The Great War


The studies about war and its causes is a dark inheritance that the human race […]
August 2, 2019
Sabaton - The Great War album cover

The studies about war and its causes is a dark inheritance that the human race carries, because only studying its causes and painful consequences (and senseless losses of human lives). It must be studied not only for military purposes (that's what strategy is all about), but for the sake of man, to not repeat great mistakes. And World War I (that will be shortened to WWI on the entire review) was called back the 'war to end all wars' due its shameful legacy. And WWI is the main theme of new SABATON's album, "The Great War".

The band is back, repeating their successful musical formula: an actualized form of Heavy/Power Metal with excellent melodies, catchy choruses that are easy to learn, a wise use of low tunes on vocals (not those tradition high pitched screams), and instrumental parts that aren't excessively complex (that wasn't changed even with the coming of the new guitarist Tommy Johansson in the place of Thobbe Englund, who left the band). And their most special feature is their use of themes dealing with wars, and this time, they're again using a main concept on the album (although there aren't clear links between the songs, just the main theme is used to do so), that is WWI. The horrors are heroes are here, so be prepared for a Metal raid by the Swedish War Heroes.

One change: on the production, Jonas Kjellgren assumed all the responsibility to produce and mix the album, along with Maor Appelbaum on the mastering. Their work guaranteed a clean and heavy sound quality that makes the melodies of the band becomes fully understood, but giving that aggressive impact that a Metal band must bear on the songs. And the artwork of Péter Sallai reflects the main theme of the album, as well the despair and tears caused by the losses of lives on WWI, a suffering that no one could bear. Only those who fought a war can understand its real costs.

The Armenian, Assyrian and Greek genocides (maybe the first signs of the Shoah during WWII); the use of Mustard Gas for the first time on Passchendaele, and many other features and heroes of WWI are presented on "The Great War", and although the album is excellent during all songs, the ones that must be heard to introduce the new fans to their work are "Seven Pillars of Wisdom" (excellent melodies, a great work from guitars and tempos that hook the listeners, along with a great chorus), the strength of the weight of the climatic and charming "82nd All the Way" (the vocals are excellent, along with the lead guitars), the charming mid-tempo song based on keyboards (that creates an epic ambience) that is "The Attack of the Dead Men", the simple instrumental technique and seductive melodies of "The Red Baron", the epic keyboards ambiances and aggressive feeling created by guitars on "Great War", the accessible charming harmonies and strong chorus of "Fields of Verdun" (a powerful and heavy work from bass guitar and drums can be heard on this one), and the bitter feeling contrasting with apocalyptic keyboards and perfect vocals on "The End of the War to End All Wars". The last song, "In Flanders Fields", is an old poem written by the Canadian Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae for the lost of one dear friend on war. And for the sake of those who died on WWI, this writer puts the poem below:

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the dead, short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

Maybe SABATON is here to remind the horror of all that war is about, and the Swedish Heroes Squad presents us another perfect work. "The Great War" is really amazing! By the way, there's a second version for "The Great War", where all tracks shown little intros before their beginnings. This is the "The Great War - History Edition", and it's destined for those fans that are into historic aspects of WWI.

10 / 10









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"The Great War" Track-listing:

1. The Future of Warfare
2. Seven Pillars of Wisdom
3. 82nd All the Way
4. The Attack of the Dead Men
5. Devil Dogs
6. The Red Baron
7. Great War
8. A Ghost in the Trenches
9. Fields of Verdun
10. The End of the War to End All Wars
11. In Flanders Fields

Sabaton Lineup:

Joakim Brodén - Vocals, Keyboards
Chris Rörland - Guitars
Tommy Johansson - Guitars
Pär Sundström - Bass
Hannes Van Dahl - Drums

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