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Carolus Rex

60 customer reviews

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Audio CD, May 22, 2012
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Vinyl, Import, June 5, 2012
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Editorial Reviews

Sabaton are a Swedish Grammi-nominated power
metal band from Falun. Their music is battle-minded with a
historical slant, bringing to mind Iron Maiden s classic songs
with a newer school edge.
They initially geared up for war and started to make
plans for world domination in 99, and are starting to realize
this destiny on their seventh full-length album, Carolus Rex.
The theme of the album is the Swedish Empire and lyrical
references are to the Kingdom of Sweden between 1561
and 1721, though the lyrics are in English.
Coming off of Coat of Arms breakthrough momentum
and with far more visibility Stateside than ever before,
Sabaton are now ready to spread the word even further.
The songs are more powerful, more personal and more
bombastic - the perfect album for any power metal fan!

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Dominium Maris Baltici
  2. The Lion from the North
  3. Gott Mit Uns
  4. A Lifetime of War
  5. 1648
  6. The Carolean s Prayer
  7. Carolus Rex
  8. Killing Ground
  9. Poltava
  10. Long Live the King
  11. Ruina Imperii
  12. In the Army Now (Status Quo Cover Song)(Bonus)

Product Details

  • Audio CD (May 22, 2012)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Nuclear Blast
  • ASIN: B00705GEO4
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (60 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,277 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Brian V. Gregory on June 14, 2012
Format: MP3 Music
I've always enjoyed a good "Rock Opera" or "Concept Album", and Sabaton's 'Carolus Rex' does not disappoint. Set during the time of the Swedish Empire, 1611-1721, this album tells the story of the rise and mysterious death of Charles XII, King of the Swedish Empire.

I cannot point to any weaknesses in the album. Each song has a distinct personality that compliments the progression of the story. My favorite song, however, is "A Lifetime of War." The meaning for this song doesn't have to be limited to the 17th century, either. One could easily change a few words, and have it apply to the world we currently live in.

Sabaton's continual innovation and evolution in the Power Metal scene has helped then transcend the need to be compared to the likes of Iron Maiden, Manowar or any of the other legends of the metal/power-metal genres. I feel that this album will propel them headlong into "legendary" status themselves, where they will only ascend higher and higher with each album.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Robin Solsjö Höglund on June 16, 2012
Format: Audio CD
Our country of Sweden is a strange little place, taking pride in who we are but rarely talking about it. Perhaps sports is the only area that isn't modest, but Sabaton just changed that with Carolus Rex, and it quickly ignited a flame of undiscovered patriotism in my heart, as well as an interest in 17th and 18th century history. No small feat for someone who usually listens to death metal and gets his history lessons from the occasional Spielberg miniseries.

"Carolus Rex" refers to King Charles XII (Karl XII), one of several mad and brave kings of war during the time of the Swedish Empire (Stormaktstiden), when our monarch and his Caroleans marched out and claimed several chunks of land around the Baltic sea. The album also makes mention of "The Lion From The North", being Gustavus Adolphus (Gustav II Adolf), another famous name in the pantheons of the Nords.

The epic, overblown power metal sound of Sabaton is absolutely perfect here. Combining galloping drums, traditional Maiden-y heavy metal riffs and somber keyboard notes with church organs, choirs and even some oriental sounds makes this a huge endeavour. I've only heard the Swedish version, and that's not likely to change - hearing Joakim Brodén's baritone command the Caroleans into war, lament the state of their life and the fallen King is fantastic. Songs like "Lejonet Från Norden (The Lion From The North)", "En Livstid I Krig (A Lifetime of War)", "Carolus Rex", "Konungens Likfärd (Long Live The King)" and "Ruina Imperii" are perfect for Swedish summertime anno MMXII. They work because they're poetic, grand, fascinating and endlessly catchy.

At 45 minutes, it's a brief but joyous journey, and there is no variation to speak of, but Carolus Rex is a winner.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Jack Baker on June 14, 2012
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This is the first Sabaton album I've heard, so I can't compare it to their previous body of work. I happened to read an interview with the band in a magazine and was intrigued. Carolus Rex is epic and powerful, combining great musical hooks with rousing vocals. Keyboards and strings mesh well with distorted guitars to perfectly complement the lyrics of battle and ancient kings. Who would've thought that a concept album about the Swedish Empire could be so darn catchy? There isn't a bad track here; my own favorites including "A Lifetime of War", "The Carolean's Prayer", "Long Live the King", and "Poltva". Carolus Rex is one of the most impressive releases of 2012 to date and I'll be sure to check out the band's back catalog in the near future.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By E. Hess on December 8, 2012
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Short synopsis of the disc: It tells the story of two of the baddest conquerors to come out of Scandinavia. Don't think anything else needs to be said about that.

--Excellent songs: all but track 4. Tracks 1-3 are a real treat, 5 will kick you in the pants, 6 sounds like it would make a good drinking song, and the title track (7) will make the short hairs on your arms stand up the first time you hear it.
--Good songs: Track 4 (A Lifetime Of War) is rather morose but teaches a very important and overlooked lesson of wars prior to the industrial revolution, in that religion was often used as justification for things that wouldn't fly nowadays.
--Acceptable songs: None fall in this category.
--Bad songs: This is Sabaton we're talking about. To my knowledge, they haven't done a bad song yet.

Final word: it is a very good change to shift out of the eras of modern warfare and look back into the history book. I recommend for any serious student of history or any Sabaton fan in general!
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Format: Audio CD
2012 is a very interesting time for Swedish power metal band Sabaton. At a time when the band is arguably on top of the world - impressive sales numbers at home and abroad, steady touring and being one of the only real breakout power metal bands in the US since perhaps Dragonforce - they also faced serious inner turmoil. Aside from bassist Par Sundstrom and vocalist (and chief songwriter) Joakim Broden, the rest of the lineup split to form a new band (with the unimaginative moniker Civil War). The lineup stayed together to record Carlous Rex, though, which is easily Sabaton's most ambitious album to date.

For Carolus Rex, the band's sixth studio album, Sabaton opted to make another concept album. Sure, they're all concept albums to the extent that every Sabaton album is focused on war, but like 2008's The Art Of War (which was based on Sun Tzu's famous work), Carolus Rex focuses on a central theme, namely the Swedish Empire. Swedish historian Bengt Liljegren, who helped with historical accuracy, assisted the band. The other reason Carolus Rex is so ambitious is that the band opted to sing entirely in their native Swedish. This caused quite a stir until they later revealed that an English language version of Carolus Rex would also be released. I've only heard the English version (so far), so that's what I'm reviewing here.

Regardless of the language, Carolus Rex still sounds very much like what you expect a Sabaton album to sound like. Once you clear the obligatory instrumental introductory track and "The Lion From the North" storms in, you know you're in familiar territory.
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