Sabaton: Carolus Rex

Fist-pumping thunder from the Swedish metal veterans.

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Power metal can be a law unto itself – a dirty word to the lay metaller and a thing of gleeful, trainspotting delight to the aficionado. And then there’s Sabaton.

This Swedish anomaly ticks every box without scaring away the more casual headbanger, and Carolus Rex is no exception.

As with all Sabaton releases, the Swedes’ sixth studio outing sets famous battles, wars and tacticians – in this case, Charles XII of Sweden and European conflicts of the 17th and early 18th centuries – to a ferociously fast-riffing soundtrack.

But there are slower ebbs – the dirge-like Long Live The King, the mid-tempo A Lifetime Of War, and the anthemic title-track provide much-needed shade to the light of the all-guns-blazing charge of Lion From The North and the galloping, bayonet-in-the-air bravado of 1648.

Lock and load – war never sounded this much fun before.

Alexander Milas

Alexander Milas is an erstwhile archaeologist, broadcaster, music journalist and award-winning decade-long ex-editor-in-chief of Metal Hammer magazine. In 2017 he founded Twin V (opens in new tab), a creative solutions and production company.  In 2019 he launched the World Metal Congress (opens in new tab), a celebration of heavy metal’s global impact and an exploration of the issues affecting its community. His other projects include Space Rocks (opens in new tab), a festival space exploration in partnership with the European Space Agency and the Heavy Metal Truants, a charity cycle ride which has raised over a million pounds for four children's charities which he co-founded with Iron Maiden manager Rod Smallwood. He is Eddietor of the official Iron Maiden Fan Club, head of the Heavy Metal Cycling Club (opens in new tab), and works closely with Earth Percent, a climate action group. He has a cat named Angus.