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Yep, this is Sabaton - 78%

Lord_Lexy, January 21st, 2011

Metalizer is a combination or Sabaton’s very first demo’s and better versions of those demo’s in the form of a double-cd. The better quality of the actual Metalizer cd makes that I rarely listen to the Fist For Fight demo’s, although they’re not bad.

Sabaton are nowadays known as band with lyrics revolving around modern warfare and stuff closely related (like the power of the Third Reich). They don’t tap from the stereotype lyricwell, but they have done so in the past. That’s one of the biggest difference between this album and any other Sabaton album. I like lyrics with interesting content, and for a band as Sabaton the lyrics are very important. Joakim’s voice is one the trademarks of the band, so anything he sings will not go unnoticed. With Metalizer Sabaton shuns the subject of war completely and turns to the biggest heavy metal stereotypes. You name it, it’s probably on Metalizer. You ask for bikes, you get Hellrider. You ask for Viking mythology? Sabaton presents you the (superb) Thunderstorm. Christianity? Burn Your Crosses. And for those among you that need even more Lord of the Rings than Blind Guardian can supply, there is Shadows. Is this different lyrical content bad? No, it’s even fun to pay attention to it once in a while, but since we heard the texts before in Manowar’s or Judas Priest’s oeuvre, I’m glad all other albums are about war.

But is the music any different then, you ask me? Yeah, it is. On average Metalizer feels like Sabaton, but faster and… less good. I won’t say “worse”, but I’d take any other album of theirs over Metalizer any day. As already said, Joakim’s voice sounds just as we know it, providing a strong link to the other Sabaton material, but because of the overall higher pace there is a rather strange feel to the album. Other albums contain slower and/or heavier songs, like for example Wehrmacht, Reign of Terror, Ghost Division,… to give some examples of what not to expect on this one. There are no really catchy choruses, with the possible exception of Shadows, that can provoke that special feeling like the one you get while listening to the anthem of Primo Victoria.

But now for the positive remarks: the change of lyrics is fun once in a while. The sound of the album is less “darker” then when dealing with war, without losing that typical Sabaton sound. The harsh vocals, the guitars, the not-too-technical but straightforward drumming and bass, the lowlying keyboards: it’s all there. This is Sabaton in a pure power metal version. The albums recorded after Metalizer contain a portion of heavy metal as well, but this is pure power.

Metalizer is an album that Sabaton fans probably like, but I guess there is the occasional fan who doesn’t like this “Sabaton Light”, with higher pace and more power metal. But rest assured: this is Sabaton.

Better late than never. - 82%

hells_unicorn, November 8th, 2010

Amid the ranks of recent power metal revivalist antiquity (ergo, 1997-2003) stands “Metalizer”, the final culmination of Sabaton’s years of toil in producing a viable debut. It sees a band that is somewhat different but largely tied to an older era of music where speed and technique trumped pomp and simplicity. Delayed for 5 years before release, it stands remarkably out of place alongside their 2 slowed down and heavily produced collections of arena fanfare in overall character, to speak nothing of most other albums put out in this style in 2007. But surprisingly enough, it does seem to look forward to the coming change that would be ushered in by audience pleasers like Dream Evil and post-”Legacy Of Kings” Hammerfall.

Though about 90% of the music found on here is the same collection of notes heard on “Fist For Fight” (which can be obtained with the re-release of this album), there is a noteworthy shift in overall presentation that makes “Primo Victoria” a much more logical destination as their de facto sophomore effort, though most see it as their debut. The ballads and brief instrumental segues have all been cut from the flow, and along with it any remaining notions of the technical aspects of their early sound that likened them to Stratovarius or Stormwind, leaving a uniform collection of hard hitting, fast paced metal that is heavily similar to Dream Evil’s “Dragonslayer”. Add to this a still heavily raw sounding vocal performance out of Broden, and one could almost make a case that Sweden has found a Power Metal answer to Kalmah.

In essence, the Yngwie influences have been dumped in favor of the harder edged aspects of the genre, particularly drawn from Judas Priest, Manowar and a slight helping of Motorhead. A small remnant of the former’s Neo-classicism exists in “Burn Your Crosses” and “Endless Rights”, though the fancy keyboard lines have been switched out in favor of a guitar oriented approach that is mildly reminiscent of Iron Mask, though heavier and darker. But the rule on this album is fist pounding aggression in “Speeder” and a slightly darker variant on said approach in “Shadows”, giving way to the slightly catchier versions of the same in “Hellrider” and “Thundergods”. Take away a few slower and straighter heavy metal songs in “Masters Of The World” and “Hail To The King” and this would be a 100% pure speed assault, yet these songs don’t really detract too much from the overall flow of things.

Insofar as Sabaton’s entire body of work goes, this is one of the best representations of the somewhat unique territory they’ve staked out for themselves. It is geared a bit more towards fans of late 80s speed metal than either the current crowd of arena addicts, or the technical freaks of the revivalist era, but it has a strong appeal to it that make it a worthy pick up for many in all three of those camps. It’s more of an unknown representation of a transition that was going on in the early 2000s than an album that can claim to have helped make it happen given its late arrival, but for its original time of creation, it might have been a force to contend with.

Originally submitted to (www.metal-observer.com) on November 8, 2010.

Sabaton: The beginning - 89%

RubenP, May 29th, 2008

The album we have here is Sabaton’s first one, although it was released a few years later. This however, gives us a great insight to the early sound of this popular band. It is comparable and still different from the two releases that came before it, Primo Victoria and Attero Dominatus.

Let’s start with the first one. The sound of Metalizer is directly recognisable as Sabaton. The accessible power metal is in the same style as the first two albums. A mix of faster and mid tempo songs, though this album tends to focus on the faster ones. The album contains many great riffs and solo’s from both guitars and keyboards. Downside of this one being released later is the fact that the band seems to have used certain riffs for Primo Victoria as well. They had the idea Metalizer would never see daylight, so they decided to use some parts for new songs. For listeners familiar with Primo Victoria, Metalizer might sound a bit too predictable which can be a little disappointing at times.
Apart from this, the music itself is still great as ever. Galloping drums and heavy riffs, and of course the low and rough vocals from singer Joakim which give the band it’s own face. He does a great job, again.

There are also differences with the first two releases. Some are good, some are not. The wider range of lyric subjects is a positive one for sure. Whilst Sabaton is known for their warsongs in general, this album has more variety in it’s lyrics. From motorcycles from hell in “Hellrider” to a Manowar-tribute text in “Masters of the World”, some fantasy and even a Tolkien-based song, this album has it all. And fear not, the fans can release their breaths while there is a pure metal-based songtext too, the titletrack Metalizer. I hope to see more of this variety in their future career, as Attero Dominatus is almost an exact copy of Primo Victoria when it comes to the lyrics.
Metalizer is also different because it contains almost only fast songs. You can decide for yourself if this is a good or a bad thing, as all songs are great.
Productionwise, this album sounds like a step backwards. It all sounds less clear and has rough edges. Due to that, it all sounds heavier too, but I prefer the better production of the other two albums.

Overall, this album is a must for every Sabaton-fan, when he of she realizes that it is a prequel that has it’s flaws. Every heavy or power metal-fan who is tired of the standard high vocals should also check this band out to discover there can be different vocals in the genre. With songs as Hellrider, Hail To The King, Shadows and Metalizer as best songs, Sabaton made an awesome debut and we should be thankful that they decided to release it eventually. Count the nice digipack, the inclusion of their Fist For Fight demo and a really cool coverversion of Judas Priest’s Jawbreaker to that, and the only thing that can be concluded is that the score of 89% is well earned.

"METAL IS ALL THAT I NEED!" - 95%

Empyreal, March 6th, 2007

(note: this is not a review including the bonus disc Fist for Fight; simply a review of the album 'Metalizer' itself.)

Sabaton is known today as a heavy power metal band that writes anthemic songs with a general theme of war from all aspects of it. But this is their debut, which was never actually put out at the time due to label problems, and lo and behold, it's the best album Sabaton ever put out. The choruses are catchy as ever, and the riffage is even speedier and more traditional metal oriented then ever. While the follow up 'Primo Victoria' is more mature, this album is a helluva lot more fun and headbang-inducing, and that's what I listen to metal for in the first place.

The songs here sound like a mixture of old school Motorhead and Manowar, with a dash of Painkiller-era Judas Priest for extra flavour, plus some symphonic-sounding keyboard parts that only make the songs better. The guitars are given due respect, there is no keyboard wankery to be found here.

"Hellrider" is pure Judas Priest slayage, blasting through the speakers with heavy drums and sharp, aggressive riffage, with the rough and tuneful voice of Joakim Broden, who is actually becoming one of my favorite metal vocalists as time goes on. And "Thundergods" follows suit with a monster chorus and some great drum beats and guitar leads (that solo, too!). But then we have more Motorhead oriented tunes like the crushing "Speeder", or the very cool "Shadows" (but this song is not catchy, surprisingly, lessening it's effect...). And let us not forget the complete screaming steel assault of the title track. What a fucking great song (the chorus is where the title of this review comes from!)

The lead guitar is very good on the more melodic tracks "Burn Your Crosses" and "Endless Nights"; the latter of which also packs some killer riffage to boot. And "7734" has a chorus that's still stuck in my head even when I'm listening to something else, and I have to say the three aforementioned songs are my favorites on the disk.

Sadly, we hit a bit of a speedbump with the Manowarish filler tracks "Hail to the King" and "Thunderstorm", although the latter has some cool moments. "Masters of the World" is practically a Manowar anthem, and I like it quite a lot. Very cool chorus and some nice keyboards. The Judas Priest cover "Jawbreaker" is done well, and shows how aggressive this band can be when they want. And "Birds of War", the unreleased track, has a cool opening riff following this weird funeral piano tune, but turns into a midpaced tune with some great melodies, and Joakim's vocals are rawer and deeper then ever.

So I can't find much wrong with this, other then a few tracks that are less than stellar. But we've got a few absolute classics here, and Sabaton fans will love this, as it's the best disc they've put out so far. Also recommended to fans of balls-out, no gimmick heavy metal, the way they did it in the 80s. We're not far into 07, but this is probably the best album I have so far this year. Go. Get.