Sabaton is a household name, at least insofar as melodic metal goes. There’s a bit of something for everyone: be it war and glory for the cinema seeks, history for the eggheads, or a raucous and raspy vocal delivery for the Motorhead fanatics. All of this is compressed into a tight, highly accessible package and tempered with a strong keyboard presence that has an appeal both to harder edged traditional heavy metal fans and those looking for a lighter, AOR oriented power metal. In keeping with all of this, the quality of their respective releases is largely measured by how well they conform to their nature. Unlike the two previous albums (“Attero Dominatus” and “The Art Of War”), “Coat Of Arms” makes no attempts at elaborating on a tried, true, and very predictable format. There is no beating around the bush, no songs that break the 5 minute mark, no ballads, and nothing else that resembles progression from the bare bones majesty of “Primo Victoria”. This band is not about technical majesty and long-winded Iron Maiden styled epics, save perhaps in their earliest incarnation during the early 2000s, this band is about songwriting in the most traditional sense, albeit within a very metallic format. The mixture of songs found on here is a familiar one, drawing upon the usual suspects of 80s and 90s influences from Sabbath to Stratovarius. But the choruses are just a little catchier, the solos a little sweeter, the riffs just a little chunkier, and the overall package just a little bit more concentrated than previously heard. “Uprising” takes all of the “Heaven And Hell” clichés previously heard on “Rise Of Evil” and morphs it into a shorter, meaner mid-tempo powerhouse. Likewise, the heavy yet bouncy and galloping opener and title song “Coat Of Arms” essentially listens like a faster, more triumphant variant of “Primo Victoria”. There’s few dull moments to be found on here, though the general issue of sameness and a continuing originality deficit does remain. A quick listen to the very fun non-war oriented song “Metal Ripper” reveals that it has been heard in some variant before, from a host of Scandinavian and German bands in the past 10 years. The practice of building lyrics out of quotes of famous metal tunes like “Gates Of Babylon” and “Mr. Crowley” is interesting, but more of a gimmick than anything else. But in spite of all of this, along with a main riff in “The White Death” that sounds like a more varied answer to Dio’s “We Rock”, it all works and can withstand repeated listens. It may be a bold assertion given the heraldry commonly thrown at “Primo Victoria”, but this is Sabaton at their best. This is a band that, like a high octane gasoline, has been refined to the point that it will deliver the smoothest musical journey in the most efficient fashion. Each one of these songs can easily sneak into the long term memory and refuse to leave, though the groovy and atmospheric “The Final Solution” and the fast paced Judas Priest homage “Screaming Eagles” might be among the first to invade the cerebrum. If Hammerfall and Firewind are high on your priority list, this should be as well.