Sabaton : Heroes

heroes-artwork-highYay, Sabaton are back, and everyone’s favourite battle-obsessed power metallers have certainly pulled out all the stops for their latest opus.

Heroes is a master class in big, pompous and slightly over the top power metal,but the would you expect, or indeed want, anything else from the armour plated Swedes ?

Quite apart from the music which sees Sabaton absolutely at the top of their game the concept behind the album is what makes it stand out. Each track tells a little known story of wartime heroism, wether the unprecedented gallantry of a German pilot refusing to shoot down a crippled B17 then escorting the bomber to safety in No Bullets Fly to Inmate 4859, the incredible tale of a Polish soldier who volunteered to get himself arrested and sent to Auschwitz in order to find out first hand what was happening there.

You know how Some albums just sweep you along from the start ? Well that, exactly that. I have a load of stuff in the review queue to listen to, but for the past few weeks nothing has come close to displacing Heroes from my holiday listening.

Even when the band slow things down a bit, the aforementioned Inmate 4859 and power metal piano fest of The Ballad Of Bull, the sense of epic scale remains. Quite simply no one crafts a hook quite like Sabaton, and from the first listen you’ll find yourself singing little snippets to yourself…

For me it’s the subject matter as much as the music that makes Heroes so outstanding, but the music is just exactly what Power Metal should be. Wailing guitar harmonies, thumping rhythms and huge sing-along choruses are all present and correct, served up with an extra dose of pomp and passion. Sabaton have had their moments in the past, but this is at a whole new level.

Educational and fist-in-the-air brilliant, the recent lineup changes have totally revitalised Sabaton and not only is Heroes the best thing they’ve ever done, it’s also a shoe in for the upper echelons of this particular scribe’s end of year list.