Sabaton
The Art of War


3.0
good

Review

by Greg Viessman USER (44 Reviews)
August 6th, 2008 | 19 replies


Release Date: 2008 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A mixture of World War II and Sixth Century B.C. China. Seriously, Swedes are strange when it comes to power metal.

Power metal is getting stranger and stranger by every album released within the genre. The themes are getting wackier and wackier. There are the normal dragon slaying dungeon crawling, story telling bands in Rhapsody of Fire, Dragonforce, Dream Evil, Kamelot, and Blind Guardian. When Lost Horizon released their first album Awakening the World in 2001, a new powerful emotion was released within the genre: the power of will and believing in yourself. Well, a few months ago, I came across this band called Sabaton. Looking at their lyrics and song titles, we have come to see a new sub-lyric genre of power metal. Welcome to The Art of War.

In the past the band dealt with World War II themes. This doesn't change, but it gets stranger. The album also deals with the sixth century B.C mythical figure Sun Tzu. Yeah, it's weird. Nevertheless, despite, it's strange theme, this turns out to be a nice surprise for 2008.

Lets get the bad out of the way first. First the drums. This is going to be short; it's power metal, the drums are the rhythm section so they aren't going to be special. But when the bass can be heard louder than the bass drum as is heard in The Price of a Mile, then you have a problem. Another problem is the guitars. They play an Emppu Vuorinen, post Wishmaster, role as they are stuck to the rhythm section. Although there are nice solos in Cliff of Gallipoli and Talvistola.

Thankfully the positives are really great. Vocalist Joakim Broden has a unique vocal style that I haven't heard before, kind of like a rougher version of Russell Allen. He keeps the same high emotion throughout the entire disc, especially during the choruses where his range is shown. Panzerkampf is a perfect example. It's catchy, epic, and amazing, although the backing layered vocals give the effects its maximum. The war lyrics fit Joakim's voice percfectly, and overall he gives a very convincing performance, though at times it seems forced as in Union {Slopes of St. Benedict).

Now we reach the best part of the album and band in keyboardist Daniel Myhr. He single handily drives the album forward in the instrumentation department. This is first obvious in the best track Ghost Division (which is about Rommel's tank division during the invasion of France). The amazing synths steps the song to the next level both musically and vocally. As cheesy as it sounds, I could see the band in a tank playing this song as they were about attack the helpless French. Cliffs of Gallipoli is Daniel's another standout track. Again he carries the whole band in this mid-paced affair. Even when the keys aren't at the center of the instrumentation, as seen in 40-1 and Panzerkampf, it still seems that Daniel is still managing the direction of the songs.

The Art of War is a nice solid power metal album. A great, but sometimes overdone, vocal performance blending together with some of the genre's best use of the keys make this extremely epic. Leaving the guitars to the back burner at times is a flaw for this disc. That, plus the addition of a stupid intro/outro and instrumental that all use this annoying female voice deduct a bit off of the final score. This isn't the best power metal album, but it definitely isn't bad, especially with the addition of a song of the year contender in Ghost Division and inclusion of other solid power metal songs in 40-1 and Cliffs of Gillipoli.



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user ratings (128)
Chart.
3.8
excellent
other reviews of this album
Jorn van Schaïk (4)
The art of power metal is of vital importance to the listener. A road which can guide to excellence ...


Comments:Add a Comment 
Poet
August 6th 2008


5934 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Started this literally 5 minutes after I finished my Ultra Beatdown review. Yeah, far from my best, but I wanted to review this for a while now. Making this longer was a bit hard as I don't think I could dwell deeper into the music as I had hoped.

And I thought I hit the 3 rating on this....wow, I need a nap lol. This Message Edited On 08.06.08

Altmer
August 8th 2008


5652 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Apparently this is good power metal.

I haven't heard it though.

Shattered_Future
August 12th 2008


1540 Comments


I haven't actually heard this yet. Then again, you can't really get much better than Primo Victoria or the first one. It's nice to hear the keyboardist taking a more active role...he was just kinda there in the other ones.

Few grammar errors here and there, but whatever. Good review.

Dethtrasher
August 13th 2008


2211 Comments


Swedes are strange when it comes to power metal.

Almost true, we just suck when it comes to power metal.

Poet
August 13th 2008


5934 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Lost Horizon is Swedish, they don't suck.

Dethtrasher
August 13th 2008


2211 Comments


Never heard of them before, I guess I have to check them out then.

fritz
August 25th 2008


19 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I'm seriously thinking about picking this up. I've heard a lot of good things...than again I have a long list of albums I need to buy...

Poet
August 25th 2008


5934 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

It's not bad, but only has 3-4 songs worth listening to.

BallsToTheWall
August 28th 2008


44472 Comments


If you want some dope power metal, check out the new Serenity album.

Digging: Tove Lo - Queen of the Clouds

Poet
August 28th 2008


5934 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5


Er, why is that a problem? It's good mixing; more bands should try it.


It's a problem because the drums aren't really that loud.

Balls if YOU want dope power metal...check out Lost Horizon. Seriously you need to get on it lol. This Message Edited On 08.28.08

Altmer
December 26th 2008


5652 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Panzerkampf rules.

Good album.

Tzidkiyahu
January 2nd 2009


26 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Great review - haven't heard this album in its entirety yet, still having trouble taking Attero Dominatus out of my playlist long enough to listen to the other albums.

SepticReAnimate
January 7th 2010


184 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Pretty good album - got even better when they paid tribute to Poland's brave but doomed defense! :D

VTK
May 5th 2010


76 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Finally a power metal band (other than Kamelot) that has a vocalist who sounds like a man.

EnCrypt.
July 14th 2010


882 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.

Lunarcheese
April 16th 2011


33 Comments


Ghost Division is one of the most deserving songs of the title "Power Metal" in existance. Just a fantastic track.

Butkuiss
August 7th 2011


4199 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

IN TO THE MOTHER LAND THE GERMAN ARMY MARCHED.

I used to love this album, but man, it's so fucking cheesy.

Antonius
July 6th 2012


229 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Ghost division and Price of a mile are probably my fav Sabaton songs. This is the main reason behind my rate

Digging: Purson - The Circle and the Blue Door

Zyhaal
May 11th 2013


193 Comments


these guys are fucking godly live



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