Released: 2013, Nuclear Blast
My fellow Metal writer, colleague and friend Adrien Begrand were discussing reviews and lists as consumer guides and so I thought it would be a good time to get caught up on some higher profile double Live albums that are available. Many fans don’t automatically get live albums but if Granny is asking what you want in your stocking this Christmas, these should be easy for her to find! This month I have reviewed Live albums by Kreator, Rhapsody Of Fire, Sabaton and Testament. Feel free to enjoy al the reviews in this mini-feature.
I was mildly surprised to see another live Sabaton album hot on the heels of the 2011 Double Live album WORLD WAR LIVE: BATTLE OF THE BALTIC SEA. This is just a short public service announcement type or review to let you know that this album is out there.
SWEDISH EMPIRE LIVE is the bands second live album and was recorded at the Woodstock Festival in Poland, one of the bands strongholds. The CD contains 16 songs and there is quite a bit of overlap in song selection from this album compared to the last one 10, or 11 if you include the intro ‘March Of War’.
The sound quality is excellent and Joachim with his funny and entertaining crowd interaction continues to prove why he is one of the most engaging front-men in Metal today. One minor problem is the album is mastered incorrectly so all the introductions to songs are at the end of the previous song. It’s a common and annoying habit record companies have. Who wants to listen to an incomplete song? If you want to listen to a certain song, you have to rewind (or in modern terms, scroll back with your mouse or iPod or whatever device you use) and find the beginning of the song on the last track. That’s a minor issue I can live with but Nuclear Blast is often bad for that.
SWEDISH EMPIRE LIVE may carry more merit for die-hard fans as this is the first live album with the new line-up since the mass defection/firing of most of the band in March of 2012. The news guys are as good as before and Joachim speaks to that in the introduction to ‘Into The Fire’, although technically it is sequenced incorrectly on the end of ‘The Price Of A Mile’ for some reason as mentioned before.
I gave this album just a slightly lower rating than the previous double live because it is a bit too soon, a bit too short at a single disc just over an hour and quite a bit of track overlap from a couple of years ago. It’s pretty streamlined, no drums solos, guitar solos, or rare or unreleased tunes, jams or medleys, the little things that make live albums extra special. However, I’d still rather have it in my collection than not, so it is definitely worth getting.