Sabaton: The Great War

review sabatonA x1 cong p17

This came out a while back but we forgot to review it (we bought it, so no PR company cares).

While we remember World War I and the horror of the trenches in sombre fashion, Swedish metallers Sabaton evoke the glory of battle and the hot, red blood pumping in your veins; the lyrics don’t shy away from death and horror but there’s always a guitar solo to come.

But despite the bombast – there’s at least two lead guitars it seems – the lyrics are sensitive and suggest some decent research.

Opener The Future of Warfare addresses mechanised battle, while acknowledging it still means “Coming over trench and wire / Going through the endless grey / Standing in the line of fire”.

82nd All the Way is the story of a man from Tennessee, “Overseas to the trenches he went, from the land of the free” – but he’s a real person, Alvin York, who received the Medal of Honor, which suggest research from the band. Similarly, The Attack Of The Dead Men refers to a German gas attack on a Russian fortress, with the Russians, many coughing up blood, mounting a counter-attack and looking like dead men walking.

Other songs such as The Red Baron tackle real people. A Ghost in the Trenches is about Francis Pegahmagabow, an aboriginal Canadian sniper who bagged 378 confirmed kills and captured 300 prisoners.

The title track addresses those at home, with lines such as “Mother home, get a telegram and shed a tear of grief / Mud and blood, in foreign land, trying to understand”.

Musically, it’s European metal, melodic, gravelly vocals, massive production, lots of guitar and nods towards symphonic metal. Pretty good if you want something intelligent, fun and loud.

The album closes with a choir singing In Flanders Fields.

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