Review SABATON ‘The War to End All Wars’

Well, Sabaton is certainly a band that polarizes. There are true fans that appreciate every release and live show from the Swedish power metal outfit. At the same time the group of metalheads that can’t relate to band, sound, and music. What is undisputed, however, is the success story of the Swedes who have been able to count on a still growing fan base since many years.

Sabaton, that is more than music and lyrics about war and battles. The outfit became, planned or not, a commercial machine that goes beyond longplayers. Tours get bigger, shows and scenery grow, not to forget the ‘Sabaton Open Air’, the ‘Sabaton Cruise’ and the ‘Sabaton History Channel’ on YouTube.

Since the pandemic put a brake on live activities of the band, Sabaton used the time for working on song for their new longplayer ‘The War to End All Wars’. Not a surprise is that the songs are for a next time narrations and stories of real occurrences during World War I. There is ‘Lady of the Dark’, the story about a Serbian woman who, disguised, took the place of her brother in the army, and became a highly decorated soldier. ‘The Christmas Truce’ is about German and British soldiers, stopping war activities during Christmas 1914 for a moment of peace on the battlefield. And so on and so on.

Musically, all stays the same too. Sabaton use for a next time their self-developed success formula which includes a heavy pounding and march-reminding beat, Brodén’s unique vocals and the heavy riffs, all blended with catchy melodies that allow Sabaton to open new fan groups that might not dig heavy metal in general.

Pathos is what is embedded in many of the songs on ‘The War to End All Wars’ and the choir on ‘The Christmas Truce’ emphasis it. What comes with some of the songs is a narrative introduction, providing a bit of background to the song itself, a tool Sabaton has used earlier already and songs like ‘Sarajevo’ built very much on it.

There can’t be any complaints sound-wise. It might be a bit too clean and perfect so that a few edges would have helped. However, ‘The War to End All Wars’ sounds powerful and dynamic, as one can expect from a professional working metal machine.

Sabaton isn’t only a band anymore. Sabaton became a brand and the five musicians release with ‘The War to End All Wars’ a new product. Hereby the Swedes stick 100% to their trademarks which allows them to be in a comfortable position to continue their winning streak. There might be a moment in time when replication might be not the tool for success anymore, but this moment seems to be far away in the future.

Rating: 7 out of 10.

Tracklist:

  1. Sarajevo
  2. Stormtroopers
  3. Dreadnought
  4. The Unkillable Soldier
  5. Soldier of Heaven
  6. Hellfighters
  7. (The) Race to the Sea
  8. Lady of the Dark
  9. (The) Valley of Death
  10. Christmas Truce
  11. Versailles

Label: Nuclear Blast

Genre: Power Metal

Release Date EU: March 4th, 2022

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