The Pacific Rim of heavy metal

I had the immense pleasure of going to see SABATON play live the other night as they tour North America in support of their (awesome) new album. Now, if you've never been to see a SABATON gig, and you like their music, you need to do yourself the favour of getting your butt to whatever venue they're playing at next. You'll be in for a right treat.

The first thing you need to understand about the fans of this band is that we are insane. We love these guys. The last couple of times I've seen them play live, we were screaming ourselves hoarse long before they'd even gotten on stage, and at this latest gig, we'd starting moshing while their intro was playing.

You can just imagine what happened, therefore, when they hit the stage and launched into "Ghost Division". The place went completely and totally APESHIT.

The band themselves are always astonished at the level of support that they get when playing some of the East Coast cities. I don't think they've ever come over as a headlining act- every time I've seen them, they've been supporting someone or other, whether it be ICED EARTH (yawn) or AMON AMARTH or NIGHTWISH or TRIVIUM (*zzzzzz*). And yet they get treated like headliners every time.

But the best thing about a SABATON concert is, and has always been, the music. Yes, it's silly. Yes, it's over the top. Yes, they play more or less the same thing every single record. Yes, they are the Pacific Rim of the genre- they're either the most awesome dumb band, or the dumbest awesome band, on the entire planet.

Even so, there is something very endearing about their musical style and their sense of showmanship. And they absolutely LOVE their fans.

And we love them.

(As my kid sister said when I told her that I'd been to see SABATON play live: "I miss those buttheads".)

So if they're playing in a town near you, go see them. I promise you, it will be an experience you'll always remember.

Here is probably my favourite song of theirs- which, very sadly, they did not play at that gig:

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