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Iced Earth/ Sabaton/ Revamp

Date: 4/18/14
Venue: Best Buy theater, NYC
Report By: Rich Catino

Out supporting their second album, “Wild Card”, Revamp is the band probably now more known for as the other band of current Nighwish vocalist Floor Jansen. Revamp’s music is different than Nightwish, Floor with this outfit allowing her soaring voice to be carried by more progressive/aggressive riffing, time changes, and modern breakdowns within many tunes (see the new album’s title track, and ‘Head Up High’). Floor even does the occasional deathy vocal aside from the male ones that chimes in to accent certain lyrics and moments Revamp are pretty hard hitting. Like in Nightwish, Floor and her Amazonian stage presence (and headbanging with the boys) is the center of attention. Whereas Nightwish would fit on a tour with Blind Guardian or Kamelot, Revamp could hang with the likes of In Flames and Meshuggah. The crowd were rather familiar with the band and many waited on line after their set for autographs. I’d say if and when time allows Revamp will return for more touring.

Sabaton… from the European Power Metal bands, could they be the next Iron Maiden or Judas Priest for the new generation???? I’ll tell ya, it’s quite possible given the response these guys got tonight. With seven albums out, and the new one “Heroes” just released in May, these guys are on the fast track to success. I knew they were big overseas, but had no idea they made such a splash in America like this. Opening with the pounding rhythmic anthem ‘Ghost Division’, eight more were to follow with high energy, synchronized Accept (guess the camouflage is not a coincidence then?) style headbanging, and singer Joakim Broden running around the stage engaging the crowd like Bruce Dickinson (Iron Maiden) in an arena. With songs historically accurate about war, an infectious hymn for the first single ‘To Hell and Back’ from “Heroes” demonstrates Sabaton writes not only for theme, but for the power of heavy metal, and an enthusiastic crowd. These guys are (have been) onto something. Curious, if they could topically add some variety along with the war themes. Because like with Manowar, it gets old.

Iced Earth are back, twenty four years into their career, in 2014 releasing a second album “Plagues Of Babylon” with latest singer Stu Block. Joining founding member guitarist John Schaffer for this album/tour trek are Troy Seele (lead guitars 2007–present), and two new members; bassist Luke Appleton and drummer Jon Dette who’s had stints with Slayer, Testament, and Anthrax. And, for those wondering if Iced Earth are still bringing it after four singers, yes, Stu is a great combination of the classic Matt Barlow’s strong (at times somber) low end and the high pitched screams of Owens.

The stage production included the usual large backdrop with album artwork, a small riser for the drums, and a lighting color scheme that focused on reds, yellows, and oranges. For this tour, Schaffer has changed up the setlist amongst newer tunes ‘Plagues of Babylon’, ‘Democide’, ‘If I Could See You’, and ‘ Cthulhu’. I think (for North America) this is one of the only times the set has been absent anything from the classic “Night of the Stormrider” album (title track, ‘Angels Holocaust’, or ‘Pure Evil’), also skipping over “Horror Show”, and “Burnt Offerings” (‘Dante’s Inferno’ was in last tour). Although, ‘The Hunter’, with staple ‘Burning Times’ made up for it as an excellent one-two and a big crowd pleaser. ‘Red Baron’ was a solid return from the Tim Owens era (“The Glorious Burden”). ‘Vengeance Is Mine’ and ‘My Own Savior”, from what I call their “Number Of The Beast” and “Powerslave” albums, “The Dark Saga” and “Something Wicked This Way Comes”, are always welcomed returning faster ones.

Revamp Setlist:
Wild Card
Head Up High
The Anatomy of a Nervous Breakdown: On the Sideline
The Anatomy of a Nervous Breakdown: The Limbic System
In Sickness 'Till Death Do Us Part: Disdain
Wolf and Dog

Sabaton Setlist:
Ghost Division
Gott Mit Uns
Carolus Rex
Swedish Pagans
To Hell and Back
The Art of War
Primo Victoria
Metal Crüe

Iced Earth Setlist:
Plagues of Babylon
If I Could See You
The Hunter
Burning Times
Red Baron/Blue Max
Blessed Are You
Vengeance Is Mine
My Own Savior
A Question of Heaven
Watching Over Me
Iced Earth

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