Album review: Sabaton – The War To End All Wars

Swedish power metal kings Sabaton revisit WWI on their 10th studio album, The War To End All Wars.

Album review: Sabaton – The War To End All Wars
Paul Travers

Timely and relevant or unfortunately timed and slightly distasteful? Sabaton’s 10th album was never going to be a study of pacifism but their power metal shelling hits differently when there’s an actual war happening.

Not that The War To End All Wars – with all the built-in irony that H.G. Wells-derived title implies – is particularly pro-war or flag-waving. It features the Swedes’ usual mixture of history lessons and individual tales of heroism wrapped up in big riffs and bombastic choruses. It’s also bookended by spoken-word segments marking the beginning and the end of World War I. ‘War will never entirely die. It will evolve, it will change. And war will return,’ the narrator intones on closer Versailles. It’s an all too pertinent inclusion in an otherwise upbeat sing-along about the Treaty Of Versailles.

So you have songs like the speedy Stormtroopers, detailing the German special troops of trench warfare, and the jagged Hellfighters, relating the courage of the largely African-American 369th Infantry Regiment Of New York. Dreadnought is suitably vast and chugging, and Race To The Sea tells the tale of Belgian king Albert I fighting alongside his soldiers at the Battle of Ypres in a suitably anthemic fashion.

Christmas Truce is distinctive in its piano-led power balladry, but really there isn’t too much to differentiate this from their last outing The Great War, which also centred around World War I. Their formula is still highly effective and you can see some of these individual tracks raising roofs like Storm Eunice at The O2, but the album as a whole feels like something of a sequel. So will this be Sabaton’s album about war to end all albums about war? You certainly wouldn’t bet on it.

Verdict: 3/5

For fans of: Powerwolf, Hammerfall, Iron Maiden

The War To End All Wars is released on March 4 via Nuclear Blast

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