Review Summary: Power Metal with an extra dose of Power. Sabaton do it again.
Swedish band Sabaton
's latest studio album, Coat of Arms, stays true to the themes of most of their work that comes before it, and I'm not complaining. Their formula: catchy, powerful, often keyboard-driven Power Metal with lyrics about war and battles (and I'm not talking the Battle for Middle-Earth here, this is real and historical).
Sounds cheesy? Whilst the lyrics tell the stories of the battles very well, I have to admit to wishing I could hear the words "artillery" or "gun" a little bit less when I'm listening to them. If you're tired of 'typical' power metal about swords & dragons with high-pitched Guitars and singing, however, Sabaton provide a refreshing change with Joakim's low, very enthusiastic singing and guitars that often play second fiddle to work on the keys.
Coat of Arms
is the blistering opener to this album. This tells the story of the Greco-Italian war, and (as is so often heard in Sabaton's tales) describes the story of one side greatly outnumbered and fighting bravely. A little cliché, perhaps, but it makes for a great song. It's fast-paced and the lyrics make for a chorus you'll be mouthing along with after a few listens. The guitar is a little repetetive, but it really only provides the background to the rest of the song and blends everything in very well.
is the second stand-out track of the album, with lyrics about the Warsaw Uprising, again in WW2. But really, there's little more to add than my praise from Coat of Arms over again. The chorus ("Warsaw! City at war! Voices from underground, whispers of freedom..."
) is once again a bit of an earworm.
The Final Solution
provides the first slight change and a minimal respite from the continuous power of the previous tracks, and... I don't need to tell you what it's about. The keyboards courtesy of Daniel Mÿhr really come into own in playing the melody in the middle of this track. And of course, where would a Sabaton album be without their almost trademark song paying tribute to other metal bands - Metal Ripper
? Whilst the lyrics in this song are as practically nonsensical as their previous 'Metal' offerings, it's still a good song.
I feel like I'm not doing the album justice by not posting why each one of the tracks on this album is worth listening to. If you're a Power Metal fan, you'd be doing yourself a disservice if you were not even to take a glance at some of the tracks from this album. It's a little short, but it's definitely better this way rather than being dragged out.
Whilst the repetition may be a little overdone in terms of the choruses and guitar work, and the music sticking to the formula of their previous releases, it really doesn't drag down this album of less-than-typical Power Metal with just that extra dose of power.
Joakim Brodén - Vocals
Rikard Sundén - Guitar
Oskar Montelius - Guitar
Pär Sundström - Bass
Daniel Mullback - Drums
Daniel Mÿhr - Keyboards
Coat of Arms