Sabaton - Livgardet


Key Facts

Country: 🇸🇪

Genre: Power Metal

Release Date: 26th February 2021

Record Label(s): Nuclear Blast 


Band Members

Joakim Brodén - Lead Vocals, Additional Guitars, Keyboards 

Pär Sundström - Bass, Backing Vocals 

Chris Rörland - Guitars, Backing Vocals

Hannes van Dahl - Drums, Backing Vocals

Tommy Johansson - Guitars, Backing Vocals 


Sabaton - Livgardet


Review
Rating (out of 5🤘): 🤘🤘🤘🤘.5

Everyone's favourite Swedish, history loving, metal band Sabaton have made a triumphant return with their new song Livgardet, which is a combined Swedish Army cavalry/infantry regiment. With its responsibilities including the defence of Stockholm and as a provision of the royal guard of honour for the King of Sweden and the Stockholm Palace. The regiment has been active since 1521 and has seen the rise and fall of the Swedish Empire in its lifetime. The band have revisited their own national history, which they first unleashed upon the world with 2012's Carolus Rex. Singing a rousing chorus in Swedish, Sabaton have paid the ultimate tribute to one of Sweden's most celebrated and heralded regiments, who are celebrating their 500th anniversary in 2021. 

Starting with a rousing classical choral introduction before launching into ominous synths and soft but tense hi-hat rhythms Livgardet it is an epic, operatic song that captures the imagination from the very first second. As has been mentioned on here before, nothing rouses me more than bands singing in their native tongue, and hearing Swedish being sung is one of the most underrated wonders of Europe. Joakim's booming and dynamic vocals have an added passion and pride to them when he sings in Swedish (not to say that he doesn't have passion when singing in English), and it makes the Swedish history behind the song really come alive. Given the success of 2012's Carolus Rex, it is awesome that nearly ten years later the band revisit this epic period of Swedish history. Given the sheer number of significant events that happened during this time, could this be the start of a second "Carolus Rex" album? With the significant role that the Livgardet play they would have been working for the great Swedish kings Gustavus II Adolphus and Charles XII, the later believing in the divine right of kings. It seems fitting that this song has a triumphant and grand tone to it, as the elite fighters during the reigns of Charles XI and Charles XII they would have laid down their life for their respective king. The anthemic chorus will rouse the spirits of anyone from their seat and give them an intense desire to join this illustrious group of soldiers. The songs riffs are written in the usual Sabaton style of chugged, powerful rhythms and beautifully melodic and harmonic leads supported by synths and layers of choral vocals. The band have a very good grasp of dynamics and space, which is really shown off here, as it takes time to build up, lay the ground work for who the Livgardet are and then launch wholeheartedly into a powerful and exciting song. Overall the song will definitely become a fan favourite, as legions of fans join in it's patriotic chorus. Once again the band will ignite many flames of imagination to look beyond the song and the history itself, with the Livgardet themselves hailing the tribute (see below)! With no new album information as of yet, this will certainly build the hype and anticipation. 


The production is as grand as every, with a rich tapestry of layering and textures to indulge in. Sabaton have become mater arrangers over their 22 year career and know exactly how to get the most out of a songs parts, Livgardet demonstrates this perfectly. The drums are tight yet powerful, providing that signature Sabaton thumping drive and an epic shotgun snare surrounded by crashing cymbals. The guitar tones are always expertly dialled in, providing enough space in the low end for the bass to really through its weight around. The leads have a warmth to them and when both guitars are harmonising fills the soul with joy. With the piano/oragn filling in the quieter sections and adding a more traditional 1700s texture, creates an interesting blend of past and present. The real standout of the mix is the vocal and synth layering, much like what the band achieved on 2019's barnstorming The Great War album, but significantly more operatic and grand. Overall, the mix and arrangement makes the song so brilliantly epic and grand you can't not love it. 

So, if you want to hear about the Livgardet, here is a bloody good place to start. Also, who else wants to know where we can get one of those Carolean coats?

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