Civil War – “The Last Full Measure” (Napalm Records)
Prepare for battle! Formed by ex members of Sabaton, it doesn’t come as a surprise that Civil War have similar themes of war and historical battles characteristic of their previous band. Certainly the church organ keys of Daniel Mÿhr do ring a bell or two but overall sound wise these guys have a more straight up modern power / heavy metal sound that is less epic and certainly vocalist Nils Patrik Johansson’s higher cat purrish style is distinctly different to that of the deep n soulful Joakim Brodén. However, it’s no less passionate and certainly on this 3rd album Civil War pull out all the stops with heaps of energy and fiery playing, especially in the twin guitars of Rikard Sundén and Petrus Granar that truly shine on the galloping opener ‘Road To Victory’. Equally, they also possess Sabaton’s skill of writing amazingly catchy songs with plenty of memorable singalongs delivered through well crafted and in some cases, rhyming lyrics like on the feisty but folky ‘Tombstone’. But for me the standout track had to be the monumental ‘America’ with its stirring melodic riff and quiet passages made incredibly effective through Mÿhr’s passionate keyboards and Johansson’s uplifting vocals – a song worthy of the epic journey made by millions of immigrants to forge a new land! Notwithstanding their Sabaton lineage, Civil War prove once again that they are a band in their own right capable of delivering the goods to the hearts that matter most.