“World War Live: Battle Of The Baltic Sea” by Sabaton

Artist: Sabaton
Title: “World War Live: Battle Of The Baltic Sea”
Label: Nuclear Blast Records
Release Date: 9/13/2011
Genre: Power Metal
Rating: 5/5

Should I lie to you and say how I have been following this band for years or should I fess up and say that it wasn’t until about two years ago from this point in my writing it down that I had never even heard of Sabaton before. I’ll go with the “honesty is the best policy” road even though its slightly embarrassing to admit based on my always considering myself up on a dozen or more bands that my circle of friends have no clue about. In my defense it is not hard to have found the band eluding me based on the fact that they had never even been to our region for any touring until the Evergrey tour of 2011 where they were direct support. I apologize if they played a one-off festival appearance that I didn’t know about but I am speaking of a full on focused invasion for the larger Metal masses to take a part in. I caught the Evergrey tour and really wanted to see Sabaton and after their set I remember being stunned and impressed more than I had ever expected. I wondered where this band had been all my life because it was just so on point. They returned in early 2012 but I will speak about that later, right now I want to focus on the outstanding double CD live release called “World War Live: The Battle Of The Baltic Sea”. The live album is the bands first in their career and this might surprise their legacy fans because the group has been around since 1999 and have released six full length albums. The release is special because it first delivers the bands entire set from the Sabaton cruise while the second CD gives you selections from across the bands European Tour. Both were done in 2010 so this is a very recent presentation of the band and not something that leaves you wondering how they sound “now” as opposed to the way “that they used to”.

Fronted by Joakim Broden, the band Sabaton hails from Falun, Sweden and delivers Power Metal that is strong with a theme of historic battles and combat ideals. For those as new as I was, it is fantastic to find such a dramatic premise being delivered without fault. From beginning to end this is an exciting release that gives you a good idea into what a Sabaton show might be like and having seen them twice already I will tell you that this find you searching the regional listings hoping for a show in your area. Some of my favorite tracks fell to “Swedish Pagans”, “Ghost Brigade”, “40:1”, “Attero Dominatus” and really to be honest a whole lot more but I shall stop here. The sound of the live recording is spot on and no one musician overpowers the other nor are the vocals buried behind bass and the backing vocals manage to shine as well. Even the audience is properly mixed and they sound happy as hell to be a part of the bands show. Keep this crew in your command Sabaton because they did you right for sure on your first live effort. There is only one duplicate tune across the two CD’s and I liked that because it gave the new listener the chance to absorb more of the bands repertoire than one of those albums that repeats the exact same set from another region on their second CD. When you consider how this release delivers 27 songs to you that span their entire catalog of the time it becomes the true perfect starting point for you to follow the band. I think the quality that is found here will even impress those fans who feel that they don’t like the live albums as much as the studio ones. Truth be told Sabaton did a smashing job on this. I think most of you will agree with me and I stand by my statement of approval. The band at the time of the recordings are of course Joakim (vocals) along with Rikard Sunden (rhythm guitar), Oskar Montelius (lead guitar), Daniel Mullback (drums), Daniel Myhr (keyboards) and Par Sundstrom (bass). The band having worked together for many touring years by the time this was executed finds them to be very, very tight at the delivery of their established classics and the newly released material. In 2010 the band would have been touring for “Coat Of Arms” along with their back catalog.

Many of my readers know how I love a good booklet in a release because I am still kind of Old School with some things no matter how hard you try to change me. The booklet that comes with “World War Live” is exceptional and spans forty pages that not only give you some excellent shots of the band in action on the concert stage but also takes the time to thank all of the members of their support crew. They even give you photos of these people who work so hard to make sure the band is at their best and only worrying about putting on a show that you will never forget. I raise a glass to the band for that but considering their subject matter, perhaps I should be raising a sign of Victory. If I can find one fault in the size of the booklet it’s that it is a little difficult to get secured in the jewel case. I almost tore mine and that would be no good considering how retentive I can get with my music library.

Now I mentioned that the band had returned in early 2012 for a headlining show this time but they did so with an almost completely different lineup. Since the recordings found on this live album and since that Evergrey tour the band had lost all their members with the exception of lead singer Joakim Broden and bassist Par Sundstrom. Suffice it to say the new blood sounded great at the material and seem primed and ready to continue to build the Sabaton army. Get this release to prime and prepare yourself for the fight that is to come and expect your enlistment papers in the mail shortly. We know where you are.

Track Listing:

1. The March To War
2. Ghost Division
3. Uprising
4. Aces In Exile
5. Cliffs Of Gallipoli
6. White Death
7. Swedish Pagans
8. Wolfpack
9. 40:1
10. The Art Of War
11. Attero Dominatus
12. The Price Of A Mile
13. Primo Victoria
14. Metal Medley
15. Dead Soldiers Waltz
16. Screaming Eagles
17. Coat Of Arms
18. Into The Fire
19. Talvisota
20. The Final Solution
21. Back In Control
22. Panzerkampf
23. 7734
24. Hellrider
25. Panzer Battalion
26. Rise Of Evil
27. 40:1

Official Website: http://www.sabaton.net

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