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Review: Civil War - Gods and Generals
Civil War
Gods and Generals

Label: Napalm Records
Year released: 2015
Duration: 56:01
Tracks: 12
Genre: Heavy/Power Metal

Rating: 4/5

Review online: August 17, 2015
Reviewed by: Bruno Medeiros
Readers Rating
Gods and Generals

Rated 3.64/5 (72.86%) (14 Votes)

In 2012, four members of Swedish power metal giants Sabaton left the band in search for independence which they found in their own act, Civil War (suggestive name, huh?). When you make this kind of transition, it’s hard not to receive comparisons from the media and the fans, and this time it was no different. When Rikard Sundén, Oskar Montelius, Daniel Mullback and Daniel Mÿhr joined forces with Astral Doors and Wuthering Heights frontman Nils Patrik Johansson and released their first effort in The Killer Angels, we could see that the sound was very similar to that of Sabaton’s (which is not all that bad, in my opinion), but also featured some well-received new elements in their music, giving them a rather considerable depth, but, of course, the "Sabaton-esque" elements were predominant, even in the songwriting department.

Two years later and after a small change in the lineup, with axeman Petrus Granar entering the battle, the Swedish warriors release their sophomore effort Gods and Generals, again filled with war-themed songs. Armed with big hooks, quality riffs and memorable choirs, the Swedish soldiers enter the battle ground really strong with the bombastic "War of the World", an epic and fast theme full of energy, which gives you a good idea of what’s to come. "Bay of Pigs" comes after that showing the cool vocal lines of Johansson, a sort of mix between Saxon’s Biff Byford and later-era Dio, giving the song a groovy and heavy feel. Tunes like "Braveheart", "The Mad Piper" and "Tears from the North" keep up with the epic atmosphere, and offer great balance and diversity to the album. There is a little bit of everything here: Faster approaches like "USS Monitor", mid-paced songs like the aforementioned "Bay of Pigs" and "Admiral Over the Oceans", and even epic tunes like the title track "Gods and Generals".

While the execution is great, not everything is perfect on this piece of work. There are some rather silly historic errors in the songs (for instance, William Wallace was never called Braveheart. That moniker was used by the Scots to honor Robert the Bruce when they carried his embalmed heart on their battles, after his death, thus giving the nickname "Braveheart" to the late King) and they weren’t able to emancipate themselves entirely from their past band.

They say that discipline is what makes soldiers win wars. Civil War has that, and more. Overall, Gods and Generals is a strong release in the already epic-filled genre. While it doesn’t stand out from other power metal bands, Civil War is slowly gaining territory.

Other related information on the site
Review: The Killer Angels (reviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
Review: The Last Full Measure (reviewed by Bruno Medeiros)
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