Sabaton the mighty Swedish Crusaders on the 2nd December hit the stage at Readings very own Sub89 a venue which is small but does arguably have better sound than Wembley.
The troupe accompanied by Faroe Islander’s Tyr and the Finnish vodka guzzling korpiklaani , amidst of their latest UK tour.
Tyr open up the night by showcasing new tracks from latest release “Valkyrja” Playing to a modest crowd the troupe soon fill up the venue with plenty of heads starting to nod along. This crowd all be it eclectic and as always surprising for this venue.
There’s no mistaking lead guitarist Heri Joensen’s clean vocal delivery, nor his unique approach to song writing within this live setting.
There is something about them that mixes the ideas of folk metal with something a little bit more mystical, perhaps it was just the intimacy of the venue but there truly was something connecting about them perhaps this is where all that energy comes from!
Korpiklaani, the masters of conjuring up music around ancient folklore, gloomy tales of the underworld, trolls and the kindred. Oh yes and Vodka, nothing is quite as folklore as that!
The band play to format with their indigenous sound of cheerfully gruff, angry troll vocals and infectious fiddle and accordion lines playing off the crunching, heavy riffs. There are the expected sing-along chants to which the crowd go a bit mental for, as well as the merch girl, heck even the security guard seems to be enjoying it!
It’s been a pretty standard folk party set from the Finns, enjoyable but very similar in its delivery, it didn’t really help that the crowd were starting to get psyched up for the headliners of the evening.
After a quick rendition of “The final countdown” the rumbles of excitement started to fill the air as the main attraction for the evening opened up “Ghost Division” shortly after setting the fire alarms off which all their dry ice, as you do!
Sabaton, who hail from Falun, Sweden, have been working consistently hard for the last few years, with plenty of albums in their stead, are really starting to conquer the world with their Swedish steel licks! With more weekly announcements for them globally playing as well as in the UK’s very own fields.
The energy packed army comprises of Hannes Van Dahl the bombastic drummer, thunderous bass master Par Sunderstrom, the duel axe weilders Thobbe Englund and Chris Rorland and fronted by the mighty Joakim Broden.
It would be fair to say that the band work in fantastic syncopation, with every song having the right amount of space between them for banter and a re-polish of their steel plates.
Ending their set of majestic fist-pumping anthems the crowd around the venue seem saddened as well as triumphant for we all just witnessed victory!
Images and Words by Ashlinn Nash