despite being a very different style of music to Sabaton they go down very well with the crowd tonight. A great performance from Eluveitie.

Eluveitie setlist:

A Rose for Epona
Inis Mona
The Uprising

Tonight's main attraction though was Swedish power metal band Sabaton, here as part of their UK tour. Tonight though is more special than just being another night on the tour, for two reasons. Firstly they are filming the show (along with a couple of other nights in Europe) for a DVD release, and more importantly, tonight is the only show on the UK tour with pyros. It's the first time they've brought their full show to the UK, so expectations are high - Sabaton are asuperb live band normally, so the addition of flames and pyrotechnics can only make a great show even better.

Kicking off with "Ghost division" they are off to a flying start, and it's not long before the first pyrotechnics are used with sparks shooting into the air. The band storm through several more tracks before as Joakim put it when I spoke to him before the show "all hell breaks loose". Carolus Rex, the title track from their latest album, marks the start of a stage show that would make most bands apart from Rammstein feel a little nervous - we get flames, more flames and even more flames. As the band play and race around the stage as normal, flames shoot vertically into the air at the front of the stage and at the back, and then criss-crossig diagonal jets of flame start shooting out just behind the band. It's hot as hell for the fans at the front of the crowd, so I dread to think how hot it was on stage.
The latest album was available in two versions - English and Swedish, and tonight we get to hear the band do a song in Swedish - "Karolinens Bön" (The Swedish version of "The Carolean's Prayer").

After "Cliffs of Gallipoli", Joakim gave the audience the chance to choose the next song. He gave them a choice between "Midway" and "Uprising" and got the crowd to cheer for the one they wanted - "Uprising" won.
The second time audience participation was called for was after "Lion of the North" when Joakim spotted a fan with a jacket like his and swapped jackets with the fan, who then got to choose between "Attero Dominatus" and "Coat of Arms". "Coat of arms" was the chosen song and this brought the set to a close.

Obviously though Sabaton weren't going to leave without doing an encore, and what an encore it was - "The Art of War", "Primo Victoria" and "Metal Crüe" - a superb end to a fantastic night of music. Sabaton really are a fantastic live band and one that are definitely worth going to see. Their normal shows are great, but tonight's pyro show took things to a whole new level.

Sabaton setlist:

Ghost Division
Gott Mit Uns
Carolus Rex
Karolinens bön
Cliffs of Gallipoli
The Hammer Has Fallen
The Lion From the North
Coat of Arms

The Art of War
Primo Victoria
Metal Crüe


Skribent: Anthony May
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