Sabaton - Heroes
Nuclear Blast
Power Metal
10 songs (37'03)
Release year: 2014
Sabaton, Nuclear Blast
Reviewed by Chris
Album of the Year V2

I've been a fan of Sabaton ever since I've first listened to Attero Dominatus, and I believe that up til now, that stayed my favorite album from the band, but today this changes. I was worried like everyone else that the line-up change could hurt the band, but fear not, it made Sabaton stronger than ever. After all Joakim Brodén has always been the soul of this band, and he is the one who write most if not all of the material.

Heroes is also a little different as the band doesn't tell stories about battles in this one, but instead focuses on the heroic acts of, well you guessed it : heroes. Ever since the band exists they didn't release a bad album, they have been very consistent and it's amazing that this already amazing quality can still be taken up a (few) notch(es). But that's exactly what the band achieve with Heroes, plain and simple, they've raised the bar ! Joakim's vocals are the best he has delivered until now, and the vocal melodies and epic choruses in display here are nothing short of spectacular. The album quite simply delivers one killer song after another. You'll want to headbang and sing along for the admittedly short playing time, but fear not this album will get stuck in your player of choice and it doesn't fade with repeats. Songs are quite short, between 3 and 4 and half minutes, and while the album fails to clock at even 40 minutes with its 10 songs, those are some of the best musical minutes of my life at each replay. But what songs my friends ! Be it the in your face, epic opener with it's vocal march that Night Witches is, laced with incredible guitar riffs, square power and melody in one package. There isn't a single second that isn't pure joy in the opener. No Bullet's Fly is not as fast as the first song, but the the soulful vocals and great melodies makes it an amazing song as well. Smoking Snakes kicks the RPM back to trotting speed. By then you can feel it in your bones, this album will carve itself into your brain for a long time to come. The chorus is simply epic with it's crescendo vocal melodies. Imagine everything you love about Sabaton, and here it is in every song, amazing riffing, fantastic vocal melodies and awesome guitar solos. I actually believe the new guitar players infused some freshness to the band and it helped Heroes in being such a monumental release. Inmate 4859 is a great moody mid-tempo, even if maybe my least favorite song on the album, but that by no means it's a weak track. It's just that I believe it arrived too early in the album (or not). To Hell and Back, well, with it's Ennio Morricone intro, and epic chorus, is yet another masterpiece of a song like only Sabaton could write ! The Ballad of Bull is a ballad (duh !) and a great great one, it gives Joakim the occasion to show the full range of his vocal abilities in style. The song is led mostly by piano and violins and is a beautifully crafted ballad that get's more powerful and epic as it unfolds. I wouldn't picture Sabaton delivering such a ballad, so picture me impressed. The guitars work in Heroes is definitely the best in the band's history as far as I'm concerned, be it the heavy neck breaker riffs or the super melodic licks, it's coherent, powerful and melodic like never before !

And then you'd think the best that Heroes has to offer has passed.... well, you'd be wrong, so terribly wrong ! Track 7 (my favorite (and life) number), Resist and Bite is simply LEGEN.... wait for it...waaaaaait for it...DARY ! The melodic riff is out of this world, it's like it's coming from another dimension and it will haunt your memory forever (but that's a good thing). It's mind blowing on it's own but layer on it amazing rhythm and great epic vocals to deliver the band's best song to date ! It's epic, it's grandiose, it's simply orgasmic ! Resist and Bite is not of this world, it's not even of this galaxy ! Maybe the best power metal song ever... But now for the kicker. After such an nuclear attack (pun intended) of a song, how can the follow up ? Well, it's difficult to put it into words. But this answer is Soldier of 3 Armies, cause it's JUST as good, and I don't know how I could choose a favorite between the two if you'd ask me to (I'd rather fall on my knees and beg that these two songs never get separated). While the song is a little less in your face, it's still atomically epic and powerful. Be it the riffing, the great vocals or the U.F.O. of a chorus that will fry your brain cells instantly ! I'm on my knees, not understanding how this is even remotely possible. Sabaton reinvented themselves and have put the bar so high it might as well be in space orbiting our beautiful blue planet. These two songs one after the other almost form a pair that transcends these two perfect songs into a beast of it's own that's barely describable. I know I probably don't make much sense (I understand myself at least :) ), but Resist and Bite followed by Soldiers of 3 Armies is one of the most exhilarating moment in my metal music life. These two songs are instantly my favorite songs of the band, and maybe of ANY bands ! 7+ minutes of pure joy, power and exhilaration unleashed ! Thank the gods (I'm Greek after all ;) ) for Sabaton ! But the pleasure doesn't end, the album continues on its galloping way, or should I say destroying everything in it's path. Far From the Fame is yet another mind blowing song, with it's epic guitar melody and choirs infused monster of a chorus, it feels like this Panzer tank of an album is unstoppable at this point, with guitars flying all over the place. The album ends with Heart of Iron, yet another mind blowing, epic hymn song that is the perfect way to end this masterpiece of an album. This album is relentless to the end.

Rock Hard Germany has given this album 4 out of 10 (plus/minus review, the other reviewer putting 8), and I don't really know how to react to this without resorting to some unpleasant language. I will therefore try very, very hard to restrain. I couldn't disagree more personally and question the objectivity behind this quote.

Sabaton did the unthinkable, they topped all of their previous work (and what a discography they have) and created their best album (what I call an instant classic) to date and one of the best power metal album of all times IMHO. Sure Inmate 4859 isn't my favorite song, and while still a good mid-tempo song it's still a tad lacking compared to the rest of the album (on the other hand I am overly judgmental when it comes to mid-tempos), but it's counter balanced by the sheer amount of killer tracks contained in the rest of the album. It's not like Heroes have just two or three unbelievable songs on display here, no my friend, Heroes is one slap after the other, when you think it will stop, it comes at you stronger and punching and uppercutting (I don't care if it's not a word :D ) with even bigger and greater songs, until you simply can't believe what you're hearing anymore, as it is not of this world !

And sure I am not one to talk about being objective either with such a review, but I'm passionate. And I believe our readers know that by now, and Heroes is the kind of album that brings this passion in me, this love for metal and wonderfully crafted music. Heroes is exactly that to me, perfection through power and melody. I've listened to this album a good 25 times already, and I can tell you that hundreds of listens are still in the future of yours truly.

All hails to Sabaton, without a doubt the best Power Metal band there is today ! Long live Sabaton, you are our metal heroes ! Buy or fucking die !

Killing Songs :
All of them but for many of these songs, the term killing isn't strong enough. As for Resist and Bite as well as Soldier of 3 Armies, these have their places atop of the pantheon of the best songs in the history of metal AFAIC.
Chris quoted 100 / 100
Danny quoted 100 / 100
Other albums by Sabaton that we have reviewed:
Sabaton - Carolus Rex reviewed by Aleksie and quoted 89 / 100
Sabaton - World War Live: Battle Of The Baltic Sea reviewed by Aleksie and quoted no quote
Sabaton - Coat of Arms reviewed by Chris and quoted 92 / 100
Sabaton - The Art Of War reviewed by Ross and quoted 80 / 100
Sabaton - Attero Dominatus reviewed by Ross and quoted 95 / 100
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