As I tentatively creep out of the cave that is my much beloved Melo-Death and Industrial Metal like a shadow gremlin exposing itself to sunlight for the first time, I think to myself “what can I expect from Sabaton‘s 10th studio album ‘The War To End All Wars?‘” Lets go and have a look-see.
I will be the first to admit that Power/Battle metal has never been my forte; it’s just a genre that I have never been able to get my head around despite my love for the subject matter often explored within other creative outlets such as books and films.
However, Sabaton have reached a very important milestone in their career with the release of this 10th studio album. They have been a band that have always remained on the outskirts of my radar due to the genre they seem to have been associated with however, I felt now is as good a time as any to investigate. After my first listen of this record, I have been sadly mistaken and curse myself for not investigating sooner. Shame. On. Me.
The band have stated: “For almost two decades we have been singing about historical battles and wars from all over the world. Two years have passed since the release of our latest album The Great War, a concept album telling stories from World War I. Since then, we’ve all been trying to decide on the next chapter of our storytelling. Will it again be Swedish history? The American Civil War, the story of Napoleon, or maybe the Crusades? No, dear friends…we will focus once again on the beginning of the 20th century. We give you: THE WAR TO END ALL WARS.”
The record starts off fast, hard and heavy with a chugging speed riff for ‘Stormtroopers‘ which does not break pace; well suited considering the song is about the well-trained and equipped units of soldiers who would storm the frontline from the trenches to break a stalemate. This leads in to ‘Dreadnought,‘ which has a slower and more ominous pace with stomping guitars and thunderous drums emulating the crashing waves under the battleships.
‘Soldier of Heaven‘ stands out from the rest of the record with it’s strong keyboard led rhythm, soaring guitar solo and emotionally evocative vocals from Joakim Brodén telling the story of a battle fought in the dizzying heights of the Alps.
‘Hellfighters‘ sees the double threat of guitar wizards Chris Rörland and Tommy Johansson return with screaming solos and epic riffage complemented by a thunderous rhythm section from drummer Hannes Van Dahl and bassist Pär Sundström.
Another stand out track on the record is ‘Christmas Truce;’ a story of temporary peace amongst the chaos and destruction of a savage war. Piano-led, atmospherically beautiful and evocatively rousing in nature, this track still packs a punch but in a much more subtle way compared to its predecessors.
The War To End All Wars manages to bring the stories of World War 1 to life in an epically streamlined and crisp production at just 45 minutes long. The added use of choirs and keyboards adds an atmospheric depth to an already rousing and intense record. As well as a metalhead, I am also a history student and a self-proclaimed nerd so you can bet that I will be looking in to the stories which these tracks are based off and I highly suggest that you do too by visiting Sabaton History. I vibed with this record in all its historical glory and give it 7.5/10.
Released By: Nuclear Blast
Release Date: 4th March 2022
For Fans Of: Iron Maiden, Powerwolf, Blind Guardian
Favourite Track(s): Soldier of Heaven, Lady of the Dark, Race to the Sea