Civil War - The Killer Angels

Civil War The Killer Angels cover
Civil War
The Killer Angels
Despotz Records
Once in a while we trouble our brains with major or minor things… for instance… how would Manowar be without Erik Adams? Or… Iron Maiden without Bruce Dickinson… oops, that has happened… Virgin Steele without Defeis? But have you ever had a think about how Sabaton would be without Joakim … along with Pär? Following hot on the heels of “Carolus Rex” recordings last year Rikard Sunden (guitar), Daniel Mullback (drums), Daniel Myhr (keyboards) and Oskar Montelius (guitar) bowed out after more than a decade of co-operation with Sabaton, and formed Civil War with Patrik Johansson (Astral Doors, Lion’s Share) on vocals and bassist Stefan “Pizza” Eriksson (Volturyon).
No prizes for guessing what we are dealing with here. Epic, power and of course… metal. Could it have been otherwise? As the band states: The album deals with a lot of stuff: heroes, traitors, battles and heavy metal... and yes: we have a song called “Gettysburg”. Indubitably, their capabilities are beyond questioning and Patrik Johansson’s dulcet tones give that extra something to “The Killer Angels”. Alternating between shrieks and hoarser tones it seems to me he has a magic touch in singing. Yet, an oddly beautiful voice doesn’t necessarily go hand-in-hand with success when there’s nothing more. Thankfully, Civil War’s instrumental arrangements clearly showed a flair for music. Best moments here: “King of the Sun” – definitely a singsong, “First to Fight” – a thundering drum roll accompanies smashing guitars, “Saint Patrick’s Day” – a bit more Irish/folkish and melodic, “Rome is Falling” – ultimately… positive, “Sons of Avalon” – a heady song, “I Will Rule the Universe” – a more mid-tempo tune, “My Own Worst Enemy” – the metronome is on fire here and “Gettysburg” – one my personal favorites, really touches your heart. The production is awesome as well.
Stacking them up against Sabaton? Wrong. Civil War has it in them musically, that’s yesterday’s news. “The Killer Angels” proved to be a superb album in its genre and opened the road to success for the band. In all probability, what I can predict is two battlefields… but will you take sides eventually?