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LIVE REVIEW: AMON AMARTH/SABATON, Sacramento, CA, USA – September 27 2014

| 17 October 2014 | Reply


Venue: Ace Of Spades

City: Sacramento, CA

Date: September 27, 2014

Review and Photographs by: Robert Kitay

One of the most intriguing triple bills of the year, Amon Amarth, Sabaton and Skeletonwitch packed the sold out Ace of Spades in Sacramento, California.

Opening the show was Athens, Ohio’s blackened thrash metal band Skeletonwitch. Once Skeletonwitch hit the stage, the mosh pits and crowd surfing began within minutes. Skeletonwitch headbanged their way through their relatively short, but crowd pleasing set, starting this show on a very heavy, brutal note.


Next up was Sabaton. Sabaton has been a touring machine over the last couple years and this was their second Northern California appearance of the year, although their first ever appearance in Sacramento. They also seemed to be the oddball band of this tour, being a power metal band with clean vocals, playing more melodic metal, bookended by two heavier harsh vocal bands. Any concerns that they wouldn’t fit in on this bill were quickly put to rest. Opening with “Ghost Division,” the energy level both on stage and within the room elevated. Certainly, Sabaton is one of the most active and energetic bands on tour today. Fists were rhythmically thrown into the air and the band refused to stand still. The show continued with “To Hell and Back” and “40:1” before they got the crowd to sing along with “Swedish Pagans,” even getting the crowd to do a little “YMCA” hands-in-the-air gestures Village People style. The crowd was certainly full of Sabaton fans, with fans singing along from the front of the venue all the way to the back. It was a bit hard to tell which band most of the fans in attendance were there to see, although it was clear by the end of the evening that most in the crowd were fans of both bands. Amongst a chant of “Sabaton, Sabaton,” Sabaton singer Joakim Broden strapped on a guitar (which I don’t ever remember seeing him do) and the crowd cheered. Joakim responded with “I’m not sure why you’re cheering because I suck at guitar, but we foolishly wrote a song for three guitars.” This was followed with “I’m going to go all Yngwie Malmsteen solo on your ass” before starting to play the opening chords to “Smoke on the Water.” The other Sabaton guitarists proceeded to give Joakim thumbs down before launching into their own mini solos. Joakim then began a rocking teaser of “Master of Puppets” that their drummer joined in along with singing from the crowd, before launching into “Resist and Bite.” The set finished up with “The Art of War,” “Primo Victoria” where the entire crowd jumped along with the band, and finally “Metal Crue.” Once again, Sabaton completely rocked the house and I’m a firm believer that Sabaton has become one of the most energetic and most entertaining live bands in the world today.



The final band of the evening was Amon Amarth. This was my first time seeing them, after wanted to see them for several years now. After Sabaton’s hyperactivity on stage, Amon Amarth’s stage movements seemed somewhat slow and deliberate, despite the band headbanging with reckless abandon. They opened with “Deceiver of the Gods” followed by “Runes to My Memory.” Amon Amarth’s singer Johan Hegg would pace the stage throwing fists, while whipping the crowd into frenzy. The set also included “Death in Fire,” “As Loke Falls,” “We Shall Destroy,” “Varyags of Miklagaaard,” “Father of the Wolf,” “Guardians of Asgaard,” “Warriors of the North,” and “Destroyer of the Universe.” Amon Amarth had a very effective lightshow for this sized venue along with smoke blasts from the front of the stage. Beer was drunk from a horn in true Viking fashion. Lots of moshing were the rule for this set. At one point, Johan Hegg offered some good-natured ribbing at Sabaton for the “YMCA” arm gestures, by saying “What was that YMCA stuff all about?” Toward the end of the set, they kicked things up a notch with “Cry of the Black Birds” and “War of the Gods,” before returning for the encore with “Twilight of the Thunder God” and “The Pursuit of Vikings,” which were the highlight of their set.

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Overall, this was one heck of a night of great heavy metal, and this tour gets a high recommendation from me.

Category: Live Reviews

About the Author ()

ToddStar - that's me... just a rocking accountant who had dreams of being a rock star. I get to do the next best thing to rocking the globe - I get to take pictures of the lucky ones that do. I love to shoot all genres of music and different types of performers. If it is related to music, I love to photograph it. I get to shoot and hang with not only some of my friends and idols, but some of the coolest people around today.

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