Swedish power metal titans’ Sabaton’ have been wailing on about War for the past 13 years and have released 5 albums which includes the 2005 album “Primo Victoria” which gained them a huge fan base. Their music is addictive and original which puts them in a league of their own. Earlier this year there were reports of the band splitting up, which is confusing as the band now have different members and are finishing off their tour. So the 6th CD is here after the 2010 album “Coat of Arms”. I’m off to find my battle gear and listen to the new release “Carolus Rex”.

A brilliantly atmospheric intro with “Dominum Maris Baltici” (translating as ‘Baltic Seadominion’)  which leads into the first track “The Lion from the North”. Hearing the much loved group vocals that sets aside Sabaton from the rest is a fine clue that this is going to be another epic album.  Ok so, it sounds very similar to a lot of their old tracks, but this is what Sabaton fans like to hear, a great track to raise your pint and sing along to. A small splash of female vocals is an added bonus to this track, along with a mind blowing cheesy guitar solo.

Feeling like I need an eye patch and a wooden leg whilst listening to “Got Mit Uns”, it’s nice to hear the band do something sounding a little pirate Yarr!!! “A lifetime of War” is a heartfelt story of life on the battlefield… OK same as all Sabaton songs yet doesn’t fail to impress with the sing-along chorus and the vocalist Joakim shows off his voice better that ever. “1 6 4 8” is a faster track with another superb guitar solo and then there’s “The Carolean’s Prayer” with an intro of church organs then straight in with an arse kicking marching drum beat which turns into an ALMOST ballad style.  The catchiness of this one is unreal, definitely could see it being a single. Also, it would be interesting to know if anyone else who listens to this track thinks of Whitesnake?

The album titled track “Carolus Rex” makes a statement with some brutal riffs and drumming and a beautiful chorus. Towards the end it starts sounding like a grufty Breed 77 track, but it’s all good, as soon after there’s a soothing and tasty little guitar solo.  Definitely impressed with a thorough side to side swaying of one’s head!  Moving on to an 80s style riff and chirpy singing “Killing Ground” has some funky galloping beats and the chorus line will make you shout “Killing Ground” in your best Rob Halford impression complete with leather cut off studded gloves. Not sure about “Poltava” due to the radio styled vocal part. Maybe one of those tracks you have to listen to an extra few times to like it? Regardless of that, the rest of the track is quite good; the group vocals are never a letdown and again the guitar solo….

“Long Live the King “isn’t their strongest on the album, but certainly not terrible.  The last track (sob sob) is “Ruina Imperii”, the intro sounds much like Nightwish’s earlier stuff (remember back when they were cool?). Then there’s a little slab of Kamelot for good measure.  Anyhow, the feel to this track is a perfect ending to a cracking album, the comedown with a more serious impression about it.

So there it is, the next instalment to Sabaton’s catalogue! So boot up in your combats, throw on your camo trousers and let’s get those fists in the air!

A band I’d recommend to see time and time again with their fabulous stage presence and crowd pleasing antics! Let’s just see how much they have changed with the new line-up!?

(8/10 Charlene Rance)