It has been four years since Thobbe Englund left Sabaton to pursue a more stable life and expand his own creativity. His time with Sabaton gave us a screenshot of not only who he was but the magnitude of his talent. Since leaving Sabaton, his life has changed exponentially. Following him on social media, it is evident that he strives for creative independence. It is also unmistakable that a new journey has manifest itself to Thobbe, fatherhood. In 2019 his son was sent to this earth, and he has thoroughly embraced this journey. In 2020 Thobbe released “I Odens Namn,” which gave us a tease into what was to come from the guitar mastermind.
December 4, 2020, marks the release of Balls Von Metal Und Steel. The three-song EP is the first release major release since 2018’s The Draining of Vergelmer. If you were wondering what the future sounds like in Thobbe’s world, you are going to be pleased. Throwback to old school metal in every way.
Balls Von Metal Und Steel starts with “Metal Balls.” The sound is everything it says. A heavy Accept vibe coats the track. The mix sounds great from start to end, and vocally Udo Dirkschneider would love what Thobbe has done.
“Waves of Life” is up next, and upon hearing this song, I was brought to tears. It is instrumental, with guitar only. The track moves in waves as described in the title. While listening, the first thing that comes to mind is golden fields moving as the wind slowly alters their position. Uniformly they shift to the wind, but untimely regain their place in life. This is something that happens to us all in life. We shift to changes in life and ultimately regain our position but stronger after what life has given to us. The guitar arrangement follows those waves as it navigates through the song. If this song does not move you, you are not living.
Last but certainly not least, we have “Where I Fall.” The song starts as a hard rock anthem, drums pounding, and guitar ablaze. As the first verse kicks in, imagine Judas Priest’s “Freewheel Burning” with a touch of chaos. The chorus kicks in with, “Here I stand, This is where I will fall.” If you are looking for a song to pump you up, “Where I Fall” is for you. The song is injected with a signature blistering Thobbe Englund guitar solo.
As 2020 rolls to an end, I think we can all agree that it has been a shit show for sure. That being said, Balls Von Metal Und Steel is a great album to help us remember what brings the world together. Music, specifically metal, is the bond we all share and look to, no matter what corner of the world you live in. Love each other and listen to metal! You can purchase Balls Von Metal Und Steel by Thobbe Englund on all major streaming platforms.