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Civil War - 2016 The Last Full Measure

ARTIST: Civil War
ALBUM: The Last Full Measure
LABEL: Napalm
YEAR: 2016


LINEUP: Nils Patrik Johansson - vocals * Rikard Sunden - guitars * Petrus Granar - guitars * Daniel Myhr - keyboards * Daniel Mullback - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Road To Victory * 02 Deliverance * 03 Savannah * 04 Tombstone * 05 America * 06 A Tale That Never Should Be Told * 07 Gangs Of New York * 08 Gladiator * 09 People Of The Abyss * 10 The Last Full Measure * 11 Strike Hard Strike Sure (bonus track) * 12 Aftermath (bonus track)



Last year I do recall throwing the pen at Swedish metal merchants and war historians Civil War, in relation to their CD 'Gods And Generals'. It's certainly an interesting take on the subject matter of military history and war, though as mentioned in my review at the time, it wasn't all about the American Civil War period, which this band have taken to with gusto. That same approach is taken again, with conflicts from different eras also taken into account. Vocalist Nils Patrik Johansson sets the bar with this band, and though he's since lost his Ronnie James Dio soundalike quality, the power is still evident.

The Songs
Civil War really turn the screws on opener 'Road To Victory', a rapid-fire track with speed to burn and power to match. I like the way the band present 'Deliverance', with some nifty synth parts to start out with. Not quite Amaranthe on speed, but you get the picture. Despite the thumping rhythm section, 'Savannah' sounds positively pop metal when compared to the rest of the content on this album. The cowpoke metal of 'Tombstone' is obviously a reference to Doc Holliday and the Earp brothers. It's an interesting musical twist, in parts sounding like polka flavoured metal! You gotta hear it to believe it! 'America' builds upon a solid anthem based infrastructure, which kinda flies in the face of the so called greatest nation on Earth, which has presented itself as being weak and vulnerable in recent times. The epic 'A Tale That Never Should Be Told' is a bombastic slab of metal at over 6 minutes. I quite enjoyed this, with various change-ups which kept things interesting.

'Gangs Of New York' is a powerful affair, with serious sounding gang-chants providing industrial strength to precedings. This track probably relates to civil unrest in that city during the mid 1800's. click here.. Civil War turn their hand to speed metal on 'Gladiator'. I can just imagine the Roman chariots losing a few wheels in the process! 'People Of The Abyss' I suspect was based on the book written by Jack London back in 1902, about the poor state of living conditions experienced by the under-privileged residing in Victorian era London. click here.. The last track is the title track 'The Last Full Measure'. Doing some further digging, the song and album was based on the trilogy of novels written by Jeffrey Shaara. click here.. The previous two literary works in the trilogy were (get this..) 'The Killer Angels' and 'Gods And Generals', coincidentally the two previous albums by this band! Someone close to Civil War obviously knows a thing or two about military history! Very cool nonetheless.

In Summary
I've read some interesting dialog from Sabaton fans effectively calling Civil War a B-grade outfit by comparison. Well, if that were the case, why aren't there any Sabaton articles at this website? You do the math. My only concern with Civil War is when they run out of ideas and subject matter. Maybe they can resort to TV shows like Sleepy Hollow and Timeless for a bit of inspiration. But then again, there are numerous storylines and themes in which this band can draw on. Or perhaps, they can rule a line in the sand and start afresh with a new band name and theme. In the meantime, 'The Last Full Measure' presents some intriguing material that power metal fans (notwithstanding military history students) will no doubt enjoy. Draw your swords!

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#1 | gdazegod on December 14 2016 18:20:15
Civil War - 2016 Tombstone
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