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Sabaton - The Art Of War (CD)

Sabaton
The Art Of War
by Erika Wallberg at 20 June 2008, 10:36 AM

What would the Panzer Battalion serve this time then? An album about war, absolutely! No doubt about that, but what about the music? Would it be another copy of Primo Victoria? I thought Attero Dominatus was a little bit too similar to its predecessor but without the less commercial songs. Else I was counting on another record of the heavy metal SABATON has been creating over the years; though I must say I was very surprised when listening to The Art Of War for the first time.
After the intro something that sounds like a clash between RAMMSTEIN and NIGHTWISH comes from the speakers. What the hell? Ghost Division is an energetic track with heavy riffing guitars, big vocal arrangements and a very dominant keyboard. Yes, the keyboards has a lot more room in the production overall on Art Of War and when the first chock has settled it feels right and it sounds absolutely SABATON. Perhaps it all has a little more commercial feel and the production will absolutely be easier for mainstream people to melt. There's nothing bad with that. As long as the music still has heart and soul development is a necessity to move forward. There is no doubt SABATON will harvest new hordes of fans with this record. Just take a look at the Swedish charts (w23), No 1 for singles; SABATON - Cliffs Of Gallipoli, No 5 for Albums; SABATON - The Art Of War.
I was a little hesitant to the album at first due to the production and the keyboards but when I got into it, it absolutely got stuck. The keyboard is not at all disturbing, rather the opposite and together with the guitars it creates a really nice atmosphere. Also the feature of more classic metal influences shows a step to outside of the box. There's absolutely vibes of IRON MAIDEN in Cliffs Of Gallipoli and a slight KING DIAMOND feel in Unbreakable. Superheavy Panzerkampf will easily make your neighbours hate you. That heavy stomp needs power when your foot hit the floor. I promise, it's impossible to be still.
One more thing that separates this record from the previous ones is that there are more obvious melodies and harmonies on The Art Of War, passages with duels between guitar and keyboard. Very tasteful! Overall it feels like a much bigger records than the earlier ones. There's a red line through it all and the production is bigger, feels really professional and a lot more balanced. The record has fast songs, it has heavy songs and it has at least one hit. The only thing I can't think of that's missing is something a little more odd and obstinate like Wolfpack with its self-willed rhythms. There's no doubt that SABATON will grow with this record, just how much the future will tell rather sooner than later.

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
Sun Tzu Says    
Ghost Division    
The Art Of War    
40:1    
Unbreakable    
The Nature Of Warfare    
Cliffs Of Gallipoli    
Talvisota    
Panzerkampf    
Union (Slopes Of St.Benedict)    
The price Of A Mile    
Firestorm    
A Secret
Lineup:
Joakim Brodin - Vocals
Per Sundstrom - Bass
Oskar Montelius - Guitars
Rickard Sundin - Guitars
Daniel Myhr - Keyboards
Daniel Mullback - Drums
Record Label: Black Lodge
     


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