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Sabaton - 'The Last Stand' http://rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/65/bb/87/sabaton-the-last-stand-48-1474620586.jpg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     September 23, 2016    
 
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Hot on the heels of yet another year of lauded live shows comes 'The Last Stand'.

The rise of Sabaton since their sudden reinvention in 2012 has been quite meteoric. From being a band trawling their chest-beating Power Metal around Europe to a small band of faithful followers, recent years have seen Sabaton headline Wacken and even close the show at their very own outdoor festival. More surprisingly, the UK has even begun to take notice of the camouflage wearing Fins; the move from clubs to theatre size venues a clear message that singer Joakim Brod�n and bassist P�r Sundstr�m were right to soldier on when the rest of their band raised the white flag in surrender.

Hot on the heels of yet another year of lauded live shows comes 'The Last Stand'. No, not the final farewell that name suggests, but instead a celebration of the famous battalions and soldiers who have stood proudly against ridiculous odds and won (well, some of them...). The band's blueprint of taking war themes and surrounding them with big booming drums and huge chanting choruses has served them well, so it's no surprise that's exactly what 'The Last Stand' continues to be fuelled by.

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It's polarising stuff, fans wallowing in the chance to punch the air in adulation, detractors decrying the broad brushstrokes and hi-viz refusal to throw in twists or turns. To be fair, 'Blood Of Bannockburn' does incorporate bagpipes and Hammond Organ, although the latter wheezes at such pace it almost feels like an overheating accordion. While after the classy spoken intro of 'Diary Of The Unknown Soldier' leads into 'The Lost Battalion', you realise that the snare beat has been replaced by side-arm fire, the kick by bomb blasts and hi-hat by bayonet stabs, which is, given the surrounds, rather clever.

Those however are the surprises, everything else from 'Hill 3234' to 'Sparta' through 'Shiroyama' pretty interchangeable with any other Sabaton anthem. If that sounds like your idea of the perfect battle, then this is where to make your last stand. If not, there's isn't one thing here to change your mind. Me? I'm already making plans for the band's UK assault early next year. See you in the trenches!

Steven Reid

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