Company: Nuclear Blast Release: 2014 Genre: Power Reviewer: EC
An effort worth saluting
In 2011, Sabaton bassist Par Sundstrom revealed to his co-workers where he believed the band would be positioned over the next three years with touring, albums and the regulatory obligations of the fifteen year veterans. With personal lives taking precedence, guitarists Oskar Montelius and Rikard Sunden departed along with drummer Daniel Mulback and keyboardist Daniel Myhr. The last album under that line-up up was "Carolus Rex" in 2012. "Heroes" represents the new Sabaton complete with guitarists Chris Rorland and Thobbe Englund as well as new drummer Hannes van Dahl. Like the previous six albums, the band chose Abyss Studios to record and Peter Tagtgren (without Tommy) to produce. The source material remains the same with the emphasis on WWII yet this new offering shows the Swedes with more energy and focus. Where the last album was received pell-mell and predominately weary, "Heroes" is a much needed revitalization. Songs like "Night Witches" and "Resist and Bite" are a call to arms that the band have taken proper steps to secure their longevity. These puissant tracks are re-fluent to the band's mid 00s material ("Primo Victoria", "Attero Dominatus") with masterful storytelling at a brisk pace. "To Hell and Back" is a compelling tale of Audie Murphy's Army heroics woven into a tapestry of hook-laden wizardry. The same can be said for effective power ballad "Hearts of Iron" and it's telling of defeated Germans escaping from Soviet clutches. The ten tracks presented here not only proves that Sabaton have improved and expanded on their metal culture but continue to educate and inform through song. That is an effort worth saluting.