Lots of new music from 'biggie' melodic metal bands of late and it's time for me to pass judgement as I do tend to know it all when it comes to melodic metal. Let's start with what I would call my favourite power metal band in the whole world of recent times. Yes it's the return of the Saba war machine with their new opus Coat of Arms. Well I've played it twice now and of course it will get many more but it's enough to form a reasonable judgement. I expect so much from this band now that I must admit that Coat of Arms is not quite as good as I was expecting. If it was anyone else I'd be doing cartwheels but this is Sabaton man, I am expecting pure magic! I think the album is great but so far doesn't seem as good as The Art of War. Of course maybe it will grow on me the more I play it but at the moment it doesn't quite deliver the same knock out punch as it's predecessor.
Anyway here is my quick song by song.
Coat of Arms - Good speedy song with as usual killer chorus.
Midway - Not feeling it with this song yet.
Uprising - Mid paced heavy song. Good tune in the vein of Art of War the song.
Screaming Eagles - I don't recall too much about this song, needs more plays.
The Final Solution - Interesting song here. Mid paced and the most epic. Love the keys.
Aces in Exile - The first absolutely killer song. Fast paced bouncy and catchy as hell. Reminds me of Attero Dominatus material.
Saboteurs - Needs more plays but a good song.
Wermacht - Mid paced heavy song and growing on me to be a great song.
White Death - Hands down my fave song of the album at the moment. Love the guitar in this and the chorus is out of this world.
Metal Ripper - I like it but needs more plays.
I rate the album at 8.5/10 and believe it or not that's a disappointment to me!
Let's move on to another of my hotly anticipated disks. Namely Axel Rudi Pell's The Crest.
Ok the production on this beast is incendiary. That Axel guitar crucnh is in full force and effect. But the star in ARP has always been singer Johnny Gioeli for me and his performance on this disk is literally astounding! He sounds totally in top form with gut wrenching power. The album is a little more slow paced and epic than I would like overall but I absolutely loved it any way. It's got so much emotion and power. The riffs from Axel are great and everyone knows his solos are pretty average but it's all about the song with him and not showing off and Axel delivers big time again. I think I might like Mystica more than this still but The Crest is still fucking amazing whatever you look at it.
Wuthering Heights' Salt is next up for dissection and to be honest it's absolutely amazing. It's so ambitious in scope. These guys really throw the kitchen sink into their symphonic folk metal and of course with Patrik Johansson at the helm you can't go wrong. The man is just unbelievable on vocals and has few equals in melodic metal vocals. The music on this album is high textured and layered with instrumentation piled on thick. The melodies and intricacies wash over you song after song with bold and wondrous arrangements. I will have many more plays of this but even after two spins I know this is an amazing disk. Maybe still not as good as Far from the Madding Crowd but on a par with The Shadow Cabinet. Basically these guys have 3 massive albums under their belts in recent times.
A few short comments on new disks. Solution .45 is pretty great with vox from ex Scar Symmetry man. I wasn't sure I was gonna like this but then I pressed play and woooosh! What a ride and what vocals!
Disdain's Leave this World Behind is a great debut of Swedish melodic metal with big riffs and vocals with the odd growled line. Some great tunage to sick your teeth into.
Next up for the chopping block is the return of cheese hounds Rhapsody of Fire from which I'm expecting big things. Also the new Soulfly album as I'm a big fan of their last 2 CDs. Till then I will spin Sabaton and the others some more and let the songs grow on me a little more and see if it can match The Art of War.