“Where dead men lie I’m paralyzed,
My brother’s eyes are gone,
And he shall be buried here,
Nameless marks his grave.”
This is the opening line to the title track from The Great War from Sabaton. Most of Sabaton’s songs are inspired by the travesty and the triumph of man’s need to conquer although the band has occasionally strayed from the war genre to create songs like “Metal Crue” and “Swedish Pagans”. Sabaton’s albums serve as a lesson in warfare, from Sweden’s youngest ruler Carolus Rex to the Allied Invasion of Europe. The Great War is no different. Or is it?
The Great War will release July 19th, the 100th anniversary of the end of The Great War, World War I. The Great War is arguably categorized as a “Historical Concept Album.” It differs from other Sabaton albums in a few ways.
A Soldier’s Story…
Most importantly, The Great War makes you feel as though you are right in the trenches next to Joakim and the boys. Title track, “The Great War”, has an epic sound combined with the larger-than-life thunder of a choir and unbelievable orchestration. It is a soldier’s story told with no remorse through piles of bodies and bullets flying overhead. The use of a choir makes this song comparable to the mighty Carolus Rex.
The listener continues through The Great War to one of the most underrated war machines of any war including World War I. The Devil Dogs of the US Marines served their country with little or no recognition. “Devil Dogs” is a fitting tribute to all the dogs who served their country loyally right next to their fellow solders. “Devil Dogs” will hold up in Sabaton’s history as one of my favorites.
The listener is next launched into a dog fight with “The Red Baron.” The legend of The Red Baron is transformed into music as the listener dodges bullets and strikes down enemies with whit and skill The track has a similar sound as Heros‘ “Night Witches” and the inclusion of keyboards elevates the song to legendary status.
“In Flanders Fields,” which is a remake, marks the end of Sabaton’s riveting war reprisal. The song uses no instruments. It is a somber but monumental way to end the album.
Experience It Yourself….
Sabaton is marking 2019 with 20 years of metal dominance and they are not slowing down at all. They’ll stop at nothing short of total supremacy when they invade North America this fall on The Great War tour with Hammerfall. If you think Sabaton sounds great on an album, you will be blown away by their live performance. I encourage you to pick up your copy of The Great War on July 19, 2019. Memorize the lyrics to the songs, find them on tour and sing away with them live. It is something you will not regret.