(7/10) Next round for the power metal band from Falun, Sweden. Or should I say: the next battle to fight for the guys in the camouflage pants?
Sabaton had an enormous increase in popularity over the last years. In my point of view this has mainly to do with the fact, that their power metal has a highly melodically component, which makes the music and the songs easy accessible for a broader fan base.
Beside the fact that Sabaton doesn't have a fixed keyboarder at the moment, not a lot of things changed. They reached a level of stagnation and repetition, eventhough on a high level. The missing keyboarder led to the fact that guitars are more in focus compared to the latest release, which makes "Heroes" a bit more heavy and basic. Something which fits the band very well.
The sound of the album is excellent too. Peter Tagtgren did an excellent job and gave "Heroes" the volume, power and heaviness which a band like Sabaton needs.
The songs on the album follow the same pattern as we know it from the band from the last years. Very melodic power metal anthems with hooks that definitely do their job. The melodies stick to your mind from the very first moment and I can imagine, that the tunes work out live pretty well.
Already the opener contains all Sabaton trademarks. "Night witches", which is about a Soviet bomber regiment with the same name, comes with the bombastic sound and the arching harmonies which are so typical for the guys from Sweden. "No bullets fly" keeps the melodic approach but reduces the speed a bit. The keys are more dominant than with the opener, but the song still rocks. Having a ballad is something which isn't so usual for Sabaton. This time they have one of them on the album. "The ballad of bull" is the name of the tune and it's full of cliche and pathos. For me a bit too much and overdone. It reminds to the newer Manowar - if you understand what I mean. But again, the music is pretty cool and catchy.
Next to the powerful songs there are still things which I don't like with Sabaton. When it comes to the new album I must say that the cover choice for the earbook isn't really clever. The martial expression combined with the 'S' in the middle feels strange. I don't like that. But that's peanuts. Where I even have a bigger problems with is the fact that Sabaton combined 'happy' sing-along music with lyrics about war and historical abominations. This just doesn't go together, eventhough the lyrics mostly focus on resistance and 'heroes'. To swing and sway to these lyrics stays weird. The whole things reached its peak in "Inmate 4859".
To conclude: "Heroes" became from a musical standpoint a good power metal album; maybe a bit weaker than the predecessor but far better than a lot of other releases in this genre. The lyrics and the image of the band are for me still conflicting with the music.
Generally spoken it seems to me that the band is a bit on the same trip as Manowar - image, lyrics, stagnation, own festival,... I hope that they don't end up like the band from New York (by the way. I still love the early Manowar releases).
The ones who likes the former releases of Sabaton will also enjoy "Heroes" and all the other ones will still go for other bands. That's life. Stagnancy - for the good ot the bad.
- Night witches
- No bullets fly
- Smoking snakes
- Inmate 4859
- To hell and back
- The ballad of bull
- Resist and bite
- Soldier of 3 armies
- Far from the fame
- Hearts of iron
- Man of war
Label: Nuclear Blast
Genre: Power Metal