Sabaton have always been a consistently good band but it feels like they’ve taken things to the next level with their brand new album Heroes, a truly majestic release with ten memorable and hard-hitting tracks that will be resonating within your mind for weeks on end. It’s perhaps worth noting that this is the band’s first effort with their new guitarists and drummer, but this is quite possibly the tightest Sabaton album to date – it’s like the members have always been playing together.
Night Witches is the perfect beginning to a perfect album; opening with a faded-in introduction that’s almost impossible to contain, building up and up before reaching fever pitch. This is when the band launches into a furiously powerful and fervent track with the slamming drums, wall of guitars and strong vocals all moving as one together before taking seperate paths yet also merging into one glorious entity. It makes the best possible impression for the listener, as you can tell a lot from the opening track of an album and when it’s as good as this, it can only mean the rest of the album is an absolute blinder – and an absolute blinder it is.
Another especially rewarding inclusion is Inmate 4859, a song about Witold Pilecki who volunteered for a resistance operation to get imprisoned in Auschwitz in order to gather intelligence and escape. A rather emotional and epic number with frontman Joakim giving a stunning vocal performance, it’s not one of their fast paced in-your-face songs but that doesn’t make any difference because it still packs a punch and makes a tremendous impression on you – it’s not a song you can listen to once and then forget about.
The thing with Heroes is that Sabaton churn out belter after belter, so it’s difficult to earmark just one song as a highlight because they’re all so stunning! From the glorious thick tones (both in the instruments and choral-style vocals) of Smoking Snakes, to the almost folk metal style of To Hell And Back complete with mouth harp in some parts and the (somewhat unsurprising) softer approach to the aptly titled The Ballad Of Bull, Sabaton aren’t afraid to blaze their own trail and take numerous different routes and ideas to craft this album.
The album closes with the huge track Hearts Of Iron that ends it on a high. It sums up everything that’s great about Heroes with lush instrumentation and an absolutely stunning guitar solo to boot. Interestingly, it ends by slowly fading away – a far cry from the furious energy barely contained in the opening for Night Witches!
Heroes is everything you could possibly want from a Sabaton album – an absolutely mindblowing release that you’ll keep wanting to come back to. If you only buy one album this year, then make sure it’s this one.