|Review: Sabaton - Coat of Arms|
|Coat of Arms|
Label: Nuclear Blast Records
Year released: 2010
Genre: Heavy/Power Metal
Review online: June 6, 2010
Reviewed by: Lior "Steinmetal" Stein
for:Coat of Arms
What is it with Sabaton's obsession with World War II? Ever since Primo Victoria, we've been subjected to a never-ending history lesson. History is important, but when it comes to music, one or two albums should be sufficient to cover the same topic. On Sabaton's fifth release, Coat of Arms, it seems as though the Second World War will go on forever.
Again Sabaton spends time at the two main fronts of the war. Along with those are tributes to the Jewish people (a sort of holocaust memorial anthem), Polish rebels of the Warsaw uprising and the usual metal-oriented praise song. With the constant theme, the material on display is no different from what the band showed on Art of War, and, often, worse.
Stronger production notwithstanding, the impressive songwriting of Primo Victoria and Attero Dominatus has waned. The ship began sinking with Art of War and Coat of Arms continues to drag it to the deep. Most of the tracks are banal and uninteresting both musically and lyrically. Despite titles like "Midway," "Aces in Exile," "Screaming Eagles" and Uprising" there is not much here.
One thing that stands out is the use, actually overuse, of keyboards on Coat of Arms. Sabaton have used them from the beginning, but they've taken a much stronger leading role this time around and actually seem to be driving the lead guitars away. A couple of words of advice to Sabaton: more riffage. This is supposed to be 80s-driven Heavy Metal. Sabaton should intensify the use of the guitar on future releases. They sound much better on Coat of Arms than do the keyboards.
There are some positives. While not their best release overall, tracks like "Coat of Arms," "The White Death," "Metal Ripper" and "Saboteurs" hearken back to earlier glories.
To summarize, Coat of Arms is a rather commonplace and not all that creative effort from Sabaton. Perhaps these fans of war could try a different one for their inspiration next time around.
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