Tuesday, April 26, 2011

A Song and an Album to Go to War with

Ah, yes, Sabaton. I've only heard their most recent album, Coat of Arms, but they have rapidly become one of my favorite power metal bands, if not the most enjoyable I've heard in the last few years. If you share the common perception that all power metal bands are cheesy (as many people do), then you're flat out wrong. You won't find any Kraft cheese sprinkled over Sabaton.

Lyrically, Sabaton tend to concentrate on military history, and Coat of Arms is no different. Subject matter ranges from the 1944 Polish resistance to the Nazis at Warsaw to aerial warfare to a lone sniper picking off his victims, which brings me to "White Death," a song that involves the lone sniper slowly stalking his victim(s), with many men dying by his simple pull of a trigger.

I'm not embarrassed to say that I've had this song on repeat for a half an hour before because it's that good. The opening riff gives me a tiny bit of a Randy Rhoads vibe, and that's certainly not a bad thing. Because the band's members are of Swedish origin, Joakim BrĂ³den, their vocalist, has an accent in his singing, which definitely gives the band a unique flavor. And now that I think about it, I can't pinpoint another group that sounds exactly like Sabaton.

Based on Coat of Arms (and "White Death") I feel the band know where their roots are. A number of riffs would be right at home on a heavy metal album and not one supposedly filled to the brim with stampeding double bass and spitfire guitar riffage. Sabaton are like a heavy metal band that got ahold of steroids, causing a mutated, gruesome transformation--and they benefit from every dabble on either side, making for a sound that's, mark my words, going to grow more popular with each passing day.


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