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Civil War - 'The Last Full Measure' http://www.rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/7a/80/27/civil-war-the-last-full-measure-86-1487884097.jpg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     February 23, 2017    
 
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Bombastic Power Metal packed with drama and atmosphere.

It's interesting that Civil War front-man Patrik Johansson (ex-Astral Doors and Lion's Share) said in the build up to the release of this, his band's third album called 'The Last Full Measure', that CW emerging from the shadow of Sabaton back in 2012 has obviously helped them gain notice in the Metal world, but also that it's held them back. His assertions that "real" music fans mostly hate Sabaton, meaning that CW had to overcome that hurdle to be taken a little more seriously than the band that Rikard Sundén (guitar), Daniel Mullback (drums) and Daniel Mÿhr (keyboards) were all previously part of.

That's a bold claim, when you consider that CW have appeared at Sabaton Open Air Festival (no prizes for guessing who organises and headlines that shindig), and that you'd guess many of their fans have become so through their previous associations. It's also a strange statement when you factor in that this band's core sound isn't exactly light years removed from that of Sabaton; a European Power Metal boom and bash sitting at the heart of what CW do ever so well. With lyrics that also centre around conflicts – although maybe in a more "grown up" way – the confusion continues to deepen.

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Following the CW based book titles of Michael and Jeff Shaara, '...Measure' is the final album in a trilogy that has so far provided 'The Killer Angels' and 'Gods And Generals'. Although it has to be said those previous albums, as this one also seems to, certainly operated outside of the historical time period of the books in terms of lyrical themes and content. Musically, all three are excellent examples of bombastic Power Metal packed with drama and atmosphere with '...Measure' proving the best of the trio, thanks to some scintillating twin guitar interplay and Johansson's strident vocals. Yes, the strange oompah-tempo of 'Tombstone' and its parping keyboards may mentally take you to the circus, but with the bold Accept-like march of 'A Tale That Never Should Be Told', the Helloween speedstering of 'Gladiator' and confident chest-beating of the album's title track, for all the Civil War bluster, they do, for the most part, live up to it on 'The Last Full Measure'.

Will Sabaton fans like it too? I'd guess so but that's no bad thing... is it?

Steven Reid

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