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Sabaton, live in London

Live Review

Venue: The Forum, London

Support: Delain, Battle Beast

Slipknot no longer open their gigs with the immortal (sic), Enter Shikari plan to omit Sorry You're Not A Winner from their set but still, seven years from its release, Sabaton persist in pummelling the London faithful with Ghost Division as soon as the show starts. But we wouldn't have them any other way, right?

Sweden's power metal pariahs have never stuck to convention; in a genre dominated by high-pitched wailing and bollocks about dragons and quests, vocalist/Action Man Joakim Brodén pumps his fists, demands chant-alongs and bellows along to the synth-laden pomposity in a fashion similar to Tom Hardy's Bane. In a good way. That's not to say he's a crap singer, though – he nails that key change during Carolus Rex and spends the remainder of the set goading the crowd on and remaining the only man on Earth to wear sunglasses indoors and still look cool.

A gargantuan tank flanks the band and acts as a drum riser, providing the perfect platform for this hyperactive bunch to run up and down like valiant fleas in camo trousers. The Swedes' war-inspired chunks of testosterone are each received with the utmost excitement; newer tunes like Smoking Snakes get just as much love as, say, 40:1. Oh, and we're calling To Hell And Back to be the soundtrack for an upcoming Spaghetti Western.

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