Those prolific purveyors of military power metal are back. Sabaton returns with Carolus Rex, a concept album about Sweden's about King Charles XII (Carolus Rex in Latin) and the Great Northern War of 1700-1721. This is also the first album with a substantial lineup change. singer Joakim Broden and bass player Par Sundstrom remain, with new members Chris Rorland (Lead Guitars), Thobbe Englund (Guitars) and Robban Back (Drums). A new keyboard player has yet to be named.
Typical of Sabaton, Carolus Rex continues their pattern of epic melodic power metal. This is powered by the huge vocal arrangements, textured symphonic synths, a driving section, and power lead guitar solos. Melody and harmony are major players in composition, adding a powerful element to every song. What else would you expect from these power metal titans?
Generally, all the songs are strong, with the possible exception of the closer Ruina Imperii, and all of them are signature Sabaton. Theirs is melodic military metal, with little desire to stray from their well-established path. And who can blame them? It works. Best picks: Long Live the King, Carolus Rex, and the pure metal anthems of A Lifetime of War and The Carolean's Prayer. Carolus Rex is easily recommended.