Sebastian Bach – ABachalypse Now (2013)

“ABachalypse Now” was released on March 22, 2013, through Frontiers Records and is a live-album (CD+DVD) that includes not one, not two, but THREE gigs played by Sebastian Bach and his band in 2012. The gigs were taped at Hellfest France, Nokia Los Angeles, and Graspop Belgium.

Gig 1: Live at Hellfest, France, June 16, 2012

The album starts off with the song ’Slave to the Grind’ and includes basically all Skid Row classics with ‘Big Guns’, ’18 & Life’, ‘Monkey Business’, ‘I Remember You’, before it ends with ‘Youth Gone Wild’. Only two songs, ‘Kicking & Screaming’ and ‘American Metalhead’, are from Sebastian’s post Skid Row career.

The performance starts relatively energetic, but my ears needed to grow into it. I’m not sure if it was because of the production, which at times isn’t how I would prefer it to be. Guitars, bass, and drums have that characteristic live sound, as one would expect it from a rock album, but Sebastian’s vocals seem to be edited too much to sound as if they were recorded in a studio. I would have preferred more authenticity of sound in that regard.

Nevertheless, the band gets better and better with every song they play, and by the last song they got me on my feet, in my apartment, listening to the gig on my headphones. Must have been great to witness that performance at Hellfest. The band is phenomenal – and there is no doubt about how awesome Sebastian is on stage.

Gig 2: Live at Nokia, Los Angeles, CA, August 2, 2012

Compared to the gig at Hellfest, this one was indoors. A completely different atmosphere and production. Sound-wise, the band sounds better than at Hellfest, and having special guests joining the band throughout the gig, brings in some diversity. The set list doesn’t differ to much from the one in France. Again, mostly Skid Row classics and three post-Skid Row song. All in all a great gig as well, but I still prefer the atmosphere at Hellfest.

Gig 3: Live at Graspop, Belgium, June 24, 2012

WOW! So, the band played at 1PM. Also, there was a torrential thunderstorm during the performance, and because of that there are glitches in the audio and video. But, seriously, an amazing ass-kicking live performance. You can see the band and the audience getting completely soacked, bitchin’ about the whole situation, nonetheless, they stay put and keep rockin’ out! At one point – before the song ‘Here I Am’ – Sebastian asks a stage hand, “Can you get me a coffee, please? I’m serious, dude.” That is so hilarious, and some might claim ‘unrock’n’roll’. Well, I understand Sebastian, though. I’ve played some gigs in the rain and in the cold. Before ’18 & Life’ he explains that he’s never played that early in his life and in such meteorological circumstances, and he goes on to thank the audience for coming out despite the extremely bad weather.

But hey, this is one of the most honest performances a metalhead can find on a record out there. The sound is raw in all its essences, exactly what I expect from a rock band. From the three productions on this album, definitely my favourite one. I don’t care about the glitches whatsoever. This is the Sebastian Bach live gig that should get talked about because of its authenticity. Simply fantastic.

All in all a good live album with three diverse gigs in terms of atmosphere, production, and dynamics. Definitely worth the money.

Sebastiano Mereu

YouTuber + host of the #FHTZ online music show with co-producer @simonkurt + marketing & digital content producer + university lecturer