02. Lifeless Man’s Glory
04. Coronary heart of Darkness
06. Carry On
07. Troopers and Kings
08. Warrior Soul
09. Slaughterhouse 5
10. Battle Of Life
11. Custer’s Final Stand
4 albums in, and CIVIL WAR are nonetheless peppering their press releases with references to SABATON. It is smart, after all. Based by two former members of the Swedish heavyweights, and instinctively tethered to the identical broad ideas, they’ve additionally welcomed former SABATON guitarist Thobbe Englund into their midst. A extra vital improvement, one may argue, is the recruitment of recent vocalist Kelly Sunset Carpenter, who changed the departing Nils Patrik Johansson in 2017, and whose spectacular efficiency lifts “Invaders” to heights barely urged by the Swedes’ earlier albums.
By no means the SABATON clones that their much-mentioned affiliation suggests, CIVIL WAR ought to maybe have extra confidence in their very own identification, as a result of this seems like a combination of defiant consolidation and audacious improve, with near nothing owed to anybody else.
Opener “Oblivion” is a wild and rousing factor. CIVIL WAR eschew the clipped precision of a lot fashionable energy steel for a deeper, richer and extra volubly epic sound, typically sprinkled with sudden keyboard shades or bursts of quasi-orchestral pomp. When mixed with Carpenter‘s none-more-classic vocals, which have an undeniably DIO-esque hue to them at occasions, the top outcome shares as a lot with Tony Martin-era BLACK SABBATH because it does with something extra modern.
There are some wonderful songs right here, too. “Lifeless Man’s Glory” is a punishing squall of pathos and pessimism; “Andersonville” tells the story of a brutal, Accomplice-era prisoner-of-war camp through the darkest of monster ballads; “Warrior Soul” is an unashamedly direct energy steel anthem with a thinly veiled, haunted coronary heart, like NOCTURNAL RITES jamming within the underworld. Elsewhere, “Slaughterhouse 5” plunders Kurt Vonnegut‘s legendary darkish satire for a wildly exhilarating eruption of prime prog steel bluster, replete with whistling Moogs; “Troopers and Kings” sounds precisely like a track known as “Troopers and Kings” ought to, however with the billowing aura of a thousand slain souls balancing out the spine-rattling aggression. On a extra upbeat and uplifting observe, “Battle of Life” is 4 minutes of pure, melodic steel euphoria; whereas a bonus reduce re-recording of “Custer’s Final Stand” (initially on CIVIL WAR‘s first, self-titled EP, launched a decade in the past) turns the clock again to 1876 with relatively extra cinematic aptitude and SAXON-like grandeur than on its earlier incarnation.
Compelling from atmospheric begin to bullet-ridden conclusion, that is CIVIL WAR‘s strongest album by a ways.