(7/10) That fact that Civil War started as band with former Sabaton founding members is a well-known fact. And that they do have with Nils Patrik Johansson a singer that fits in an excellent way to powerful metal tracks isn't new either. And eventhough the guys didn't get too far away from their roots, meaning Sabaton, Civil War created a kind of their own sound.
The new album is a mixed bag which still contains enough goodies to be interesting for power metal fans. There are doubtless great melodic metal songs with crunchy guitars and catchy moments - trademarks of Civil War that are reflected in songs like "America", "Road to Victory" and "Gangs of New York". Also the fast "Gladiator" is heavy metal per excellence. These songs might not be unique but they are solid and got a powerful production.
The link to Sabaton comes back in "People of the Abyss" while "Aftermath" shows the band in a more soulful light, being close to cliches.
This leads me to some songs that partly got a bit too cheesy. Nothing against good melodies and exciting hooks but "Savannah" sounds almost like Schlager music with heavy guitars and also the following "Tombstone" comes with some ups and downs. Starting like the heavier version of the Leningrad Cowboys it's only the chorus that makes the band to a metal outfit. These tracks could be seen as widening the range of sounds, but it feels like two steps over the edge.
"The Last Full Measure" includes some good and solid metal tracks that will not change metal music, but each of them is a well-crafted headbanger. Hopefully the band pays more attention to this kind of tunes that drifting away into cliche no-mans-land. So far, so good.
- Road to Victory
- A Tale That Never Should be Told
- Gangs of New York
- People of the Abyss
- The Last Full Measure
- Strike Hard Strike Sure
Label: Napalm Records
Genre: Heavy Metal
Release Date EU: Nov. 4th, 2016