PODCAST: Episode 30 – Pär Sundström of Sabaton Talks About “The Great War”

Ghost Cult’s DJ Astrocreep spend some time recently in London listening to the new Sabaton album, The Great War (Nuclear Blast) and determined it’s full of bangers! Then he chatted with bassist/vocalist Pär Sundström all about making The Great War, World War I as an influence, concept albums, their choice of ‘Verdun’ as the first single, incorporating historic poetry and music into their songs, working with an Orchestra and a Choir, matching the right music to the appropriate lyrics, having a sense of humor on tour, ESP basses and much more! The Great War releases on July 19th! Pre-order it here at this link.  Continue reading

Sabaton – Heroes

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Over the top (in both senses of the term) and once more into the breach, Sabaton unleash their seventh war-themed opus Heroes (Nuclear Blast), another slab of bombastic power metal.

After the unbridled success of 2012’s Carolus Rex, Sabaton find themselves in a new position, feeling the pressure of following up a massive album, not only their career-best but a genuine genre-classic, and with an all new lineup; only band leaders vocalist Joachim Brodén and bassist Pär Sundström remain. When faced with following up truly great albums, many bands choose to tinker with their approach (think Slayer on South Of Heaven). Sabaton have puffed up their chests and roared “More of the same!”

Fans of the Swedish machine will not be disappointed. Choosing to focus on different heroes of war scenarios, each song has its own tale to tell. ‘Soldier of 3 Armies’, a standout, pounding, pacy track tells of Lauri Törni, soldier of the Finnish army, the SS and the US army; ‘No Bullets Fly’ recounts the Charlie Brown/Franz Stigler incident to a soundtrack that kicks off with a classic Judas Priest riff before strafing into a huge chorus enhanced by Peter Tägtgren’sslick, dynamic production; ‘Resist And Bite’ calls to mind AC/DC’s ‘Thunderstruck’ while celebrating Belgian resistance to overwhelming odds; ‘The Ballad Of Bull’ is epic and choral, reminiscent of Manowar’s ‘Crown And The Ring’, honouring Leslie “Bull” Allen who single-handedly saved 12 wounded comrades; ‘To Hell And Back’, with a distracting and odd Wild-Western whistle, fetes Audie Murphy; while ‘Inmate 4859’ is a fitting epic in the vein of ‘The Caroleans Prayer’, paying tribute to Witold Pilecki, who volunteered to be imprisoned at Auschwitz as part of an undercover mission.

Such stories are fittingly backed by the trademark Sabaton sound; powerful, everything louder than everything else with lashings of Ride-of-The-Valkryian drama, all topped by Brodén’s distinctive gruff melodies. While Heroes doesn’t quite live up Carolus Rex or The Art Of War, it is still definitely and defiantly Sabaton and will delight those who have already joined the army.

8/10

 

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STEVE TOVEY