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Sabaton – Coat of Arms: Review

May 21 is the release date for Sabaton‘s upcoming album, Coat of Arms. The Swedish power metal group has generally received highly positive reviews towards the releases aside from one or two exceptions. Coat of Arms, however, is no exception. It lives up to the expectations which the band has set for themselves. Sabaton fans, do not pass on this album.

The Music (rating: B+)

  1. Coat of Arms
  2. Midway
  3. Uprising
  4. Screaming Eagles
  5. The Final Solution
  6. Aces in Exile
  7. Saboteurs
  8. Wehrmacht
  9. White Death
  10. Metal Ripper

Coat of Arms is the first Sabaton album I have listened to. According to the general consensus, it is very similar to their former releases. In fact, the band has a standard formula for their albums, in which the last song is a tribute to metal and the remainders revolve around war. This album is consistently heavy/power metal with a strong symphonic feel given by the keyboards. For symphonic power metal lovers, this is a must-hear.

However, the album can often feel somewhat generic. There are a handful of power metal albums that stand out (Salt, Strings to a Web, etc.), but there are even more that blend in with the remainders (In the Night, Legend of the Shadow King, etc.). This album ranks somewhere in between, but closer to the “outstanding” side of things. There is likely to be disagreement with me on this point, but I feel that I’ve heard much of the album before.

Though individuality  may be a tad lackluster in the music, it is regained in other ways. The lyrical themes are especially standout. When most bands write about war, they often cite the cons to speak against it. Sabaton, on the other hand, take a more descriptive approach to the subject. It is quite different from the orthodox method, making it more noticeable in the scene.

The instrumentals are not overly spectacular in the big picture. In fact, it’s hard to remember hearing anything overly impressive during my listen through the album. Though according to my recollection, there are no wrongdoings on any band member’s behalf. And moreover, the vocals are another aspect that adds to the uniqueness of the album. The singer does not do anything extraordinary, but his tone is easier to notice than the majority of singers. But overall, the instruments do not ask for the spotlight.

The overall assembly of the music is what seems to make Coat of Arms entertaining. Everything comes together quite nicely. Each instrument compliments the others as well as the lyrical themes. And though it may not be the most memorable album, it will definitely be remembered as an enjoyable listen.

  1. Jimppa
    April 26, 2010 at 1:25 pm

    I do agree with this review.

    This album is on par with, more Primo Victoria & Attero Dominatus than Art Of War, which is not a bad thing at all. The art of War was an exellent album, but it was a great move to go back a little in time, to make an album more like the art of war next time.

    The Final Solution is one of my favourite tracks on the coat of arms album, because it reminds of Rise Of Evil which in turn is my alltime favourite Sabaton track.

    More tracks that, in my opinion stand out are “Wehrmacht, Uprising, The White Death”

    After having listened to the album quite a few times i now feel comfortable with it and would give this album 8/10.

    Give it a chance, it’ll grow on you, and you’ll like it eventually!!

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