Sabaton = Pretty Darn Metal
To be honest, I only bother reviewing the albums I actually like so that's why they always get good scores. Reviewing bad albums would be more professional I guess but it would require enduring them for longer than I need to.
Anywho, first heard of Sabaton a few weeks ago when I found out they were supporting DragonForce. Downloaded the song "Primo Victoria" from their site and concluded that it was pretty darn awesome. Rousing power metal about World War 2. Consists of deep growly vocals (which I normally don't rate that highly) that manage to be significantly more tuneful and melodic than the average mainstream band (to be honest i'm loving the fact that metal has become more accessible to fans of pop music than indieschmindie is). The vocals are supported by your typical layered power metal guitars and occasionally keyboards with thunderous rhythm. Guitar solos are tasteful and relatively short so don't detract from the largely vocal-driven music.
The majority of the album is about war but it's in the same kind of vein as the typical power metal theme of journeys across mountains and slaying demons and being generally heroic. The title track is clearly one of the strongest but the rest are pretty good too, other highlights include "Purple Hearts" and "Wolfpack". However, the true highlight of the album is the final track titled "Metal Heart". Here's the description of the song from the album booklet:
In 2004 a Swedish heavy metal band called "Sabaton" stole the history of metal and refused to return it.
The allied metal bands of the world sought to recapture the content of their lyrics but to no avail.
Sabaton was way too sneaky and hid it in the coppermines deep below the metal capital of the world, Falun.
Basically, this song steals lyrics from various well-known metal songs and fuses them together into possibly the best song on the album. Cheeky. Songs I spotted include "Paranoid", "Crazy Train", "Breaking The Law", "Fear Of The Dark" – i'm sure there are many others.
This album is what power metal is about. Cheesy, Powerful, Melodic, Rousing, Arrogant and Brilliant.
PS. If you've ever played the Metal Slug games, this album should be the soundtrack.