With the onset of February we are getting a little busier. 2nd, Protest The Hero, 6th Del Amitri, 9th Molly Hatchet, 14th Monster Magnet, 15th Dream Theater, 19th, Sons Of Icarus, 20th Skyclad, 25th Soulfly, 26th Cadillac Three

And maybe a couple more to be added.

Monday, 12 November 2012

SABATON, Eluveitie @Wolverhampton Wulfrun Hall, 2/11/12

Switzerland’s Eluveitie seem at first to be on a mission to cram the most amount of people in a band. There appears to eight of them on stage, including flute players, a violinist and somebody playing the bagpipes.

As might be expected given the breadth of instrumentation on show, their sound is in eclectic mix of metal and folk and they are an interesting proposition. “Rose For Epona” and “Havoc” have plenty of twists and turns and their 45 minute set has much to commend it. Although RTM can’t help feeling that the bagpipe should be kept apart from metal at all times.

Things outwardly might look good in the Sabaton camp. New album “Carolus Rex” has continued their run of fine records and the show is at a bigger venue than when they last appeared on these shores a couple of years ago, but the truth is that it has been far from plain sailing for the group.

In April a new line-up was announced, with four members leaving and three new ones being drafted in. However , if there was a touch of trepidation about whether the band would be as good live as they ever were, we are happy to say those fears were totally unfounded.

Kicking off with “Ghost Division,” it is immediately clear that this is a band that is on top form. Frontman Joakim Broden is taking an even more prominent role these days, and it is a role that naturally gregarious singer is comfortable with, effortlessly getting the crowd onside from the off.

The band are evidently proud of their new record, with five “…Rex” songs being aired. “Got Mit Us” and “Poltava” being perhaps the pick. There are, however, a smattering of old songs – and with a reasonably novel idea, the crowd is allowed to choose some of them, by virtue of which gets the biggest cheer. On another occasion Broden spots someone he has seen before in the crowd and lets him decide, said fan is wrong as he plumps for a song other than the stunning “Uprising,” but never mind.

The fun continues with the encore. After “The Art of War” and “Primo Victoria” there is “Metal Crue” a cheesy homage to the bands of Broden’s youth.

The band seem genuinely pleased at their reception and thank the fans for giving the new incarnation of the band a chance. There really is no need. A band who is this good live deserves to be cut some slack over a few line-up changes. Really and truly, songs about war, death and destruction never sounded so good. 

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