Sabaton at Hellfest, 2017
|Labels||Underground Symphony, Black Lodge, Nuclear Blast|
Hannes van Dahl
Sabaton is a Swedish power metal band from Falun. The band's main lyrical themes are based on war, historical battles, and acts of heroism--the name is a reference to a sabaton, knight's foot armor. The armor and battle theme is heard in the albums Primo Victoria, The Art of War, Coat of Arms, Carolus Rex, Heroes, and The Last Stand in which all of the songs contain these motifs, except final tracks which are tribute songs to influential heavy metal bands. Lyrical content drawn from World War I, World War II and other historical conflicts is prevalent and lyrics often recite stories of heroic deeds by men and armies.
In December 2015, five songs by the band were added to the third external music pack for the strategy game Europa Universalis IV.
On June 6, 2016, the 72nd anniversary of D-Day, they released a music Pack for the Paradox Game Hearts of Iron IV with songs based on World War II, the theme of the game. They released a second on January 26, 2017.
Sabaton was formed in December 1999. After the first songs were recorded in Peter Tägtgren's studio, The Abyss, Sabaton was contacted by a couple of record labels. The band signed with the Italian label Underground Symphony, under which internationally released the promo CD Fist for Fight, a compilation consisting of material from two demo tapes recorded between 1999 and 2000, with the intention to promote forthcoming releases. In 2002, a new album was recorded. Metalizer was supposed to be distributed by Underground Symphony as the band's debut album, but after two years of waiting, during which the band held various performances across Sweden, the album was abandoned.
The band returned for a second album titled Primo Victoria. They signed with Black Lodge, the metal division of the Sound Pollution record label. In early 2005, they recruited keyboardist Daniel Myhr to relieve Joakim Brodén. In early 2006, Sabaton toured in support of Edguy and DragonForce. The band's third album, Attero Dominatus, was released in Europe on 28 July 2006. In March 2007, Sabaton released Metalizer as a double disc together with Fist for Fight, along with the previously unreleased song "Birds of War".
As a follow up to Metalizer, in May 2008, Sabaton released its fourth album The Art of War an album inspired by the influential book by Sun Tzu. The decision to base the album upon Sun Tzu's book came from the idea that in the 2000 years since the book was written, the human race has achieved many things but apart from weapon advancements, operational art, strategy, and war itself have remained basically the same. The album contains the singles "Cliffs of Gallipoli" and "Ghost Division". They toured Europe in 2009 as an opening act on the Hammerfall Tour. After their Bloodstock performance, the band again went on tour with DragonForce, towards the end of 2009, for 18 shows in the UK.
The band had hoped to begin recording the next album in October but with concerts booked and the DragonForce support tour the following month, it was pushed back. On 23 December 2009, the band announced the name of their forthcoming album. Coat of Arms contains a majority of songs about World War II including the Winter War "White Death". They announced it on their official website, and posted a link to a YouTube video containing the album art and a teaser music sample. Coat of Arms was released on 21 May 2010. The first music video, for "Uprising", was released on 1 August 2010 and features Peter Stormare. This was accompanied by a European tour. A second music video, for "Screaming Eagles", was released on 25 May.
In 2012 two-thirds of Sabaton's lineup left the band. On 31 March vocalist Joakim Brodén confirmed rumors that the band would be going separate ways, with only Brodén himself and bass player Pär Sundström staying on board. Sabaton was joined by touring members Chris Rörland and Thobbe Englund on guitar, and Robban Bäck on drums. Former Sabaton guitarists Oskar Montelius and Rikard Sundén, drummer Daniel Mullback and keyboardist Daniel Mÿhr went on, together with vocalist Patrik Johansson and bassist Stefan Eriksson, to form a new band, Civil War. In November 2012, drummer Robban Bäck decided to take a break from touring due to becoming a father. Snowy Shaw replaced him as touring drummer.
In January 2014, the band announced the cover of their new album called Heroes, then due to be released on May 16, 2014. The album proved to be a hit and made #1 on the official Swedish album chart. On January 27 the band was announced to play Download Festival in June. In October 2015 performed the first concert in Japan in Loud Park.
In April 2016, the band announced the cover of their new album called The Last Stand, then due to be released on 19 August 2016. On 10 June 2016 the first single of the upcoming album was released, called The Lost Battalion and about the eponymous military unit of World War I. On 25 July 2016, the band announced that guitarist Thobbe Englund had left the band. Thobbe Englund played his last show with Sabaton at Sabaton Open Air 2016.
Pär Sundström stated in a 2017 interview that the group would be touring less in 2018 so they could concentrate on writing and recording their next album.
NOTE: Carolus Rex (2012) was recorded with previous members, and then released after the split.
Metal Hammer Golden Gods Awards
|2011||Sabaton||Best Breakthrough Band||Won|
|2012||Sabaton||Metal As Fuck||Nominated|
|2013||Sabaton||Best Live Band||Nominated|
|2018||Sabaton||Best Live Band||Nominated|
Metal Hammer Awards (GER)
|2012||Sabaton||Best Live Band||Won|
Bandit Rock Awards
|2012||Sabaton||Best Swedish Group||Won|
|2012||Sabaton||Best Swedish Live Act||Won|
|2013||Carolus Rex||Best Swedish Album||Won|
|2013||Sabaton||Best Swedish Live Act||Won|
|2013||Sabaton||Best Swedish Group / Artist||Won|
|2013||Sabaton||The Year's hard rock/metal||Won|