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Review: Sabaton - Coat of Arms
Coat of Arms

Label: Nuclear Blast Records
Year released: 2010
Duration: 39:53
Tracks: 10
Genre: Heavy/Power Metal

Rating: 2.75/5

Review online: August 25, 2010
Reviewed by: Adam Kohrman
Readers Rating
Coat of Arms

Rated 3.49/5 (69.85%) (65 Votes)

It's with extreme disappointment that I write this review. Sabaton have become one of metal's premier acts, blending their unique "war metal" sound with powerful lyrical imagery. But their new album, Coat of Arms, lacks creativity and enthusiasm. The songs run together and sound almost indistinguishable from one another, occasionally even dull and humdrum. The gang-chanted choruses are overused and don't carry the same heavy emotion that Sabaton have previously used them to invoke. Each of these songs is the most basic of metal anthems. Sure, there are some catchy choruses here and there, but they blend together too significantly for the songs to stand out. Joakim Broden's distinctive bark is able to capture emotion in these songs, but even that isn't enough to save Coat of Arms, which will be remembered as the nadir of the band's carreer.

What makes me so upset about this album is that it seems either rushed or deliberate. So many young metalheads love Sabaton in Europe right now, and these are quick, simple songs that lack substance will cheaply appeal to such a fan base. I hate to make accusations like this, but have Sabaton taken the easy way out? Have they intentionally written mediocre anthems, knowing that they'd make money anyway, since many fans were too young to notice? They can do so much better. They can form deep and engrossing songs like "Cliffs of Gallipoli" and "Primo Victoria," but the songs on Coat of Arms are too vapid to achieve such power. "Uprising," a song detailing the plight of Warsaw under Nazi control, is an anthem that will get your head banging, but even that doesn't match up to Sabaton's past work. What's so frustrating is that the band seem to have chosen these in favor of taking the time to write more powerful music.

Maybe this album would come across as middle of the road if it were made by another band. People expect a lot from Sabaton. Though the greatness we've all come to expect from Sabaton is absent. The pummeling triumph of "Panzerkampf" or the heartfelt tragedy of "Price of a Mile--" it's all missing. Despite a few engaging tracks, this album is limp and weak, and Sabaton have no one to blame but themselves.

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