Torture Tunes

Facebook Twitter Google



For a band with over half the members coming out of Sabaton, you might think that the ultra heavy theme would carry over into the sound that makes up Civil War, not so. Their ultra heavy sound is nothing like Sabaton, other than the crushing notes and powerful vocals. That is refreshing because when most bands separate and the members start over, they tend to have similarities in sound that are close to what they have been playing. These guys have a story telling aura about them; with a Trans-Siberian Orchestra meets Metal Church feel.

In this sophomore release, Civil War’s Gods and Generals lays out 10 pounding tracks of Swedish groove oriented anthem metal. The onslaught begins with the big sound of “War of the World” with its use of blues scales at light speed and “Bay of Pigs” lean on the orchestrated sound as they pound a thick, angry rhythm.

A bit of a Scottish history lesson is told in the song “Braveheart.” The tempo is somewhere in the middle and the Scottish vibe is enjoyable to hear. The next song, “The Mad Piper” keeps the same tempo and Scottish theme. It does get faster and the beats are beefed up again as “USS Monitor” battles its way in. This song is written about the ironclad ship that was built during the American Civil War. It’s funny how Civil War and Sabaton, both from Sweden, write songs about American heroes but not a lot of American bands write about American history.

“Tears from the North,” “Admiral Over the Ocean,” and “Back to Iwo Jima” put a fire back into learning the history of WWII. Pointing out two significant periods in this war they fiercely belt out a lesson we all need to hear. This time, class is in session with passionate vocals and thunderous rhythms.

If you have seen the movie or read the book, Schindler’s List, you will understand the emotion and meaning of the song “Schindler’s Ark.” A well told powerful presentation of the German, Natzi Party member who saved the lives of over a thousand Jews. As for the music, it’s nothing short of electric tears. Ending with a big anthem sound is the title track, “Gods and Generals”. I don’t know what to say about this song other than its content is strongly patriotic and it’s just as strong musically.

In a nutshell, I have utmost respect for Civil War. Not only was the lyrical content accurate, it was done with style, respect, and knowledge. The songwriting is mostly driven by the drums. Drums play an important role in war and these guys know that, I believe that’s why the drums are so up front. Yes, the guitars are shredding, the solos are beautiful, and the bass has the tone from hell, but the words and the drums are what shine throughout the record. This time I wish I could give a group a 100.

Tim Duran, HMS

Older reviews