Written by Alex Stojanovic
Last Dying Breath
Blood Of Bannockburn
Diary Of An Unknown Soldier
The Lost Battalion
The Last Stand
The Last Battle
Release Date: August 19, 2016
Label: Nuclear Blast Records
Joakim Broden - Vocals & keyboards Par Sundstrom - Bass & backing vocals Chris Rorland - Guitars & backing vocals Thobbe Englund - Guitars & backing vocals Hannes van Dahl - Drums
On The Last Stand, the band takes us on journeys of famous "last stand" battles. An example would be the battle of Bannockburn on "Blood Of Bannockburn", talking about how the Scottish army defeated the English in the fight to win back Stirling Castle, which was occupied by the English during the First War of Scottish Independence. Another example is the title track, one of the best tracks on the album with insanely catchy riffs and chorus. The track talks about the Stand of the Swiss Guard during the sacking of Rome in 1527.
I've always been a fan of catchy choruses and Sabaton execute them extremely well. Sure, there are a few choruses that may not be as catchy as I hoped, but the catchiest choruses on the album include "Rorke's Drift", "The Last Stand", "Shiroyama" and "The Last Battle" to name just a few. One track that stands out in particular is "The Lost Battalion", where many think the drums are programmed, but they aren't drums at all. They are the blasts of 50 caliber machine guns. Pretty cool, right? This track, along with "Winged Hussars", "Shiroyama" and "Sparta" would work just perfectly in a live setting, especially at a festival where you can just see the crowd chanting those huge choruses. "Diary Of An Unknown Soldier" is a short narrative piece narrated by a familiar voice, and that is Jon Schaffer of Iced Earth.
The Last Stand unfortunately is also Thobbe Englund's farewell to the fans as he left the band just recently to pursue other musical interests and cut back on touring. While this album does not top Heroes, it's still an exciting album with lots of epic choruses, catchy hooks and great vocals, as you would expect from Sabaton.
Highs: "Blood Of Bannockburn", "Rorke's Drift", "The Last Stand", "Hill 3234" and "Shiroyama"
Lows: If you're hoping for new direction from Sabaton, you're not going to find it.