Review: Sabaton – Heroes On Tour – Nuclear Blast – Release: March 4th 2016

Review: Sabaton – Heroes On Tour – Nuclear Blast – Release: March 4th 2016.

Sabaton is currently one of the biggest names in power metal and they are able to give one hell of a show, complete with military armaments! Shows by them are always a treat, but since not everyone’s lucky enough to attend shows we can get the experience on a disc as well! Three years and one studio album since their last DVD “Swedish Empire Live” it’s time for a new one, “Heroes On Tour”.

Sabaton is:
Joakim Brodén – Vocals
Pär Sundtröm – Bass
Thobbe Englund – Guitar, backing vocals
Chris Rörland – Guitar, Backing Vocals
Hannes van Dahl – Drums

Heroes On Tour
So here’s a nice package consisting of 2 DVD’s or Blu-rays and one live CD, featuring the band’s show at Wacken and their very own festival in their hometown of Falun. I’ll just split this bit up for an easy overview

Wacken Open Air 2015:
121995_Sabaton___Heroes_On_TourThe video starts with a nice introduction by the band and crew about the upcoming show and the extra work they had to do for this show: They had to pour concrete to be able to fit two, yes TWO, tanks on the stage. Wacken is pretty fucking big, so a show here will really make for great shots with an enthusiastic audience. When the traditional opener of ‘The Final Countdown’ starts and you see the feed of the audience you’ll almost be transported right in there. However, the video constantly switches back and forth into silliness by the band in preparation for the show.

Then it’s time for the roadies to uncover the tanks and the show can start in full fire! The sound’s perfect and has just that rawer edge that you want with a live recording, yet more in balance so you can hear everything perfectly, including the ecstatic crowd.
Joakim keeps throwing out silly jokes in between songs, but he often gets drowned out by the loud crowd (‘Noch Ein Bier’!) and even if the jokes are repeated from other nights, which he freely admits, you can’t help but crack a smile.
The tracklist is a great overview from the band’s already rich history and they’re sure to get out the biggest crowd pleasers, even teasing ‘Pagan Gods’ all the way to the end. It’s a shame that the show’s on a clear day, because it’s a waste of the pyros and the light show, yet luckily dusk slowly falls towards the end.

Camerawork’s great with loads of views and although the video often switches it’s never annoying by going too fast. Panning shots of the entire audience, especially from the back of the stage are truly a sight to behold on Wacken.
There are two bonus bits on this DVD, one about Sabaton’s own beer and one song together with the Prague Bohemian Symphony Orchestra. Just small snacks and fun for the hardcore fan who was attending. The bonus CD included in the package features the full Wacken set.

Sabaton Open Air 2015:
We get another intro by the band and crew telling about this very special festival in the band’s own hometown of Falun, Sweden. While it started out as a release party, it has become pretty damn big. Fans and other bands talk about the festival and special memories.
Joakim explains about how the setlist is built differently from the Wacken show and the reasons behind it. Because it’s their own festival they also get to play a bit longer, putting in special treats for the fans. The band’s also totally honest about a rather crucial aspect; the music you hear has been recreated in the studio as the original recordings didn’t prove to be up to scratch, but the footage itself was too nice not to release.

Camerawork’s a little more low-key than with the Wacken show and the studio recording is pretty obvious, especially with vocals (luckily you can hear the normal mic feed in between songs), but since this disc is a very special extra treat for the fans I don’t count it against them. It speaks for the band that they’re totally open about it.
The show’s set during the evening, which is a big plus where it concerns fireworks and the lightshows. Because this really is a Sabaton party Joakim spends a lot more time between the songs to talk about the history of the albums and the songs, which are all played in chronological order. Whilst the Wacken show was more overwhelming, the Falun show is, despite the big size, more intimate: a real celebration of the band and its fans.

As an extra this disc has the studio feed as well where you can see the band, rather comically, play the entire show in a small room, with Hannes recording drums in the room next to them.

Conclusion:
This really is an excellent package, featuring two great shows on video as well as a terrific live CD. Definitely a recommended purchase for fans of good musclebound power metal!

Score: 4.5 out of 5

 

Tracklist:

Wacken Show:
Final Countdown
The March to War
Ghost Division
To Hell and Back
Carolus Rex
No Bullets Fly
Resist and Bite
Far From the Fame
Panzerkampf
Gott Mit Uns
The Art of War
Soldier of 3 Armies
Swedish Pagans
Screaming Eagles
Night Witches
Primo Victoria
Metal Crüe

Falun Show:
Final Countdown
The March to War
Ghos Division
To Hell and Back
Carolus Rex
Panzer Battalion
Wolfpack
Attero Dominatus
7734
Union
The Art of War
Saboteurs
Coat of Arms
En Livstid I Krig
Resist and Bite
Swedish Pagans
Night Witches
Primo Victoria
Metal Crüe

Link(s):
Sabaton Facebook
Sabaton Official
Nuclear Blast

Text by: Robert Popovic

 

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