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Civil War: The Last Full Measure
Civil War The Last Full Measure CD Album Review

Civil War: The Last Full Measure

Heavy/Power Metal
3.5/5.0

Maybe the first best thing to say about Civil War's latest and third album, The Last Full Measure (taken from the novel of the same name and completing the trilogy) is history repeats itself. There's no pun intended. Sweden's Civil War uses power metal to tell (mostly) historical tales of military events, often from American history, but not always. Perhaps also it's best for you to read my review of 2015's Gods And Generals where I recount the band's origin and sound in larger detail.

Civil War Band Photo

Civil War

Musically, Civil War plays European melodic and heavy power metal. You know twin guitar harmony, oodles of solos, a smattering of keyboards for bombastic embellishment, thundering and fast-paced rhythm section and, generally, clean melodic vocals. However, I've never cared for Nils Patrik Johansson's voice. His vocals are simply to raw, raspy, and coarse for my taste.

As for the songs and lyrical themes, as I mentioned earlier, they consider military history. Neither Press material from the label, nor the band, was very forthcoming about what the individual songs are about. Additionally, no lyrics were provided. Yet some deduction can be made.

Gladiator is about a gladiator (well, that's pointing out the obvious) or maybe the Russel Crowe movie. I have no idea. But other songs: The Last Full Measure, about the end of the American Civil War; Savannah, probably about General Sherman's march to the sea; Gangs of New York, perhaps recounting ethnic violence in the Five Points section of New York City in the 1860's; and Tombstone, about the gunfight at the OK Corral in Tombstone New Mexico and made famous by the movie of the same name. Those are the songs I could figure out. The rest? Your guess is as good as mine. Some note should be made of the aforementioned Tombstone. While definitely power metal, it starts with the Western cowboy motif, which recurs at least twice within song. It sounds almost cheesy and corny, especially at the beginning, but it does show Civil War trying to be creative.

Bottom line is this: The Last Full Measure is simply more of Civil War's military history power metal. If you like that and their previous two albums, you will love this. Me, it's kind of getting old. Now we have both Sabaton and Civil War fighting for military power metal dominance.

Civil War - Tombstone


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The Bottom Line

The Last Full Measure is simply more of Civil War's military history power metal. If you like that and their previous two albums, you will love this.

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