Sabaton – Metalizer
Album Review by Adam McCann
Nuclear Blast Records/Black Lodge Records 2007
Priming for War
The rumblings of war for Sabaton have been in the midst since the bands demo ‘Fist for Fight’ was released back in 2000. Recorded as their debut album, ‘Metalizer’ was unfortunately withheld by the bands then record label, Underground Symphony. Due to this, it is debatable if you can call ‘Metalizer’ Sabaton’s third release at all, following their switch to Black Lodge Records, the masters of war released ‘Primo Victoria’ which was swiftly followed by ‘Attero Dominatus’ and ultimately ‘Metalizer’.
Unfortunately, due to this, ‘Metalizer’ sticks out in the Sabaton cannon like a sore thumb. Contextually, it is a snapshot into the band finding their feet within the heavy metal world and has more akin to a bog standard, run of the mill power metal album than the powerhouse that Sabaton would become. At this point in their career, it is difficult to tell who Sabaton are, tracks such as ‘Burn Your Crosses’ have all the hallmarks of Yngwie Malmsteen, whilst the band draw heavily from Norse mythology and J.R.R. Tolkien fantasy with ‘Thundergods’, ‘Hail to the King’ and ‘Shadows’.
However, ‘Metalizer’ is not a waste of time to listen to, there are some excellent tracks here that show Sabaton could always write a song, to fully appreciate tracks such as ‘7734’, ‘Hellrider’ and ‘Masters of the World’, it is paramount to detach yourself from anything you already know about Sabaton and listen through unbiased ears. Furthermore, if you are successful in this, you will find a warm appreciation for ‘Metalizer’ and yes, it will always be a toddler compared to the likes of ‘The Art of War’ and the mighty ‘Carolus Rex’, but it is easy to develop a fondness for ‘Metalizer’, especially as there are plenty of ideas here through riffs, melodies and drum beats which would be recycled later in Sabaton’s career.
Once again, this is Sabaton plying their craft, of course, the production is not the best, Joakim Brodén’s voice is nowhere near as powerful as it would become and it would take the writing of ‘Panzer Battalion’ to kick start the war machine. Nonetheless, ‘Metalizer’ taken at face value can be a lot of fun, but it will make you yearn for later releases.
Rating : 70/100
MHF Magazine/Adam McCann