Released: 19/08/2016 SWE
Oh, look! A new Sabaton album! Is that going to surprise us in any way? Well, that’s why we’re here now!
“The Last Stand” is the successor of the Swedish band’s 2014 record “Heroes” – which sounded exactly like their gamebreaker from 2012 called “Carolus Rex” – and now we hope for “The Last Stand” to be something exceptional.
Will Sabaton repeat themselves on their latest studio album after all? Let’s find out together!
We photographed Sabaton earlier this year too. Check it out here.
The first thing that came into my mind when hearing the first track “Sparta” was, if that isn’t a tribute for that one soccer club from Prague. Well, allegedly it isn’t, but that doesn’t change the fact that the semi-solid opener sounds quite familiar – especially if you’ve already heard some older Sabaton material before.
“Last Dying Breath” aka Track 2 comes up with a quite promising intro, but turns out to be quite generic in the end. The guitar solo tried to preserve its originality though, but I’m not sure if that was successful. Let’s move on to “Blood of Bannockburn” and… Iron Maiden? Could that be you?
Okay, so now “The Last Stand” took a leap forward and ended up sounding like a cheap version of Iron Maiden with the standard Sabaton attitude. Sounds like fun though…
I’m not impressed so far, but hold on, now it gets interesting! “Diary Of An Unknown Soldier” is a cinematic intermission that will lead you to the first single off this record. “The Lost Battalion” is cool enough, but that’s about it. We’ve heard that choir on older Sabaton songs too. And that chorus is weirdly familiar too… Nothing new here. We can move on once more.
I understand that the band’s songs tell stories and that’s fucking cool, but why make every album so repetitive? Same thing goes for “Rorke’s Drift”. Except that guitar work was really impressive on this one.
And what happens after that? Well, another classic Sabaton song happens and it happens to bear the same name as the record! “The Last Stand” has got some funky synth hints and is so far the best song on… You guessed it, “The Last Stand”! You can actually hear that there was an effort to make something a bit different… Just a little bit… But it’s there!
Talking about efforts to make something sound at least a bit different, there’s “Hill 3234” which perfectly lifted the whole album up from the usual musical pattern. But my excitement is premature, as the following song “Shiroyama” ends up being just another old song by the Swedes.
Is that intentional?
Is a band supposed to sound the same throughout their whole discography? Are bands that are not afraid to experiment with their music automatically considered as bad, while bands that keep on doing the same thing get all the love (and the fanbase)? Isn’t that just sick?
Well, let’s get away from my thoughts and let’s concentrate on the music instead. Okay?
With “Winged Hussars” the über-cool synth comes back (along with the generic choirs) and I can be happy again. Trust me, there’s nothing interesting about that song in any way, except that synth.
So far, we had a “Last Dying Breath”, “The Last Stand” and what about the last song on this album? It’s “The Last Battle” and this album just needed that Disco-esque synth to be at least semi-okay. Anyway, the last song off “The Last Stand” is not bad at all. Not bad, not there – as I like to say.
Afterwards hardcore Sabaton fans can look forward to two edgy bonus (cover) tracks and that’s it.
Ready for the truth? Here it is.
Once you heard one Sabaton album, you’ve heard them all.
If you keep on making records that sound the same, your originality will fade away. Sabaton were original in like 2012 and after two identical albums, it’s not the case anymore.
“The Last Stand” wasn’t unlistenable, but it just didn’t impress me at all and you know very well why. There’s nothing that could grow on you and there’s no part where you could say “Now that was amazing!” or anything like that. The material seems to be recycled and well, guess “The Last Stand” is only for true fans of the so called Swedish War Machine.
Sorry for saying things you don’t want to hear, but these are the things no other music webzine will tell you. Peace!
- The Last Stand
- Hill 3234
Take a Listen:
Written by M. Nyman-Sramkova. August 2016.