Veteran power metal band Sabaton released its latest album, The War To End All Wars Friday through Nuclear Blast Records. The band’s 10th album, it came less than three years after the release of the band’s then latest album, The Great War. What is for all intents and purposes a companion/sequel to The Great War, the band’s new album presents even more stories of World War I. This item is just one of the more notable of the record’s elements. It will be discussed a little later. The musical arrangements featured in the band’s new album are also of note in examining the album. They will be discussed shortly. The record’s production rounds out the most important of its elements and will also be examined later. Each item noted is important in its own way to the whole of the album’s presentation. All things considered, they make the album another successful offering from Sabaton that its fans will enjoy just as much as any casual power metal fan.
The War To End All Wars, the latest album from veteran power metal act Sabaton, is another mostly successful offering from the band. Its success comes in part through its featured musical arrangements. The arrangements that make up the album’s body do not necessarily break any new ground for the band. For the most part, audiences get the same kind of semi-operatic/symphonic power metal approach that the band has used throughout its extensive life. The thing is that even with that in mind, the band still manages to keep the arrangements fresh and unique from one another and from the rest of its existing catalog. As an example, the blending of the holiday standard, ‘Carol of the Bells’ into the bigger power metal arrangement in ‘Christmas Truce’ gives this song a richness that is unlike most of what the band has ever crafted. Its follow-up, ‘Versailles’ – which also closes out the album – conjures thoughts of Trans-Siberian Orchestra with its choral effects and story telling element incorporated into the mix. On an even more unique note, the band really changes things up in ‘Hellfighters.’ Instead of its familiar power metal riffs, the band opts here to instead go more of a vintage metal direction a la classic Metallica. The band then blends that with its power metal leanings for an overall arrangement that is unquestionably among the most unique musical moments in the album’s run. It is just one more example of what makes the album’s musical arrangements stand out. When it and the other songs noted here are considered along with the rest of the album’s arrangements, the whole makes the album’s musical content a strong foundation for this new album.
Building on the foundation formed through the songs’ musical arrangements is the record’s lyrical themes. As noted earlier, the record focuses lyrically on more tales from World War I. The band’s single ‘Soldier Of Heaven’ for instance, tells the story of White Friday. White Friday was a World War I battle that took place along the Italian front Dec. 13, 1916. The battle, which actually took place on a Wednesday, led to the deaths of countless Italian and Austro-Hungarian soldiers. The deaths happened as a result of avalanches that many historians allege were caused by both sides against their foes. It is a story that is rarely told if ever in any American history class. ‘Stormtroopers,’ which opens the album, focuses on the German soldiers who took part in the war. The soldiers were considered elite members of the German military who helped the Germans attain victory in a number of conflicts in Europe. Their role in the war is also little taught in American history and military history classes, so to have this history lesson taught through such hard rocking fashion makes the story of their role all the more engaging and entertaining. In yet another example of the importance of the album’s lyrical content, the album’s latest single, ‘Race to the Sea,’ tells yet another little taught story from the war. This time, the story is that of Belgium’s King Albert and his decision to flood the Yser river in order to stop the German troops from taking the country completely. The flooding took place Oct. 28, 1914, leading the Belgians to hold that one section of the nation throughout World War I. It is one more example of the importance of the album’s lyrical content. When this story and the others examined here are considered along with the rest of the album’s stories, the whole leaves no doubt that the lyrical content featured in this album are just as important to the album’s presentation as the record’s musical arrangements.
While the overall content featured in The War To End All Wars is unquestionably important to the record’s presentation, they are only part of what makes the record engaging and entertaining. The album’s production rounds out its most important elements. The production is of note because it ensures from one song to the next, that the instrumentation and vocals are expertly balanced. With so much power from each performer, it would have been so easy for the songs to get bogged down in themselves. Thankfully that did not happen at any point from start to end. Each song gives listeners the utmost impact in its general effect. The result here is that this element ensures listeners’ engagement and entertainment just as much as the record’s overall content. When this item and the album’s content are all considered together, the whole makes the album a presentation that the band’s established audiences and more casual power metal fans alike will agree is another successful offering from Sabaton.
The War To End All Wars is a positive new offering from veteran power metal act Sabaton. The band’s new album succeeds in part through its featured musical arrangements. The arrangements are of note because while they don’t necessarily break any new ground for the band, they still ensure that they don’t just rehash the band’s existing songs. In other words, the stylistic approach to the songs is still the same here, but the sounds are their own from one song to the next. The lyrical content that accompanies the album’s musical arrangements is important to examine because as with so much of Sabaton’s songs, it tells stories of the world’s military conflicts that are rarely if ever told/taught here in the U.S. It adds that much more interest to the album’s presentation. The record’s production rounds out its most important elements. That is because it ensures the arrangements are each expertly balanced. Each item examined is important in its own way to the whole of the album’s presentation. All things considered, they make The War To End All Wars another welcome addition to Sabaton’s catalog.
The War To End All Wars is available now through Nuclear Blast Records. More information on Sabaton’s new album announcement is available along with all of the band’s latest news at: