TVD Live Shots: Sabaton, Accept, Twilight Force at the Brixton Academy, 1/14

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“We are Sabaton and we play heavy metal,” says Joakim Brodén singer and frontman of Sabaton. This Swedish power metal band are the masters in their niche of singing songs about war and historical battles. Make no mistake, Sabaton wear their influences on the sleeves, well more like on their (camouflage) pants, literally. Army helmets, cannons, fire, explosions, tanks—these guys are not f*cking around when it comes to putting on a full-blown metal show and the fans hang on every single note.

I’ve seen some metal shows in my life but never have I seen a crowd fist pump in unison so perfectly. The energy in the room was undeniable and the comradery that Sabaton orchestrated with their fans is absolutely remarkable. That crowd was losing their sh*t the ENTIRE time and it was contagious.

Touring in support of their 8th studio album, The Last Stand is a concept which takes inspiration from famous defensive “last stand” battles. Released in August of last year, The Last Stand debuted at number one in the Czech Republic, Finland, and of course their home country of Sweden. It’s a testament to the power of metal and the insanely large fanbase in Europe.

But the thing that truly blows my mind is the fact that these guys have actually fused their passion into their art. In a recently released interview Sabaton bassist Pär Sundström and vocalist Joakim Brodén discussed how they  substituted actual guns for drums on the track “The Lost Battalion”—6.5 million views and counting on YouTube.

Brodén said, “It’s a bit of a strange thing. Instead of drums, we decided to build the rhythm section out of sounds of war. What you perceive as a kick drum is actually a .50-caliber machine gun. The snare drum, or what is perceived as a snare drum, would be a 9-milimeter handgun. And the hi-hat is a bayonet.”

He added, “To a certain extent, we tried to keep it as historically correct as possible. So if we’re ever doing an intro, or an outro, we like to make sure it was a gun that was used at that time in the battle.” Mind blown? Yeah, I thought so. I’ll stop talking and let the photos from the show tell the rest of the story.

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Also on the bill that night were metal legends Accept and “dragon metal” band Twilight Force. Accept sounded incredible and proved that they are still worthy co-headliners with a set that included the classics “Restless and Wild” and the showstopping “Balls to the Wall” along with critically acclaimed new material from the past two releases. These guys still have plenty to give to the world of metal.

Twilight Force was quite an experience in itself. Being a huge fan of Dungeons and Dragons, I felt right at home. These guys really take it to another level, and the music was pretty good. I’m not super familiar with the genre, so again I’ll let the photos tell the story here.

Growing up as a metal fan, this is the kind of music that I loved. While Sabaton may not be for everyone, there certainly is an audience—and it’s growing. If you’re a fan of metal, this is a given, but even if you are a fan of art, history, and over the top entertainment, you should tune in and take a cue from the incredible imagination of these metal bands, especially in the case of Sabaton.

SABATON

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TWILIGHT FORCE

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ACCEPT

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Were you at the show in London? What did you think? Join the conversation in the comment section below. Check out hi res shots of Sabaton here and Accept here.

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