sun 03/07/2022

Album: Sabaton - The War to End All Wars | reviews, news & interviews

Album: Sabaton - The War to End All Wars

Album: Sabaton - The War to End All Wars

Swedish metallers grandiose martial bombast ill-suited to these times

Maybe not right now

Demonstrating how much the world really can change in a very short time when things spin out of control, Swedish power-metal five-piece Sabaton’s album now seems especially tasteless. It’s also a scalpel-sharp example of how important context is to creative acts.

The band have made a career of absurdly OTT story-telling songs of real world battles and those who fought them. They’re Amon Amarth for military history geeks. But when military history is actually happening in Europe in all its bloody grotesquery, The War to End All Wars doesn’t seem so appetizing.

When they planned and played this album, it must have seemed simply another in Sabaton’s long line of similar collections of fist-pumping tales of bygone conflicts. It is, after all, essentially a series of songs they couldn’t fit on their 2019 album The Great War, a companion piece with more numbers about World War I. Under normal circumstances, in our meta-aware world of Call of Duty and films such as Inglorious Basterds, you’d have to be cantankerously po-faced to take its fist-pumping pantomime metal bombast very seriously. It sounds ultra-macho to the point of comedy.

Certainly, when I first heard it a few weeks back I recall finding the preposterousness of “The Unkillable Soldier” entertaining; a cod-Wagnerian chorale about the long and storied career of Lieutenant-General Sir Adrian Carton De Wiart, a man wounded more times than seems possible, throughout almost every conflict of the first half of the 20th Century. Or what of “Christmas Truce”, which sounds like a musical showtune on Rammstein steroids. These would usually be amusing to throw beer about to at Download Festival.

Unfortunately, though, events have overtaken Sabaton as they have so many others, and The War to End All Wars is best put on the back shelf until better times blow in.

Below: Watch the video for "The Unkillable Soldier" by Sabaton

Comments

awful take on the whole situation, stop bringing the politics into music reviews. We need to address your woeful ignorance of genres as well, amon amarth is a melodic death metal band while sabaton is a power metal band. you can liken sabaton to bands like dragonforce or iron maiden but Amon Amarth is an entirely different genre of music buddy.

This is such a terrible take on this band that completely misunderstands the whole point. The songs are made to tell the tales of historical events and glorify the incredible deeds of the past. They aren't "over the top." What better medium than power medal to convey the history of war and battles? What better time to listen to the tales of heroic and brave soldiers than now?

Seriously Sabaton's whole goal is to preserve that past so we learn from it. The album was slated to come out and you suggest they not release it as planned because of the world in goings. As for Christmas Truce, it's a strong song. If you can't objectively look at music then you shouldn't be reviewing it!

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