Stukas over Sweden.
Now this is class, even before hearing this album its pure class. From an age I thought long departed there comes an album that demands to be heard, one look at the track listing & I'm intrigued; how could you not want to hear a song entitled 'Panzer Batallion'?! Naturally I want to skip straight to the tank song but surely the wait will be worth it, I can sit through two other songs first (one of which has the subtle title 'Reign of Terror'), so here we go:-
Hmm well it's not quite what I was expecting, the ear crunching oblivion that I anticipated turns out to be rather tuneful hard rock. Opening track 'Primo Victoria' reminds me somewhat of Judas Priest except the vocals are deeper. The lyrics - ah the lyrics, well what can I say?! It's a song about D-Day, here's a snippet "through the gates of hell as we make our way to heaven, through the Nazi lines, Primo Victoria, on the 6th June' etc. Bizarre & rather amusing, it has a certain originality, I'll give them that.
'Reign of Terror' is more like it, double up the bass drum, couple it with hundred mph guitars & there you have it, classic foot on monitor, fist clenching, long hair metal! The vocals are legible, which is a bonus & are quite operatic in places backed up with keyboards which make for an interesting blend. Enough of that though because it's time for 'Panzer Batallion', I can barely contain my excitement & oh yes, this delivers. "Panzer Batallion is back for revenge - there's no surrender - death in the shape of a Panzer Batallion" classic. The more I listen to this the more it sounds like Judas Priest & I suppose that's no bad thing. Musically it's solid, it's over the top old school heavy metal and whilst there is an element of humour to the lyrics (& then some!) it makes quite a refreshing change from Emo & Indie.
'Wolfpack' is about - can you guess? Yup it's submarine time, convoys beware, and battle stations boys. The rest of the album continues in similar vein, it's all war related, it's all very theatrical & it's all very metal.
As far as I can tell from the press release, this is Swedish outfit Sabaton's third album but is the first one to be released! Something to do with dodgy Italian record labels sitting on the first two. Fair play to them for sticking it out & finally getting their music out under their own steam. It's not going to change your life but if you like your metal old school you could do worse & at the very least I guarantee the lyrics will raise a smile at some point!