Swedish power metal quintet, Sabaton, have been very prolific over the last decade – despite some recent roster changes, replacing both guitarists and the drummer within the last couple years – releasing seven studios album and now a live CD/DVD, Heroes On Tour, chronicling their performance at Wacken Open Air 2015.[columns] [column size=”1/3″]
Album Title: Heroes On Tour
Release Date: 04 March 2016
Playing Time: 01:14:00
Label: Nuclear Blast Records
Vocalist Joakim Broden seems to have a little less range live, but his vocal control is phenomenal. He holds notes throughout the set with an intense delivery, and his voice seems stronger and less wavery than on some of the band’s recordings. The entire band chips in with backing vocals throughout the many sing-along choruses, and while the mix buries them a little, they still add an important element to the songs, rousing the crowd to chant along.
The collection focuses heavily on most recent album “Heroes” – which makes sense, considering the live album is called Heroes On Tour – as well as The Art of War and Carolus Rex. Only one track each from Attero Dominatus, Coat of Arms, Primo Victoria appear, and no tracks from 2007’s Metalizer made the cut. While it draws heavily from just 3 albums, the songs that appear here work more often than not. “To Hell and Back” spices things up with an Irish lilt, B-side “Swedish Pagans” is an obvious crowd favorite, and first encore track “Night Witches” crackles with energy. “Resist and Bite,” “No Bullets Fly,” and “Primo Victoria” also fare admirably live. The energy lags a bit on “Far from The Fame,” “Gott Mit Uns,” and “The Art of War,” which are all solid but fail to stand out among similar tunes.
I have a hard time ever recommending a live compilation over studio albums, especially without some particular gimmick to make the live experience unique, so I’d still say you’re better off going for Heroes over Heroes On Tour, but if you are already a Sabaton fan, this release showcases them at their best.