Sabaton - The Last Stand (Limited Edition)
Nuclear Blast
(Military) Power Metal
13 songs (44'50)
Release year: 2016
Sabaton, Nuclear Blast
Reviewed by Chris
Major event
Sabaton are back with their latest album The Last Stand. I’m not gonna tiptoe here, I think Heroes was their best work to date and I was worried for this new album, especially after having listened to the single The Last Battalion, which failed to convince me. Not a bad song in itself but it really failed to lift my interest like Resist and Bite had when they had released it on the Sabaton iOS app a week or two prior to the Heroes album's release.

Now to me this album suffers from having to follow-up such an amazing album as Heroes. Think Masquerade from Running Wild having the daunting task to follow Black Hand Inn. It feels quite similar here. Fortunately I was psychologically prepared for this, unlike with Masquerade that I only rediscovered a few years ago when my brother Danny urge me to revisit the album. And he was right…

But back to Sabaton. This is a great album, and it’s a classical Sabaton sound, albeit some great new things tried here and there like the use of back pipes on Blood of Bannockburn, or heavy and punchy use of keyboards of Shiroyama, making it almost radio-friendly in the process. But there is lots to love on this album: like the furiously melodic riff in Rorke’s Drift, one of the many diamonds this opus has to offer. Or the Hu’s Ha’s of Sparta, the opener and my favorite track on the album that recounts the heroism of 300 spartans, kind of mixing history and the 300 movie in its lyrics. The Hu’s and Ha’s are clearly a good way to warm-up the crowd and get them firing up on all cylinders and I’m pretty sure that Sabaton will use that song to open their shows on their upcoming tour.

At the end of the day, this album is pure power metal like we’ve been used for many years now. And let’s face it: when you get a band like Accept to open as guests for your live shows, you know you’re doing something right! Sabaton is one of the biggest metal bands today and it’s a title clearly deserved, as they have still to release a mediocre or even passable album. It speaks volume that things like The Sabaton Open Air or The Sabaton Cruise exist. It clearly pays to be consistent and that’s what this album (and band) is: consistent! It’s great fun, great riffs, varied songs, probably one of the most varied album they ever released in fact, but after so many years, some melodies start to feel a little more than familiar or even rehashed to the point of being almost redundant (like on The Last Stand or Winged Hussars). Still, you’ll find an large array of powerful riffs and melodies, albeit with a slight overuse of keyboards (or perhaps just mixed too much in front) for my taste, great melodic solos and epic choruses as well as the great and unique vocals of Joakim, which are after all, the trademark of band. 

There’s a pretty good cover of All Guns Blazing to close the album. Thobbe Englund is doing the Priest like vocals (probably with a voice modifier but good job still). About a month ago Thobbe announced his departure from the band though. The limited edition has another bonus track called Camouflage (whose muted riffs and jolly rhythm I find quite pleasing). 

In the end this is great album and one the fans are sure to devour passionately. I’m a little worried that the band might have peaked with Heroes though… but only time will tell. For now I’m just happy to have some new Sabaton tunes to headbang to. And if you haven’t seen this band live, you ought to. You have no idea what an experience you’d be missing if you don’t see them live! I’ve seen them a few times and each time I was blown away.
Killing Songs :
Sparta, Shiroyama, Rorke’s Drift, Last Dying Breath, The Last Stand (even though it sounds way too familiar) & The Last Battle
Chris quoted 87 / 100
Other albums by Sabaton that we have reviewed:
Sabaton - Heroes reviewed by Chris and quoted 100 / 100
Sabaton - Carolus Rex reviewed by Aleksie and quoted 89 / 100
Sabaton - World War Live: Battle Of The Baltic Sea reviewed by Aleksie and quoted no quote
Sabaton - Coat of Arms reviewed by Chris and quoted 92 / 100
Sabaton - The Art Of War reviewed by Ross and quoted 80 / 100
To see all 7 reviews click here
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