• Civil War - Civil War (2012) (6,5/10)

    Genre: Power Metal
    Label: Despotz Records
    Playing time: 24:19
    Band homepage: Civil War

    Tracklist:

    1. Rome Is Falling
    2. Civil War
    3. Forevermore
    4. Custers Last Stand
    5. Say It Right (NELLY FURTADO Cover)
    Civil War - s/t

    After the departure of four members of the famous Swedish Power Metal outfit SABATON, the four guys decided to hire Stefan “Pizza” Eriksson as bassist from the Death and Thrash Metal band HELL PATROL as well as from Death Metal band VOLTURYON and singer Nils Patrik Johansson who is involved in the Heavy Metal band ASTRAL DOORS, the Power Metal foundation LION’S SHARE, the Melodic Death Metal outfit RUINED SOUL and the Progressive Folk Metal formation WUTHERING HEIGHTS.

    The new members sound promising and seem to add some diversity to the SABATON-based sound but this isn’t the case at all on this first sign of life in form of a self-titled EP. The band delivers unspectacular but well crafted epic mid tempo Power Metal with many catchy hooks and lyrics about the usual war topics. The vocals sound a little bit less like Joakim Brodén from SABATON and rather remind me of JORN. They are gripping and powerful enough to save this release from being only solid or even just mediocre.

    The band though fails to forge its own identity and sounds pretty much like SABATON. They offer heavy and gripping stuff like the energizing opener “Rome Is Falling” which is probably the best song on here or the slower “Forevermore” which is a hard rock ballad with piano passages and a strong retro touch reminding of commercial Heavy Metal or Hard Rock of the late eighties. As a little surprise, the band added a NELLY FURTADO cover on this EP with “Say It Right”. The boring pop song by the Canadian artist with Portuguese origins becomes a boring and rather soft metal song that fails to impress and sounds even older fashioned than the original. The track sounds a little bit like a MADONNA b-side of the late eighties to my ears, even in the harder cover version.

    In the end, SABATON fans should keep an eye on this band and are probably not going to be disappointed by this release. Anybody else should stay with the original and this new band should definitely work on its own identity and bring in some fresh ideas to get further attention. The EP is not plain bad and rather entertaining but it’s not a good call either.

    (Online March 15, 2013)

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