Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Concert Review: Sabaton and Kreator with Cyhra at The Buckhead Theatre (March 11, 2018)

If you're wondering, this is Kreator

Hello, degenerates, heathens, weirdos, and deviants.  I am the Rock Otaku, and I’m here to show you worlds such as hard rock, metal, punk, alternative rock, movies, TV, anime, video games, and anything that makes us scream, shout, and prevent the Nazis from obtaining the Ark of the Covenant.  Or save Private Ryan.  Or have a list of souls to save.  Or prevent World War III while allying with a dual pistol-wielding Count Dracula (and that’s just the beginning of

For those who are wondering where I’ve been for the last several months, here’s a reason.  I have decided to go to more concerts in the Atlanta area.  I could, if I wanted to, try to recollect the times I saw DragonForce, Psychostick (at Dragon Con, mind you), Epica, Psychostick again, and Trans-Siberian Orchestra, but those are for another day.  Here, this is a look at what I’ve thought of the Sabaton and Kreator show at the Buckhead Theatre last Sunday.

In general, it was pretty damn sweet.  The venue was spacious, there was a strong sense of where things were, and while I got admission to the general area, a.k.a. the orchestra pit, you could also get a good glimpse of the bands from the top balcony if you are a wimp or poseur who’s just there for the music rather than the whole experience.  Also, the service at the bars there, alongside the merch booths, especially for Sabaton’s, was great.  The prices were also good, with my ticket being purchased online for $29 with some extra charges, $10 buck for beer (which is where I feel the prices were maybe too high, I can get beer at Taco Mac for less, but that’s neither here nor there), $4 for water (which was ridiculous), $30 for a band t-shirt, and bathrooms are free with cost of admission, and that’s from what I’ve experienced.  But enough with the venue, how was the music?

The music was awesome.  First, the band Cyhra, a Swedish melodic metal supergroup with members from Amaranthe, In Flames, Rhapsody, and Shining, opened the night and only offered a couple of songs, but even then, they were good.  In general, the band’s style was something that you’d expect from a mix of those bands, specifically melodic metal with tinges of alternative metal, melodic death metal, power metal, hard rock, black metal, and stadium rock.  As a band that’ll take the world by fire, they’re alright for what they do, and they did play some of their big tunes, including “Letters To Myself” and everything else was from their debut album.  Can they be the next big thing in modern AOR?  I don’t know, but their live show was pretty good, but it pales in comparison to the headliners.  But, sorry for being apologetic in written form, they did do fine for their last show on the tour.

Next were German thrash metal legends Kreator, and, unlike the last band, I was in the pit so I might not have gotten a perfect glimpse of their stage show.  All I can tell you was that their smoke effects were well done, their lighting and light show added to a very chaotic feel, and the sonic intensity was the strength of an angry, drunken kraut whose wife was insulted.  Speaking of said sonic intensity, it’s arguably some of the meanest metal I’ve heard live, and I saw Kissing Candice, Once Human, and Arsonists Get All The Girls.  That’s a sign that these krauts still got it, even if some of the band's setlist was rather melodic.  With “Phantom Antichrist,” “Satan Is Real,”  “Enemy of God,” “People of the Lie,” “Civilization Collapse,” and “Gods of Violence,” their Teutonic thrash anthems were loud and aggressive, and they were great for some massive moshing, with somehow me on the floor like Yamcha, with my glasses messed up as well, during a massive one as they played parts of “Army of Storms,” all to get arguably the biggest pit of the show.  And yes, there were circle pits, and I managed to get a few pushes and hits in, since it’s a metal concert, and not moshing at least once is for the wimps (that also means you’re too scared to hit someone without knocking them out).  Even then, the stage show added to the chaos, as moshing alone would have been boring here, and the smoke and lights made the pit feel like a war zone.  Plus the encore was a double whammy of “Violent Revolution” and the thrash classic “Pleasure to Kill.”  Overall, Kreator kicked ass and I managed to pull off the most of my moshing at this part of the show.  Not to say it could be topped.

From a spectacle standpoint, which I decided to pay attention to and not mosh as much (not because I was a wimp, but because I had a beer in my hand and trying to take pictures and film parts of the show for those who didn’t make it in my inner circle), Sabaton, the Swedish power metal titans heading the affair, were the clear standouts here.  Plus, with the show being their last, they really did pull off a lot of great songs and moments on stage.  Starting with a taped recording of “In the Army Now” and a video of tanks going war-torn village, they began their power metal war campaign with “Ghost Division.”  Then they played more songs such as “Swedish Pagans,” “Cliffs of Gallipoli,” “The Lion From The North,” “Carolus Rex,” “The Final Solution” (which made me tear up a bit), “Night Witches,” “Sparta,” and more.  Also, during the show, Joakim got a guitar and played a medley of riffs including “Detroit Rock City” and “Master of “Puppets” before launching into “Resist and Bite.”  That and he took a beer break while the band played “Gott mit uns” without him.  And if you didn’t know the hooks of the songs, some of the video footage playing behind them had lyrics for certain moments.  Also, said video footage would correspond to the song, such as images of Spartans and blood for “Sparta,” Holocaust pictures for “The Final Solution,” images of wolves for “Resist and Bite,” and even art from the album of the same name for “Carolus Rex.”  For the encore, what it not going to start with “Primo Victoria” (which I managed to get some moshing in for)?  Also, they ended the show with “Shiroyama” (with a circle pit from the audience and Japanese imagery from the screens), and the awesome, All-American “To Hell and Back.”

If I had to rank the bands from lowest rank to highest, it would match the order they played in.  For Cyhra, I'd argue that their best song was “Karma” for melodicism alone, though I would give them negative points for not bringing their bassist on stage (and it’s saying something that I’m a guitarist with a focus on leads and solos that I’m saying this).  However, they were good.  Kreator’s show was great, if not a little basic, while their best song was “Satan Is Real” due to the catchiness of the chorus, the overall melodicism, and the intensity of the song itself, with “Enemy of God,” “Flag of Hate,” and “Pleasure to Kill”.  As for Sabaton, my favorite performances were arguably “Resist and Bite” from a standpoint of the song, “Swedish Pagans” for the sporty feel of the song, “Sparta” just because it’s about Sparta, “The Last Stand,” “The Final Solution” for making me shed manly tears of sadness, “Gott mit uns” for showing that the band isn’t entirely about Joakim and his manliness, and the encore of course. 

Overall, for this being their last show on The Last Tour, all three bands did end the show with a bang.  If I’d recommend each aspect, I’d say the following.  I’d recommend the Buckhead Theater for the service and ability to host heavy rock bands, and with Cradle of Filth and Stone Sour coming to the same venue, that’s a positive.  I’d recommend Kreator if you’d just want to go mad in the pit.  If you love power metal, songs about war, history, and brave heroes, and catchy choruses, then Sabaton is a must-see, and the amount of effort they put into their show is impressive regardless.  Cyhra is an act that, while I can see having a lot of experience doing this, needs to make sure that their bassist is alright or on the road with them to keep their sound from getting too stale, but they’re good for festivals and metal shows regardless.

My rating for the show: 9/10.

If you’ve been to this exact show or any other shows on this previous tour, tell me about your experience in the comments.  If you’ve been to the Buckhead Theatre in Atlanta for live music, leave a comment about your experience.  If you have any recommendations for bands that I need to see live on stage, also leave a comment.  Finally, I’ll see if I can set up an entry explaining what’s been going on, and what I have in store for the future.  Spoiler, more movie, TV, and anime reviews taking priority in the writing and possibly a vlog.

Until next time, this is the Rock Otaku, Live Loud, Play Hard, and Resist and Bite.

All used images and references are done under the rules of fair use and are owned by their original creators. 

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