by Carina Lawrence / Dark Art Conspiracy
Swedish Power metal heroes and history buffs are back, and like their previous album 2019’s ‘The Great War’, this new tenth assault, ‘The War To End All Wars’, deals with the First World War. The band had plenty more stories to tell from that time, so they continued with this theme, and the result is some of their best and most epic tales of battles yet.
The album opener ’Sarajevo’ starts with a narration that tells us the song is about the shots in Sarajevo and the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, which escalated the situation and was a significant cause for the outbreak of World War 1. The decision to use narration adds to the dramatic and intense sound and makes this highly impactful informative metal. Any music that educates and tells stories worth everyone knowing is a brilliant concept and one they have truly mastered. The offering is memorable, with a resonant soaring solo to top it off; a striking start.
The second track, ‘Stormtroopers’ is fast, melodic with vibrant riffs and remains energetic and gripping from start to finish. ‘The Unkillable Soldier’ is extremely catchy and gallops along like a mighty unstoppable force and embodies the soldier it is about, Sir Adrian Carton De Wiart. He was of Belgian heritage but fought for the British Empire during WW1. Although injured multiple times, he became known as the “Man who could not be killed”.
The strapping ‘Hellfighters’ is one of the heftiest tracks with crunchy, impactful riffs. It is about the 369th regiment formed out of African American and Puerto Rican soldiers who were not allowed to fight alongside the ordinary American soldiers.
‘Lady Of The Dark’ is a potent and thrilling offering musically and lyrically that details the impressive bravery of a Serbian woman named Milunka Savić, who took her brother’s place in the army partly disguised as a man, she would eventually be among the most decorated soldiers of WW1.
The beautiful yet sorrowful ballad ‘Christmas Truce’ is a meaningful and heart-wrenching Christmas song about an important historical moment of the Christmas Truce in 1914, which saw a temporary ceasefire. The lyrics and sound encapsulated are moving and brilliantly delivered.
The final track, ‘Versailles’, brings back the narration like the opener, which feels like a fitting conclusion and details the peace treaty ending the war in the Palace of Versailles in France. It is emotive with an upbeat triumphant sound with group chants that it’s the end of the war and with lyrics “will this war really end all wars?” having a highly substantial effect and closing the album on the end of the war, coming full circle.
Ten albums in, and this one has plenty to offer both lyrically and musically as you would expect from Sabaton and then some, as it feels like their most creative offering yet. “The War To End All Wars” is a momentous release for the band displaying their signature sound and pivotal unforgettable historical stories yet again in an engaging, intense and ambitious chapter.
“The War To End All Wars” is out March 4th via Nuclear Blast. There is also a History edition which comes with a narration of each story.