Touring behind new album Plagues Of Babylon, Iced Earth opened with the first two tracks of the record, later playing two more new songs as well as cuts from their last record Dystopia.
Fans cheered, moshed and sang along across the multi-leveled floor of Best Buy, but the strongest response came on classic Iced Earth fare such as the fiery Burning Times and slow-burners Blessed Are You and Watching Over Me. The epic, eight minute A Question Of Heaven was a clear peak of the night, as singer Stu Block wailed over Jon Schaffer’s vicious guitarwork and hit every high note perfectly.
Opener ReVamp also impressed the crowd, dropping from melodic singing into hardcore death growls without warning. But it was Sabaton’s over-the-top energy that really blew the night open, as the camouflage-wearing band ripped through a dozen songs with blistering rage. The Swedish group doesn’t play New York very often, but consider them a must-see whenever they next visit.
All three bands delivered a fistpumping night of metal, and Sabaton even coerced the crowd into singing along for a brief cover of YMCA. (Yes, really). While Iced Earth continues to reign as kings of their genre, anyone in the know knows that Sabaton is the real deal as well, and anyone at Best Buy on Friday night now knows that ReVamp is gunning for that top spot too.