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Carolus Rex
July 2012
Released: 2012, Nuclear Blast
Rating: 3.5/5
Reviewer: JP

There has been quite a lot of activity in the realm of Sabaton. In the past year we saw the first four albums reissued, a Double Live album and a new studio album all in the last 12 months and a potentially catastrophic lineup change with four of the six members leaving the band. The album was written and recorded before the potentially deadly, extinction-level, mass exodus but as long as the main song-writer Joakim is at the helm, the sound will remain (we hope) intact.

The new album is called CAROLUS REX and like all the other Sabaton albums, war is the primary theme but this time with a twist. This time the Swedes have looked at their own history and have presented a thematic album based on the history of Sweden covering the years 1611 to 1718. CAROLUS REX roughly means Charles The King.

Sabaton has always demonstrated good production and presentation and their sixth album is no exception, this time opting for a Swedish version with alternate cover art and a standard edition for everyone else. The North American package is very nice with ample liner notes documenting the various battles and strategies of the era, mini-interviews and a bonus track. The die-hard fan and collector will be annoyed and frustrated as there are four versions of the album floating around.

At this point Sabaton have truly perfected their signature sound as written by Joakim Broden. CAROLUS REX in terms of song-writing and arrangements is not significantly different from the previous five. They are stomping anthems, marching beats, double-kick pounders, militaristic ballads, all the benchmarks of a Sabaton album. The cuts 'Poltava' and '1648' are likely to become fan favorites and staples of the live set. I would have liked a little more fire and brimstone on the album as it is not their fastest, heaviest album thus far. Naturally, the very infectious choruses make for a very enjoyable listening experience.

Sabaton continues to be a leader in a crowded field of Traditional/Power Metal, and CAROLUS REX is an admirable addition to an already impressive catalogue.
Track Listing

1. Baltic Sea Dominion
2. The Lion from the North
3. God With Us
4. A Lifetime of War
5. 1648
6. The Carolean's Prayer
7. Charles the King
8. Killing Ground
9. Poltava
10. Long Live the King
11. Imperial Downfall


Joakim Brodén Vocals
Oskar Montelius Guitars
Rikard Sundén Guitars
Pär Sundström Bass
Daniel Mÿhr Keyboards
Daniel Mullback Drums

Next review: » Sabaton - Carolus Rex
Previous review: » Sabaton - Attero Dominatus (Rearmed) (The Summer 2011 Reissue Campaign)

Carolus Rex
July 2012
Released: 2012, Nuclear Blast Records
Rating: 3.5/5
Reviewer: UK Team

So, another release from battle metal veterans Sabaton, it doesn’t seem that long since Coat Of Arms last graced our ears in 2010 and if you’re expecting drastic change since that album – I suggest you looks elsewhere! Sabaton have never been a band to change up a winning formula, they’ve honed their cheesy/feel good/bouncy sound to exactly what it needs to be over the last few releases – how long they can pump out albums with that in mind remains to be seen, but for the moment it’s still entertaining on many levels!

Kicking things off with “The Lion from the North” after a brief intro it’s clear what to expect from its speedy riffs and Joakim’s defined vocal style, adding in some choir elements to spice up the breakdown. An interesting fact to note is that instead of the usual WW1/WW2 themes we’ve come to expect of Sabaton over most of the back catalogue, the entire album is based on King Charles XII and the Northern War of 1700-1721AD – bringing in a mixture of English and Swedish languages as well as German for “Gott Mit Uns” with it’s almost highland jig tune, some might fear they’ll be going pirate metal after hearing this track.

But no worries there as the band continue to fire through a slew of strong tracks such as epic sing-along track “A Lifetime of War” & “Carolus Rex” however on some tracks there is an air of familiarity, 1648 is quite similar to previous song “We Burn” from “Attero Dominatus” but with a back catalogue of their size, I’m sure this would happen at some point. Besides, with tracks like the excellent “Poltava” who worries about such things?

My only other criticism is that the album seems to drag on a bit as it reaches the end, personally I feel it could have used another fast paced number to close out the album as I lost interest by the halfway mark of “Long Live The King”

Other than that, the production as usual is excellent – Joakim’s unique voice is always a stand out as well as the keyboard sounds that are always so prominent. It would be quite interesting to hear a stripped down Sabaton album that’s for sure!

Review by: Paul James
Track Listing

1. Dominium Maris Baltici
2. The Lion From the North
3. Gott Mit Uns
4. A Lifetime of War
5. 1 6 4 8
6. The Carolean’s Prayer
7. Carolus Rex
8. Killing Ground
9. Poltava
10. Long Live the King
11. Ruina Imperii


Robban Bäck – Drums
Joakim Brodén – Lead Vocals
Pär Sundström – Bass
Thobbe Englund – Lead Guitar
Chris Rörland – Lead Guitar

Next review: » Sabaton - Coat Of Arms
Previous review: » Sabaton - Attero Dominatus (Rearmed) (The Summer 2011 Reissue Campaign)

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