The Art of War (Sabaton album)

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The Art of War
Cover art of war.jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedMay 30, 2008
RecordedSeptember 2007 - January 2008, Abyss Studios, Sweden
GenrePower metal
LabelBlack Lodge Records
ProducerSabaton, Tommy & Peter Tägtgren
Sabaton chronology
The Art of War
Coat of Arms
Singles from The Art of War
  1. ""Cliffs of Gallipoli"/"Ghost Division""
    Released: May 30, 2008
Re-Armed edition
Front cover of the 2010 reissue
Front cover of the 2010 reissue
Professional ratings
Review scores
Allmusic3/5 stars [1]
Jukebox:Metal4/5 stars [2]

The Art of War is the fourth album by Swedish heavy metal band Sabaton.

The album is based on the ancient Chinese military treatise, The Art of War written by General Sun Tzu in the 6th Century BC. It consists of 13 chapters, each of which describe a different aspect of warfare, and is considered the definitive work on military tactics and strategies of its time. The tracks on the album correspond to each chapter of treatise. The lyrics of the songs are about famous battles or war, mostly based on the battles of the First and Second World Wars where Sun Tzu's tactics were applied.[3]


The Swedish national anthem from Sweden Rock '09 (found on the Re-Armed edition) was the only song on which bassist Pär Sundström has contributed vocals until 2012, when the line-up change required Sundström to step up to the microphone on a more permanent basis.

Spoken quotes from Sun Tzu's The Art of War can be heard in songs such as "Sun Tzu Says", "The Art of War", "Unbreakable", "The Nature of Warfare", "The Price of a Mile", "Firestorm", "Cliffs of Gallipoli" and "A Secret". These quotes are taken from LibriVox's audiobook version of the book, which follows the Lionel Giles translation.

Track listing[edit]

1."Sun Tzu Says"  A short introduction to Sun Tzu's Art of War0:23
2."Ghost Division"Brodén, SundströmBrodénErwin Rommel and the 7th Panzer Division3:51
3."The Art of War"BrodénBrodénSun Tzu's 'Planning Offensives'5:08
4."40:1"Brodén, SundströmBrodénThe Battle of Wizna4:10
5."Unbreakable"Brodén, SundströmBrodén'Partisans in WW2'5:58
6."The Nature of Warfare"  Sun Tzu's 'Vacuity and Substance'1:18
7."Cliffs of Gallipoli"Brodén, SundströmBrodénThe Gallipoli Campaign5:51
8."Talvisota"SundströmBrodénThe Finnish Winter War3:32
9."Panzerkampf"Brodén, SundströmBrodénThe Battle of Kursk5:15
10."Union (Slopes of St. Benedict)"Brodén, SundströmBrodénThe Battle of Monte Cassino4:05
11."The Price of a Mile"Brodén, SundströmBrodénThe Battle of Passchendaele and senseless slaughter of World War I in general5:55
12."Firestorm"Brodén, SundströmBrodénThe strategic bombing campaigns of World War II3:25
13."A Secret"  A humorous outro addressing music piracy0:37
Total length:49:28

Different versions[edit]

The Art of War was released in three different versions, a standard edition containing only the CD, a vinyl version and a Limited Edition. The limited contains the full-length CD and the book The Art of War by Sun Tzu. The limited edition comes in a DVD case with alternate artwork. All preorders from the official Sabaton homepage also included the single, Cliffs of Gallipoli.

Album lineup[edit]

  • Joakim Brodén – vocals
  • Rickard Sundén – guitars
  • Oskar Montelius – guitars
  • Pär Sundström – bass
  • Daniel Mullback – drums
  • Daniel Mÿhr – keyboards

In popular culture[edit]

"40:1" became a hit in Poland and Sabaton was asked to perform it on the Polish Independence Day celebration in Gdańsk in 2008. "40:1" is also used as an entrance song by Polish mixed martial artist Damian Grabowski.

The title track was featured in the Sabaton Soundtrack DLC for the grand strategy game Europa Universalis IV. [4]


  1. ^ Donnelly, Dave. The Art of War at AllMusic
  2. ^ Jukebox:Metal review
  3. ^ The Art of War (booklet). The Art of War. Nuclear Blast. 2010.
  4. ^ "Europa Universalis IV - Sabaton Soundtrack | Sabaton – Official website and headquarters". Sabaton – Official website and headquarters. 2015-12-01. Retrieved 2017-12-22.