Power metal is back on the front lines! A band that has had a consistent release of quality records have now released their seventh album. The notable difference here is that the lyrics focus on individual soldiers rather than the battle themselves.
On the musical side of this album, this is the most diverse record they've released thus far. There are small traces of thrash and folk metal incorporated and there's even a ballad on here. While the ballad ("The Ballad Of The Bull") May be pushing the limits of (singer) Joakim Brodén's voice, it's a nice change of pace with great lyrics.
On the note of lyrics, as always the songs do their best to accurately portray the history and work incredibly well on making it understandable without knowing war history. The songs are memorable with more hooks thrown in than a boxing match. Plus there's a song about an American soldier ("To Hell And Back") so I have to feel a little proud.
The signature sound of Joakim is still there in a full frontal assault. At most parts, you can understand him. If you can I recommend you get all of the bonus tracks. With "7734" and "Man Of War" ( a tribute to Manowar, yep) available on all special editions. The last 3 bonus tracks are covers of Metallica's "For Whom The Bell Tolls", a Raubtier (?) cover "En Hjältes Väg, and a cover of Battle Beast's "Out Of Control". Yes, they covered Battle Beast (mentally think "Fuck Yeah!").
This is one of their best albums yet and if you like war history and/or power metal this is a must own. Between the sound and the interesting lyrics, I've probably spun this album 11 or 12 times since it's release a few months back.
Rating: 8 out of 10
"Soldier Of Three Armies"
"Hearts Of Iron"