Sabaton never really came across my radar musically which is a strange one as I’m quite a fan of power metal. I think the military aspects may have put me off more than anything.
At Bloodstock 2015 they played for an hour & what an hour it was. I was mesmerised by what I saw & heard. In their brief set they made a new fan for life. Coming to the band so far into their career meant finding what album to try first was a tough one. I settled on Heroes, their latest record released in 2014 & am so glad I did.
Sabaton’s brand of power metal is incredibly pleasing to the ear with more variety than most within their specific genre. The military themes that seemed restrictive at first have actually allowed Sabaton to really carve out an interesting & richly historic-filled niche.
Heroes showcases so much of the bands incredible talent across 12 tracks (13 if you include a very unique cover of Metallica’s For Whom the Bell Tolls) & each song tells a separate tale. For example, the opening song, Night Witches is a pacey opener that will get you pumping your fist in the air & is based around the all female Soviet 588th Night Bomber Regiment.
These tales are told through the fantastic vocal work by lead singer Joakim Brodén but to add more layers the rest of the band offer backing vocals at times for some great harmonizing (like Blind Guardian but not as good). The vocals on The Ballad of Bull are particularly fantastic & as piano driven ballads go it is one of the better ones.
The overall quality of the shines through well with some excellent production. Every riff, keyboard medley, drum beat is easy to pick out & the vocals never over-shadow any other part of the song.
There are few complaints throughout Heroes, a couple of songs don’t quite hit the highs set elsewhere but it’s hardly worth mentioning. See it this way…it’s like having only 4 slices of bacon when you expected 5. Sure, you would have loved 5 but you’ve still got 4!
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
12. Man of War
13. For Whom the Bell Tolls (Metallica Cover)
Sabaton - Heroes: Special Edition (Nuclear Blast)
- The Final Score - 9/109/10