If you've read my blog in the past, you know that I don't use too many swear words. In fact, I try to avoid swearing as much as possible. This review's going to be a little different. Expect some swearing. Fuck.
Sabaton is back baby! Heroes was kind of a weird album. The band had just significantly changed its line-up and they decided to go with more personal lyrics rather than focusing on an entire army or battle. It was still a good album (I even bought a copy), but it felt a bit weaker than Sabaton's previous releases. One of the main problems was the lyrics. A lot of them felt like they were just recounting someone's life rather than being an entertaining song that you can sing along to. For example, the chorus to Inmate 4859 goes something like:
Witold, Witold, who knows his name?
Inmate in hell or a hero in prison?
Soldier in Auschwitz who knows his name
Locked in a cell, waging war from the prison
Hiding in Auschwitz who hides behind 4859
Well call The Last Stand a return to form, because it's fucking awesome. There's plenty of parts to sing along to and shout out loud as they come up. From your Last Dying Breath to the samurai facing down an army in Shiroyama to the motherfucking Winged Hussars arriving. And don't get me started on Sparta, what an great way to start an album. I just want to punch shit as the hoo's and haw's are being shouted. Both times I've seen Sabaton live, they opened with Ghost Division, and I strongly suggest this gets replaced with Sparta. If it's not at least somewhere in their live show, then whoever creates the setlist should be fired. I don't care if it's the whole fucking band.
The Last Stand feels like a return to form to some extent. Sure, The Last Stand feels a lot like Coat of Arms and the tom drum parts of The Lost Battalion remind me of Carolus Rex, but both Coat of Arms and Carolus Rex are fucking amazing songs and both part of the reason I listen to Sabaton. Many classic Sabaton elements are in full display here, from the big operatic choruses to keyboard parts that add significantly to the songs. Let's just chalk up Heroes to growing pains after the line-up change.
I'd also like to mention the bonus songs. They're all fucking awesome. Special mention goes to All Guns Blazing.
So is The Last Stand Sabaton's best album? Maybe. Most of Sabaton's albums blend together for me. When I listen to them, I usually jump from album to album without giving too much thought where each specific song came from.What I can confidently say though is that there's no bad songs on The Last Stand. The only bad thing I can say is that The Last Tour is an awful fucking name for a tour if it's not your last! I don't care if it's a play on the album name. It was announced before the album was even out and it gave half your fanbase a heart attack. Fuck you. (Love you)
I don't give albums numerical ratings because it's largely just an arbitrary thing, but here's the information you need to know: if you like Sabaton even a little bit, go fucking pick up this album. Fuck. That being said, if you don't like Sabaton, I don't know if this album is going to turn you around on them. I'd call this a 'classic' Sabaton album, maybe even a quintessential one, but that's because they stick to their sound and do it really well. There aren't too many new ideas to be found on The Last Stand. If you're someone who doesn't like Sabaton (and I know there's at least one of you out there), let me know if this album made you like them. Thanks.
P.S. RIP Thobbe, you will be missed and you were a great guitarist. But Sabaton replaced him with another fantastic human being; Tommy Johannson. He plays in a couple other bands, including a surprisingly good Christian metal band named Golden Resurrection (yes, really). But mostly, I'll always associate him with this video. What a great guy.