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The resurrection of Gary Moore. - 86%

hells_unicorn, May 2nd, 2013

As the ongoing anticipation of Civil War's debut LP "The Killer Angels" release continues, so too does the full length song previews in the form of digital single releases. However, whereas on the last single "I Will Rule The Universe" this band of mostly former Sabaton members lost some serious ground in the originality department with regard to their former band, "Saint Patrick's Day" sees an all but full departure from said band's heavily familiar approach for something equally familiar, but a bit more fun. With an Irish national figure as the subject and a set of melodic hooks heavily indicative of Ireland's own brand of Celtic folk music meshed with a very formulaic and rock oriented approach to metal, the band finds themselves coming dangerously close to Gary Moore territory.

Hearing the opening theme of this song will no doubt instantaneously dredge up memories of Moore's 2nd most well known song in metal circles "Over The Hills And Far Away", complete with a similar beat and feel, not to mention a massive production sound that is pretty close to Nightwish's cover of the song from about 12 years back. Likewise, the riff work and the brief and highly simplified guitar solo can be pretty much subsumed under most of Gary Moore's solo work, as well as his brief stint with Thin Lizzy. The only thing that keeps this from being entirely unoriginal is Nils' Dio-like shout and the heavier guitar tone, the latter of which definitely tilts this in a Nightwish direction, though this song is slightly more drum driven and downplays the keyboards to the level of a subtle atmospheric additive rather than a secondary lead instrument.

But for all the derivative elements at play, this proves to be a very fun song and a much needed breath of fresh air from the slow paced and militaristic feel that will probably play a big role in the eventual LP. The high point of the song is actually the fanfare bridge at around the 3 minute mark, which is heavily reminiscent of the sing along section at the middle of Iron Maiden's "Heaven Can Wait", and is sure to become a favorite crowd involvement spot for the eventual live shows. Hopefully Civil War won't have shied away from this sort of upbeat, slightly Helloween meets earlier 80s rock/metal sound and stay in Sabaton's shadow when "The Killer Angels" hits circulation, but here they've proven that along with Kai Hansen's "I Want Out", great songwriting can often entail the fine art of paraphrasing.