A co-headlining tour featuring classic German Thrash Metal pioneers KREATOR and Swedish Heavy Metal heroes SABATON rolled through The Fillmore in Philadelphia recently. CYHRA was a great choice as an opener, as they are a newer band, but really a super group of former members of IN FLAMES, KAMELOT, and AMARANTHE. They may have sounded a little less heavy than anticipated since their bass player, Peter Iwers is not on this tour. He had a prior commitment that couldn’t be avoided. CYHRA played their most recent single “Heartrage” which is on their first full length album Letters to Myself. Their short set sounded great despite Iwers’ absence.
Formed in 1984 KREATOR is the epitome of old school thrash metal. There was a really diverse crowd that night, even little kids. About half the crowd seemed like long time KREATOR fans and the other half seemed to be there for SABATON. It didn’t seem like there were a lot of crossover fans between the two bands. The whole crowd screamed when singer/guitarist Mille Petrozza told them to scream and they moshed when he told them to mosh. At one point he brought out a flag with the band’s logo on it. Then they launched into “Flag of Hate”. They played a lengthy set, including an encore which featured “Violent Revolution” and the classic “Pleasure to Kill”.
After a lot of chanting for “SA-BAT-ON!”, a recording of “In the Army Now” followed by the instrumental song “The March to War” played along with an animated battle scene on the screen at the back of the stage as the band entered the forefront. SABATON’S song are largely about military battles, which may sound nerdy but when all they sing about is war it can get pretty heavy. At one point guitarist Tommy Johansson played a couple of notes from “Swedish Pagans” causing the crowd to start singing the song.
Lead singer Joakim Brodén jokingly told everyone they aren’t doing this song on this tour. Playing along, the audience kept singing until the band agreed to play it. We all know the song was on the setlist, but it was fun. SABATON played an awesome high energy performance including “Ghost Division”, “Carolus Rex”, and “Screaming Eagles”.
KREATOR is seriously heavy, SABATON is so much fun to watch, and CYHRA is a great new band to keep on the radar. Together these bands put on an epic show leaving the fans wanting more and no one ready to go out into the snow and sleet waiting for us outside that night.
LIVE IMAGES AND WORDS: MEGAN C. BROOKS PHOTOGRAPHY