When the four guys who left Sabaton a couple of years ago formed Civil War, I feared that they would become nothing more than Sabaton 2. With a name like Civil War and using the war theme, things were a bit too similar to the guys’ ex band. However, they did hire lead singer Nils Patrik Johansson, a vocalist that usually has as much in common with Sabaton as Britney Spears has with Motörhead! The ex Sabaton guys come from power metal and Johansson is a singer in the Dio / Tony Martin vein and that mix could be, at least, interesting. But to be honest, I really didn’t care much about them until I got a free CD with an issue of Scandinavia’s leading rock mag, Sweden Rock Magazine. When you get a free CD, the least you can do is give it a chance. And I’m glad I did because the album is really, really good. The band played their debut gig at Sweden Rock Festival, but as I hadn’t heard them then, I couldn’t be bothered to show up. After watching them at this festival, apparently that was a mistake, because on this sunny and hot day, Civil War kicked some serious ass. Opener “King Of The Sun” hit like a fist in the face and it set the standard for the rest of their gig. Nine tracks, all of them off their debut album, were played and songs like “St Patrick’s Day”, the catchier than catchy “I Will Rule The Universe”, “Lucifer’s Court” and “Brother Judas” were with the opener the best songs of the evening. As performers, at least the Sabaton guys feels a little shy and sometimes even a bit lost on stage. Nils Patrik, however, might sound like Dio, but on stage he lumbers around like Ozzy. He has a great presence, though, and he is the unmistakable focal point this day. They also had a good, distinct sound and with a bit more routine, I think they have a bright future ahead of them. An entertaining gig, no doubt.
To read the review of Civil War’s debut album The Killer Angels – click here >>>