Until fairly recently the Swedish power metal band Sabaton has been mostly on the periphery of my attention; after all I’m at that age when it’s hard for more recent bands and albums to make it into the “inner circle” of music I now listen to. However, Sabaton is one of the few that’s making that journey. Don’t let the beginning of the above video–which was taken just a few weeks ago at the Wacken Open Air festival in Germany–fool you. The banter between band members at the beginning is just part of their charm, and eventually they open up into a crushing number called “Resist and Bite,” which comes from the band’s 2014 album Heroes. This is a concept album about courageous episodes from World War II. “Resist and Bite” is about the crack Belgian infantry regiment Chasseurs Ardennais, who held out tenaciously against German forces who invaded their country in May 1940.

The song is great, but I like the banter and joking around at the beginning of this video. Sabaton and especially its vocalist Joakim Brodén are consummate showmen, engaging with the audience and putting on a very fun, energetic and endearing performance. That this band, which came out of a crowded field of power metal outfits in Sweden in the late 1990s, has steadily climbed the ladder to the point where they’re now headlining Wacken is a testament to their staying power. It’s an awesome song, and yes, those are real tanks onstage!

Have a great weekend, and Shabbat Shalom! \m/