Following on from 2008's magnificent The Art Of War, Sweden's fastest growing melodic metal export Sabaton return with Coat Of Arms, their fifth full-length album.
The subject matter on this album should come as no surprise to anyone who has heard of Sabaton (and if you haven't heard of Sabaton let me be the first to welcome you to planet Earth!). This is an album about war, the second world war to be exact. Once again Sabaton have managed to treat their subject matter with respect – notably in The Final Solution – whilst crafting rousing and enjoyable battle hymns. They never cross the gap into glorifying war, rather the songs are about honoring those who have lived or died in war, a theme that should have special meaning today given the situation in Afghanistan etc.
The main thing that separates Sabaton from most power metal bands today is the voice of singer Joakim Broden which is deep and resonates through every song, driving the music forward even more than that of the guitars! His voice is powerful, catchy and yet militaristic all at once, like a sergeant-major rallying his troops!
This band does not waste time with filler tracks. Of course, some songs are better than others but they are all equally listenable and memorable. The opener, Coat Of Arms, sets the scene for the album with an undeniable feeling of energy that flows from the speakers into your body. From the first note you will be hooked for the entire duration of the album, which is a little under forty minutes in length. By the end you will have turned on 'repeat'.
This is a fine album where Sabaton once again show that power metal can sound fresh and exciting. I'd put this album on a par with their previous magnum opus, The Art Of War. They don't really do anything different to what they've done before but this is Sabaton, they stand out from their contemporaries just by being who they are.