Few outside of the Sabaton inner circle could have foreseen the departure of guitarists Oskar Montelius and Rikard Sundén, keyboardist Daniel Myhr and drummer Daniel Mullback. Indeed, mere months before the mass mutiny put such a massive spanner in the works, frontman Joakim Brodén boasted to Hammer: “If you invited me to party, all six of us would turn up. We are completely inseparable”, so it’s a safe bet that the reasons for the separation were not due to anything as predictable as musical direction.
Oskar, Rikard, Daniel and Daniel have formed Civil War with former Astral Doors/Lion’s Share singer Nils Patrik Johansson and bassist Stefan ‘Pizza’ Eriksson, and although their full-length debut begins with a chest-beating hard rock belter called King Of The Sun that’s reminiscent of the Tony Martin-fronted era of Black Sabbath, the music soon settles down into a more familiar power metal groove.
Lyrically, too, The Killer Angels persists with the themes of armed combat and warfare that are so closely associated with Sabaton. The likes of Rome Is Falling, Brother Judas and Gettysburg are especially stirring. Indeed, The Killer Angels plants Civil War on the map in the most creditable of terms.