Sabaton at Hellfest, 2017
|Associated acts||Civil War|
Formation and first albums (1999–2009)
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 sang with the Italian label Underground Symphony, which then released, internationally, the promo CD Fist for Fight. The disc, distilled from two demo tapes recorded between 1999 and 2000, was intended to promote forthcoming Sabaton releases. In 2002, a new album, Metalizer was recorded and was supposed to be distributed by Underground Symphony as the band's debut album. 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. Brodén stated that album's title track "kicked off" the band's historical theme. Sundström stated that the band decided to focus primarily on historical themes in their lyrics after he and Brodén watched the film Saving Private Ryan. Sabaton signed with Black Lodge, the metal division of the Sound Pollution record label. In early 2005, keyboardist Daniel Myhr was recruited in order to relieve Joakim Brodén of his keyboard duties. 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 eighteen shows in the UK.
Coat of Arms (2010–2011)
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. 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.
Lineup change (2012–2015)
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 new 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 Nils 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 16 May 2014. The album proved to be a hit and made #1 on the official Swedish album chart. On 27 January the band was announced to play Download Festival in June. In October 2015 performed their first concert in Japan in Loud Park.
The Last Stand (2016–2018)
On 6 June 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 26 January 2017.
Their eighth album The Last Stand, was released on 19 August 2016, announced in April. On 10 June 2016 the first single of the 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. Joakim Brodén confirmed a 2019 release date for the still-untitled album in a September 2018 interview on MAD TV's show TV War. On the 31st of December 2018, it was further confirmed in an official announcement YouTube video.
Sabaton History and The Great War (2019–present)
On 8 January 2019, the band announced the creation of a YouTube channel called Sabaton History, a cooperation between Indy Neidell, TimeGhost History and Sabaton. The channel documents the history of the events behind Sabaton songs and the songs themselves. The channel was created on 7 February 2019.
On 22 of April 2019 Sabaton released a standalone single, 'Bismarck', in a collaboration with Wargaming and their game World of Warships. The song is about the German Battleship Bismarck, one of the biggest ever built in Europe. Commissioned in August 1940, it sank in May 1941 after an intense hunt in the North Atlantic.
On 2 April 2019, the band announced a new concept album about the First World War entitled The Great War. On the 5th of May 2019, they played in Pilsen on the anniversary of the Czech republic getting rescued by American soldiers in 1945. The Great War album was released on 19 July 2019. The first single on the album is 'Fields of Verdun', which was released on 3 May. On 13 June the lyric video for the song, "Red Baron", was released. On 27 June the premiere of "The Great War" was released.
On 3 August 2019, the band performed their 20th anniversary show at Wacken Open Air festival 2019; during the gig former guitarist Thobbe Englund joined the band on stage for two songs. In the second half of the show Sabaton invited other former members to the festival's second stage - Rikard Sundén, Daniel Mÿhr, and Daniel Mullback, along with Englund. Sundén, Mÿhr, and Mullback are all members of Civil War, a similar band formed by the three along with Oskar Montelius, another former Sabaton member, as well as Nils Patrik Johansson and Stefan Erikkson, neither of whom are former Sabaton members.
On 30 August 2019, the band was involved in a serious car accident in Tunisia while returning from a music video shoot in the Sahara Desert. Injuries from the wreck forced them to cancel an upcoming show in Gdańsk, Poland.
Lyrical and musical style
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 most songs in almost every album except Metalizer. Their latest album, The Great War, was released on 19 July 2019, with the songs all being based on World War I. 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, women, and armies.
Metal magazines classify the band as heavy metal, and power metal, though the band does not identify itself as a power metal band. Bassist Pär Sundström said in an interview: "I don’t think Sabaton can only be categorized as power metal, as the two main attributes of power metal are high pitched vocals and fantasy lyrics and Sabaton have neither of those. We simply play our version of heavy metal — what heavy metal is to us. I’m sure that has impacted our reach, in addition to the fact that we don’t give up after only a few tries! That, and Sabaton’s music appeals to people of all ages." 
- Joakim Brodén – lead vocals, additional guitars (1999–present), keyboards (1999–2005, 2012–present)
- Pär Sundström – bass (1999–present), backing vocals (2012–present)
- Chris Rörland – guitars, backing vocals (2012–present)
- Hannes van Dahl – drums, backing vocals (2014–present)
- Tommy Johansson – guitars, backing vocals (2016—present)
- Richard Larsson – drums (1999–2001)
- Oskar Montelius – guitars, backing vocals (1999–2012)
- Rikard Sundén – guitars, backing vocals (1999–2012, 2019 - WOA show)
- Daniel Mullback – drums, backing vocals (2001–2012, 2019 - WOA show)
- Daniel Mÿhr – keyboards, backing vocals (2005–2012, 2019 - WOA show)
- Robban Bäck – drums (2012–2013)
- Thobbe Englund – guitars, backing vocals (2012–2016, 2019 - WOA show)
Former live musicians
- Frédéric Leclercq – rhythm guitar (2011; replaced Sundén due to his paternity leave and Rockstad:Falun 2011)
- Udo Dirkschneider – additional vocals (2011; Rockstad:Falun 2011)
- Chris Boltendahl – additional vocals (2011; Rockstad:Falun 2011)
- Van Canto – backing vocals (2011; Rockstad:Falun 2011)
- Snowy Shaw – drums (2012–2013; replaced Bäck due to his paternity leave)
|The Art of War
|Coat of Arms
|The Last Stand
|The Great War|
|Lead vocals||Joakim Brodén|
|Guitars||Oskar Montelius||Chris Rörland|
|Rikard Sundén||Thobbe Englund||Tommy Johansson|
|Keyboards||Joakim Brodén||Daniel Mÿhr||Joakim Brodén|
|Drums||Daniel Mullback||Hannes van Dahl|
- Primo Victoria (2005)
- Attero Dominatus (2006)
- Metalizer (2007)
- The Art of War (2008)
- Coat of Arms (2010)
- Carolus Rex (2012)
- Heroes (2014)
- The Last Stand (2016)
- The Great War (2019)
|Year||Nominee / work||Award||Result|
|2011||Sabaton||Best Breakthrough Band||Won|
|2012||Sabaton||Metal As Fuck||Won|
|2013||Sabaton||Best Live Band||Won|
|2018||Sabaton||Best Live Band||Won|
|Year||Nominee / work||Award||Result|
|2012||Sabaton||Best Live Band||Won|
|Year||Nominee / work||Award||Result|
|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|
|Year||Nominee / work||Award||Result|
|2013||Sabaton||The Year's hard rock/metal||Won|
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- "Learning about War: An Interview with Pär Sundström of Sabaton". 23 August 2019. Retrieved 13 September 2020.
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