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Sabaton - Carolus Rex review


376 users:
Band: Sabaton
Album: Carolus Rex
Release date: May 2012

Disc I [Swedish version]
01. Dominium Maris Baltici
02. Lejonet Från Norden
03. Gott Mit Uns
04. En Livstid I Krig
05. 1648
06. Karolinens Bön
07. Carolus Rex
08. Ett Slag Färgat Rött
09. Poltava
10. Konungens Likfärd
11. Ruina Imperii

Disc II [English version]
01. Dominium Maris Baltici
02. The Lion From The North
03. Gott Mit Uns
04. A Lifetime Of War
05. 1648
06. The Carolean's Prayer
07. Carolus Rex
08. Killing Ground
09. Poltava
10. Long Live The King
11. Ruina Imperii
12. Twilight Of The Thunder God [Amon Amarth cover] [Mailorder edition bonus]
13. In The Army Now [Status Quo cover] [Mailorder edition bonus]
14. Feuer Frei [Rammstein cover] [Mailorder edition bonus]

Since The Art Of War, Sabaton has been releasing a new studio album in a 2 year cycle. Can we expect something different from Carolus Rex? I am a fan of their works ever since The Art Of War was unleashed with a brilliant adaptation of Sun Tzu's writings. While Coat of Arms lacked spirit and seemed overly recycled, Carolus Rex is a product that seems very similar to their 4th studio effort; with much more force and vitality behind it, one can use an adjective such as catchy for this kind of effort. Same like The Art Of War, Carolus Rex is a concept album revolving around King Carolus (Gustav II Adolf) of Sweden who reigned around the 30 year war period. He is credited to be the king that helped Sweden become an important part of the international community back in the 17th century.

I could not expect anything less from a band like Sabaton which became known for their battle driven anthems and the worship of several historical personalities (if we speak about this album or their 4th studio effort) or the fact that they payed their respect to the country of Poland ("40-1" from The Art Of War). Sabaton is one of those bands that do not need to change their style in order to appeal to the masses. Carolus Rex is the same recipe we received from their previous efforts.

One shall call their works cheesy, but I really enjoy this kind of cheesiness from time to time. We get fast paced songs such as "The Lion From The North", a song exclusively dedicated to King Carolus, mid-paced songs like "1 6 4 8" and we also get slow-paced gems such as "A Lifetime Of War" or "Long Live The King".

All in all, what you wish to receive from a power metal album, Sabaton accomplishes and provides bonuses as well, a really well adapted power metal cover of Amon Amarth's "Twilight Of The Gods". How come Sabaton managed to establish a name for themselves in such a cliched and overused genre like power metal? Some may say that the reason is the concept orientated albums, others may say that it is because of their battle driven songs and the entire war atmosphere that every Sabaton album creates. Others may agree with both of these opinions. Truth to be told, they are not here by mistake and this latest album proves that they still have a lot more to show in the future. I associate their success with another band that managed to detach itself from the power metal mediocrity in the new millennium and that is Kamelot (even though this one focuses more on fantasy stories and adopted more symphonic traits).

Highlights: "The Lion From The North", "A Lifetime Of War", "1 6 4 8", "Killing Ground", "Poltava", "Long Live The King".

Rating breakdown
Performance: 9
Songwriting: 9
Originality: 7
Production: 9

Written by ManiacBlasphemer | 09.01.2013


Guest review disclaimer:
This is a guest review, which means it does not necessarily represent the point of view of the MS Staff.

Staff review by
Baz Anderson
Thundering double bass drums, demented bumblebee keyboards, Joakim's bold cries of war - it couldn't be anything other than Sabaton. Carolus Rex is the Swede's sixth album with an added twist that it is available in both Swedish and English versions. It is also the band's last album with the original line-up, having shed four members a couple of months ago.

published 09.06.2012 | Comments (30)

Guest review by
I must admit that I was disappointed when I first listened to Carolus Rex. By the time this album was released, Sabaton had been firmly established as one of my favorite bands, and from the moment I held Coat Of Arms in my hands I was eagerly awaiting the next masterpiece. Upon first listen, I was a little confused and let down. Carolus Rex sounds more like Sabaton than any previous Sabaton release. I could take literally any song from this album and tell you which older songs had been mashed up to produce it (for example, "The Lion From The North" is "Coat Of Arms" plus "40:1," "Gott Mit Uns" is basically "Union"). Fortunately, I refused to accept that Sabaton could produce anything less than pure, weapons-grade excellence, so I listened again and again until I understood it.

published 28.12.2012 | Comments (6)


Comments: 1   Visited by: 58 users
09.01.2013 - 19:10
R Lewis
That Useless Guy
Wow. Sabaton reviews are flourishing these days.
We could be so much more than we are. Stop.

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