Rating:
8.5
Civil War - The Killer Angels
11 June 2013


01. King Of The Sun
02. First To Fight
03. Saint Patrick's Day
04. Rome Is Falling
05. Sons Of Avalon
06. I Will Rule The Universe
07. Lucifer's Court
08. Brother Judas
09. My Own Worst Enemy
10. Gettysburg
11. March Across The Belts


Aaah, finally a new Sabaton release. Honestly, I wasn't expecting it so soon, just an year after their sixth effort, Carolus Rex. And, by the way, I'd suggest Joakim to take a little break, his voice is unrecognizable, seems like he's singing while someone is squeezing his balls. But the other band trademarks are all here; it's clearly Sabaton.

What? Is this not Sabaton? Civil War, that's what the album cover states. Let's check it out. Oh, here it is, I've cracked the conundrum. Four out of six members of Civil War are ex-Sabaton, and left just after the recordings for Carolus Rex. They recruited veteran singer Nils Patrik Johansson (Astral Doors, Wuthering Heights) and death metal bassist Stefan "Pizza" Eriksson and, while Sabaton was touring all around the world, got straight to work, and released their first self-titled EP in November 2012.

So, despite the fact that every musician in this band is no longer a rookie, The Killer Angels has to be considered a debut. And, to be true, it's one hell of a debut. But, although the composer of Sabaton's music is always been Joakim, the Civil War guys couldn't avoid having a heavy inheritance from their previous experiences, and The Killer Angels sounds pretty much like a Sabaton-clone.

But there are some substantial differences between the new bands. Luckily, the ex-Sabaton guys had the reasonableness of choosing a singer whose vocal timbre doesn't recall Joakim's, putting some distance between the two bands. Nils delivers indeed a great performance, characterized by a harsh voice, like a midpoint between screaming and clean singing, providing both anger and camaraderie ("Saint Patrick's Day").

Another distinction between the two bands is the different approaches the two have to the same kind of music, made of chasing verses, strong bridges, and easily singable choruses, ideal for live performance. In fact, Civil War music seems more rough, authentic and in a certain way more "primitive" than the one of their more famous colleagues. Every instrument seems played with more rage: The Killer Angels, though lacks the usual, pompous, dramatic Sabaton slow ballads, is undoubtedly heavier than every work from Primo Victoria onwards. More metal.

I just can't imagine the guys in Civil War in front of a computer, with a cup of coffee, mixing their albums. I like to think of them in a small, smoky garage with some microphones, recording a track, drinking some beer, having fun, and recording again.

These last two years have seen the birth of famous rivalries: some friendly, as the one between the two Rhapsod(ies), other spiced with dramas and insults, as the one that divides the two Queensrÿche(s). Knowing the usual atmosphere that's always been inside the original band, I guess - and sincerely hope - that the one between Sabaton and Civil War will be a constructive and damn stimulant dualism.

Performance: 9
Songwriting: 9
Originality: 6
Production: -


Band profile: Civil War
Album: The Killer Angels


 



Written on 12.06.2013 by
R Lewis
Hopefully you won't agree with me, diversity of opinions is what makes metal so beautiful and varied.

So... critics and advices absolutely welcome.
More reviews by R Lewis ››

Guest review by
ScreamingSteelUS

Rating:
7.4
It should come as no surprise that Civil War's sound is fundamentally that of Sabaton. Though Joakim Brodén has always been the primary songwriter for Sabaton, ex-members Rikard Sundén, Oskar Montelius, Daniel Mÿhr, and Daniel Mullback modeled their first attempt on what they had been used to playing for 13 years. My impression of The Killer Angels progressed the more I listened to it. At first, I was disappointed to hear what was basically an uninspired Sabaton copycat with someone other than Joakim singing, which totally threw me off. Yet the more I listened, the more I grew to appreciate Nils Patrik Johansson's voice and see the personality in these songs.

Read more ››
published 18.08.2013 | Comments (0)



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Susan - 12.06.2013 at 07:15  
A new power metal band with Nils Patrik Johansson on vocals? That's ALL I needed to hear!!

I've never liked Sabaton because they were actually TOO cheesy, even for me. The lyrics and vocals primarily (awful). But the music was OK so I suppose if you make it a bit "darker" as you say, and plop Nils Patrik Johansson in the middle.... well, I think I'll like this!
psykometal - 12.06.2013 at 07:40  
Wow. Nice review. I briefly checked out the preview in the recent News article and enjoyed the music but was rather put off by the vocals; I have no experience with Nils at all. However I did feel they might just need some growing into since I am actually a huge fan of Sabaton and of Joakim's vocal style. This review definitely makes me further believe that I really do need to make sure that I give this album a fair chance rather than writing it off as "the Sabaton wannabes".
R Lewis - 12.06.2013 at 09:05  
Written by psykometal on 12.06.2013 at 07:40

Wow. Nice review. I briefly checked out the preview in the recent News article and enjoyed the music but was rather put off by the vocals; I have no experience with Nils at all. However I did feel they might just need some growing into since I am actually a huge fan of Sabaton and of Joakim's vocal style. This review definitely makes me further believe that I really do need to make sure that I give this album a fair chance rather than writing it off as "the Sabaton wannabes".

I am a huge Sabaton and Joakim fan too and it took me some listens to get into Nils' vocals, but once you're in, you really enjoy a great ride. It's different (luckily) from Joakim, and 'til now I can't tell who's better in this kind of music. Time will tell.
psykometal - 12.06.2013 at 09:08  
Written by R Lewis on 12.06.2013 at 09:05

I am a huge Sabaton and Joakim fan too and it took me some listens to get into Nils' vocals, but once you're in, you really enjoy a great ride. It's different (luckily) from Joakim, and 'til now I can't tell who's better in this kind of music. Time will tell.

Yea, I had no clue what to expect from Nils but I knew for sure I did not want Civil War to be a full-on Sabaton clone (complete with a Joakim impersonator!). I just wasn't expecting...Nils. But I will definitely give the man his due chance.
Rhiannon - 12.06.2013 at 12:51  
Written by Susan on 12.06.2013 at 07:15

A new power metal band with Nils Patrik Johansson on vocals? That's ALL I needed to hear!!


Me too! I love his voice, need to check this out asap
I don't have much problem with Sabaton either, I like some songs from them, although not full albums, they tend to get repetitive.
renai - 13.06.2013 at 03:33  
This actually a good hybrid to Sabaton music, the album performed very well. As mentioned elsewhere, the band's name Civil War and album The Killer Angels is just too hard to get the right result in internet search. A lesson for new band to give one damn unique name please...
Rulatore - 13.06.2013 at 04:04  
Written by psykometal on 12.06.2013 at 07:40

I briefly checked out the preview in the recent News article and enjoyed the music but was rather put off by the vocals

I actually listened to it and couldn't stant the vocals, there were some potential, but...

Nice review.

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