Sabaton-The War to End All Wars

Swedish metal giants Sabaton are set to release the follow up to the highly successful The Great WarThe War To End All Wars will be released on March 4, 2022 and continues the stories of heroes who fought in World War I. 

The album begins with “Sarajevo,” a song that is has narrated verses that describe the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand which is said to have been described as the major escalation that started World War I.  “Stormtroopers” is fast paced song that chronicles the soldiers that were sent to break stalls in forward movement by infantry soldiers.  “Dreadnought” slows the beat down as Sabaton tackles the battle for naval superiority.  The songs fearless lyrics elevate it to epic proportions:

“Unopposed under crimson skies
Immortalized, over time their legend will rise
And their foes can’t believe their eyes, believe their size, as they fall
And the Dreadnoughts dread nothing at all”

Sir Adrian Carton De Wiart was known as the “Man who could not be killed.” His legacy is seized precisely in a speedy song with choirs assisting Sabaton in the chorus. It is aptly named “The Unkillable Soldier” after this unlikely hero.

The battle then heads to the Alps to protect the borders of Austria-Hungary and Italy. “Soldier of Heaven” recounts the heroes who fought high in the snow packed mountains and who’s bodies still remain in a frozen grave.  The song’s mild paced beat is combined with lyrics that tell the story in chilling precision.

The heaviest song on The War To End All Wars and arguably since Coeruleus Rex era Sabaton is definitely “Hellfighters.” The guitar work is reminiscent of the twin axe attack style that Judas Priest made so lethal throughout their career. The song tells the story of the 369th regiment, an infantry troop made up of mostly African American and Puerto Rican soldiers. Although the soldiers were subjected to the same atrocities of war that everyone else was, they weren’t allowed to fight alongside their white counterparts, nor were they treated with the same respect.

“Race to the Sea” takes the battle back to the water. This track features a great chorus and details the king of Belgium flooding part of his land to prevent a German takeover. 

One of the greatest stories of the album is featured in the song “Lady of the Dark.” A gritty guitar helps tell the story of Milunka Savic. She was a Serbian woman who took her brother’s place in the Army eventually becoming one of the highest decorated soldiers in her country. The song’s lyrics tell the story as pounding drums intensify. The beat like a heart helps you to imagine the courage that Milunka demonstrated while fighting in a war as the only woman.

The beat picks up speed as the battle enters “The Valley of Death.” This song features tempo changes and a great guitar solo. The Battle of Doiran sets a scene as Bulgarian troops, who were outnumbered, stood their ground against a larger invading British force. 

The true medal of hope for humanity is the song “Christmas Truce.”  Six months of bloody battles preceded Christmas Eve 1914. In the trenches you can hear carols being sung. In unison the opposition then begins to sing along. It is Christmas day and both sides meet in the middle for games and gift exchanges. A piano leads the way as the song tells the story of this magical moment. Vocally the song is heart wrenching. It’s the type of song only Sabaton could execute with such passion and intensity. If any song by the Swedish quintet can bring a man to tears it is “Christmas Truce.” The album finishes at the end of World War I. “Versailles” is the song that lays out the treaty signed in the city bearing the same name. A narrated verse leads into and inspirational chorus as The War To End All Wars comes to an end.

War is never an easy subject to tackle in a song let alone a whole album. Sabaton has found a way to musically tell the stories of heroes of war for 20 years now. Metal is a mere 54 years old if you use Black Sabbath as the Genesis of the genre. War on the other hand goes back thousands of years. With these facts in mind, Sabaton will never run out of material and will have a wealth of battles to write about until they decide to make music no longer. The War To End All Wars eloquently picks its own battles and brings them to each listener in a familiar language. A dialect we all know as “Metal.”  Wars divide, but “Metal” unites! A world with more “Metal” is a better place for all of us. Help make the world a better place by picking up your copy of The War To End All Wars by Sabaton on March 4, 2022 when it is released by Nuclear Blast Records.   

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