Sabaton – The Last Stand

So finally, after a few ifs and buts it’s time for me to write about this album as well. “The Last Stand” is the 9th studioalbum from Sabaton and is, as the title suggest, dealing with the topic of famous last stands, the final battles. I must admit, I did have quite high expectations on this album – as I’ve always come to have when it comes to Sabaton.

At first listen, I was a little taken aback by “Sparta”. The more recent opening tracks has been pretty fast, in your face kind of songs, while this one is… how do I put this, slower? It’s calm in a way, the calm before the storm perhaps. But it is very, very big, or large, on the other hand.

The album picks up it’s pace a bit already in the second song – “Last Dying Breath” and keeps on in a pretty usual Sabaton-kind of manner. It’s very big – as usual – big choirs and epic arrangements, but it’s also pretty bland. It’s just… like one line. Songs melting together at times, aside for the few oddies like “Ballad of Bannockburn” which is probably the most out-there song on this album.

Something that makes me a bit torn about this album is how easy it is to place some of the songs on previous albums. It’s not simply that the sound is similar, but down to the fact that I can say “Ah, this is this song!” the most obvious one being “Winged Hussars” – basically the result of “The Carolean Prayer” and “The Art of War” having a lovechild, with the only exception of “Ballad of Bannockburn” who’s completely off the trails, as far sa Sabaton goes.

It’s a very, very typical Sabaton album. You got the big, epic songs like “Sparta”, “The Last Stand” and “The Lost Battalion”, the songs that are a bit more low-key and heavier such as “Hill 3234” and “Rourke’s Drift”. However, perhaps I’m just cheated by “Shiroyama”, but this albums feels… a bit softer? Perhaps it’s the added layers and layers of keyboards that gives me this feeling, but I would have no problem seeing “Shiroyama” in Eurovision, for instance.

Something though, that I simply loved and that took my breath away on the first listen of this album – “Diary of an Unknown Soldier”. I’ve already told you many many times about how much I love the orchestral arrangements before “Nightwitches”, and this sort of intro to “The Lost Battalion” just left me breathless. That kind of build up before a song… Sabaton, they know how to paint with music. Perhaps I’m the only person in this world feeling this kind of passion, but I just cannot get over how amazingly made that combination was.

My personal favorite song on the album, on the other hand, is “The Last Stand”. I love the cheerfulness, the epicness, the melody lines… I can’t even begin to describe how amazing this song is. Seriously get’s my adrenaline pumping.

I’m a bit torn. It’s a fine album, and as a fan I really love it. As a critic, I’m not THAT impressed with how similar it is at times, but on the other hand – I’ve been listening to this album non stop since it was released, so I guess that says something. All I can say is – I love Sabaton more than anything in this world, and that didn’t change in the slightest with this album.


// Sara

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