Back with their seventh studio album, the trio based around singer/guitarist JB Christoffersson have come back with something that is going to please all those who wish that traditional heavy metal was the musical form most in vogue instead of the multiple sub-genres it spawned. Along with bassist Fox Skinner and drummer Ludwig Witt, JB has created something that holds Manowar in awe, while also bringing in elements of Sabaton and Priest while also managing to throw in aspects of doom and stoner for good measure. It hits hard on the beat, with a real groove to the overall sound, yet definitely harkens back to the metal of thirty or forty years ago. That is one of the albums major strengths, but also in my ears one of the biggest downfalls. One of the reasons that metal split and fractured in so many ways is that bands wanted to do something in a different way, so going back to a more traditional sound means that in many ways this is dated, and not necessarily in a good way.
The production is very good on the vocals on the guitars and vocals, but the bass is too low in the mix and the drums too high, but JB keeps powering through and his vocals are the real highlight with loads of passion and emotion and plenty of breadth. I found this an enjoyable romp while playing it, but little here to make me want to do so repeatedly. It is a solid album, nothing more or less, and will undoubtedly please all the many fans of this Swedish group, but whether it will gain them many new ones remains to be seen. www.nuclearblast.de