Released: 2011, Nuclear Blast
It has been a busy year in the trenches for Sabaton. In the last 17 months they have signed to Nuclear Blast, released their 5th studio album, COAT OF ARMS in May 2010, hosted the Sabaton Cruise in Dec 2010, played the inaugural 70,000 Tons Of Metal cruise in Jan 2011, had their entire catalogue reissued (with bonus tracks) in the summer of 2011 and now have released their first Double Live album, WORLD WAR LIVE-BATTLE OF THE BALTIC SEA.
This is a really great Double Live album. The album is quite unique in the sense that most Double Live albums are just one big concert spread across two discs, or perhaps a double disc of the ‘tour representation’ style. This album actually mixes the two styles. Disc One is the ‘Battle Of The Baltic Sea’, the entire live concert on the Sabaton Cruise from December 2010. It clocks in at a decent 77 minutes and 15 tracks. Disc Two is a sampler of their 2010 European World War Tour. It’s 12 tracks spanning 54 minutes with live songs from 10 nations. The thing I like the most perhaps is that there is virtually no track overlap between the two discs with one exception, the song ’40:1’. I don’t mind as it is a killer song and the live version in Poland on Disc Two is awesome, considering it is a bit of a national favourite as it details the Polish resistance to the invasion of Poland by Germany on September 8th, 1939, the event that many say formally started World War II.
Disc One is loaded with the hits, ‘Wolfpack’, ‘Ghost Division’, the ‘Metal Medley’ and of course ‘Primo Victoria’. Disc Two offers many lesser played cuts like ‘7734’ in Belgium and ‘Hellrider’ in Switzerland. Disc One is more of a greatest hits pack and Disc Two is the rarer stuff. The sound on the disc is fine, the crowd is quite high up in the mix, which I like, it gives it more of a live feel. There is lots and lots of Swedish stage banter between songs and although I don’t speak Swedish I have heard enough Live albums to figure out what he is saying, in terms of introducing songs. The sound-level mix on the Disc Two is pretty equal across all the various shows.
There has to be something said about the booklet. It is a whopping 36 pages. Think about that! It’s so thick it barely fits in the standard jewel case! There are over 60 colour photos, (on stage and off), liner notes, and a question and answer session with each band member. Most interestingly perhaps is a good seven pages are dedicated to the crew, photos, bios and a few quotes from each crew member. That is a nice touch to pay tribute to those hardworking men and women. Other bands could take a lesson from these guys on how to do a live CD presentation.
Sabaton (along with PowerWolf) are the most exciting Power Metal band to come out in the past decade and this fantastic Double Live album captures them at the height of their power.