Review: Sabaton – Heroes – Nuclear Blast – Release 16 – 05 – 2014

Sabaton – Heroes – Nuclear Blast – Release 16 – 05 – 2014

Sabaton was formed back in 1999 and due to not being able to find a suitable vocalist Joakim Brodén took up singing alongside playing keyboards. His gruff and unique voice helped in setting the band apart from the power metal masses of the time. Their first album “Metalizer” was slated to be released in 2002, but due to record company bollocks it didn’t actually surface until 2007. In 2005 they released “Primo Victoria” and since then they have been steadily gaining more recognition and fans, turning them into one of the premier power metal bands.
Fans collectively held their breath when a massive split-up within Sabaton was announced back in 2012. Luckily Joakim Brodén and Pär Sundström decided to keep carrying the torch and reformed their battalion. Now Sabaton are back with “Heroes” to show that their Panzer metal is still going strong.


Sabaton is:

Joakim Brodén – vocals
Pär Sundström – bass
Chris Rörland – guitars
Thobbe Englund – guitars
Hannes van Dahl – drums

heroes-artwork-highChoirs in the background herald the return of the Sabaton commandos and the band’s off to a great start with “Night Witches”. Bombastic keys, pounding drums and roaring guitars are the blazing trails behind Joakim’s powerful voice. Choir-assisted choruses for maximum epicness? You’ve got it! You can easily picture the band posing as a classic war recruitment poster drafting you into their army with surprisingly little effort needed.

“No Bullets Fly” lets go off the pedal, but doesn’t skimp out on the bombast either. Surprisingly “Smoking Snakes” manages to raise the epicness even higher with a choir almost constantly blaring alongside the singer. The guitar players set an adventurous tune in this surprisingly short song. It shows a band that knows how to bring a grand sound, without milking out the song too much.
Sabaton have never chickened out of showing the horrors of war and this time around they focus on inmate 4859 with the same-named song “Inmate 4859” about Witold Pilecki. A Polish soldier who entered Auschwitz to be able to tell the world of the horrors unfolding there. Despite the tragic matter the band manage to bring it with a serious tone, yet still bringing it with a heroic tune, befitting such self-sacrifice.

To give the fans a breather from the heavy matter the band takes a more Western-induced sound with “To Hell and Back”. I already dread hearing this song live as a lot of people will be whistling along with the intro. Unfortunately the band hits a heavy bump in the road with “The Ballad of Bull”. The music is just a tad too cheesy to be taken seriously and Joakim’s voice isn’t suited for such tender moments. It’s as if you would re-record “Titanic” with Ron Jeremy in DiCaprio’s role. Luckily the band bounces right back with “Resist and Bite” which I swear has a nice catchy disco tune hidden in it. Leave it to Swedes to incorporate disco into their metal. After that it’s classic Sabaton all the way to the end, ending with the big sing-along song “Hearts of Iron” that pumps out one last act of bombastic heroism.

Sabaton clearly are back in full force and as strong as they have ever been. The music is catchy and bombastic power metal, kind of by the book, but well-executed. One thing I have often heard is that people like the music of power metal, but dislike the high pitched vocals. Sabaton is the perfect remedy to show them that power metal can have some heavy duty balls.

With cheese.

Track list:

  1. Night Witches
  2. No Bullets Fly
  3. Smoking Snakes
  4. Inmate 4859
  5. To Hell and Back
  6. The Ballad of Bull
  7. Resist and Bite
  8. Soldier of 3 Armies
  9. Far From the Fame
  10. Hearts of Iron

Score: 4.4 out of 5

Written by Robert Popovic


Text Robert Popovic

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