Wilco : Sabaton does it again. Although the band lost three of its five members to Civil War it is back with a new album, again right on time. The question is, of course, does the departure of so many members affect the music and the quality of it? The unequivocal answer is: No.
The hymns of war, heroism, suffering, bravery and battles sound all in all Sabaton, no other band could have made this album. The simple power metal is presented by means of solid rhythms and very entertaining melodies. And it are those melodies that are still the strongest items of the album. On each album they manage to surprise me with very entertaining choruses. But on this album the verses are of a higher quality and more entertaining than we are used to. It is also true that there is more focus on lead guitars and there are more sophisticated solos. It will never be a prog metal band, but the songs do offer a bit more depth and complexity than they did in the past. The vocal area has changed little, except that on this album more use of choirs is made and I like that.
Not everything is fine and well of course, the ballad 'The Ballad Of Bull' is way too cheesy and ‘Hearts Of Iron' makes little impression. It is certainly not their best album, but after ‘The Art Of War’ and ‘Coat Of Arms’ it is a good third in line of quality.
Recommendations: dramatic, heavy ‘Inmate 4859’, ‘To Hell And Back’ and ‘Resist And Bite’ (Maiden!) with beautiful verses. They are still here, our Swedish warriors and when I hear how energetic they sound on this album, they will be a the frontline a long time. To battle!