Sabaton is a Swedish metal band that came into existence at around the turn of the millennium. It is an excellent example of a band that has managed to find a niche for itself before sticking to it. After all, Sabaton is famous for singing about war, so much so that such topics make up the bulk of its material.
Metalizer was released under rather unusual circumstances. This is because it was recorded as Sabaton’s debut studio album. However, conflicts meant that it wasn’t released until years and years after the intended date, with the result that Metalizer became the band’s third studio album instead. The release’s intended role is made very clear by its own content. Simply put, Metalizer was consistently surpassed by what came afterwards.
8. The Last Stand
The Last Stand is pretty much exactly what it sounds like, which is to say, a release that was inspired by last stands. It isn’t a bad release. In fact, it contains a number of enjoyable songs, which makes sense because it was the product of a band that had been making music for more than a decade and a half by that point in time. However, The Last Stand is held back by its own sources of inspiration. Such events inspire a lot of emotion for very good reasons. Unfortunately, when everything is a last stand, the results become an undifferentiated lump to the detriment of the whole.
7. Primo Victoria
As mentioned earlier, Metalizer missed out on becoming Sabaton’s debut studio album because of conflicts with their record company. Thanks to that, Primo Victoria became the band’s debut studio album instead. Said release deserves credit for enabling Sabaton’s career. Moreover, it was when the band found its gimmick, as shown by how the titular song was about D-Day from the Allied perspective during the Second World War.
Sabaton has a very straightforward naming sense. As such, it should come as no surprise to learn that Heroes is different from a lot of the band’s other releases in that it is focused on individuals as well as small groups of people who the band believed to have gone beyond what was expected of them rather than battles. One or two of the choices are rather questionable. However, the release as a whole proved to be quite decent, particularly since its choice of focus provided it with an element of novelty without making everything the same.
5. Attero Dominatus
Attero Dominatus was Sabaton’s second studio album. It showed clear signs of improvement compared to its predecessor, which suggests that the band had made very good use of the time between releases. Music-wise, this meant both better lyrics and better melodies, which combined to make a noticeable difference. Its subject matter was much the same as that of its predecessor. However, that doesn’t matter too much in this context. After all, Sabaton is very consistent in that regard, which can be either a good thing or a bad thing depending on one’s perspective on the matter.
4. Carolus Rex
Interestingly, Carolus Rex is a concept album based on the life of Charles XII of Sweden. Said individual came to the throne at a young age. However, Charles XII proved to be an exceptional commander but a poor statesman, with the result that he was responsible for both bringing the Swedish Empire to the peak of its power and ensuring the Swedish Empire’s total collapse. This unifying theme provided the release with an unusual degree of focus, thus enabling everything to be tighter and thus better than what it would have been under other circumstances. Carolus Rex can claim the distinction of being one of Sabaton’s most successful releases, as shown by how it went quadruple platinum in their homeland.
3. The Art of War
Unsurprisingly, The Art of War is named for Sun Zi’s military treatise of the same name, which was rooted in the military matters of the Spring and Autumn period from more than two millennia ago. Despite that, said work has proven to be popular both in China and beyond, as shown by this very release. Sabaton made an effort to incorporate ideas from The Art of War into this studio album. Simultaneously, the band referenced numerous famous battles, most of which were from either the First World War or the Second World War. Under those circumstances, one might expect the studio album to be a mess. However, it actually worked out quite well, which was impressive enough to give it this position on this list.
2. Coat of Arms
Coat of Arms isn’t what anyone would consider to be a particularly innovative work. After all, Sabaton released studio albums about famous battles before it and has continued releasing studio albums about famous battles after it. However, most of those releases failed to reach the same level of consistency as Coat of Arms. It can’t claim the band’s highest of highs, but it is consistently enjoyable, which is an extremely impressive feat in its own right.
1. The Great War
Speaking of which, The Great War is another studio album that happens to be consistently enjoyable. On top of that, it is more coherent than most of Sabaton’s releases because of its focus on the titular conflict, which is a very familiar conflict for the band to say the least. Combined, these two characteristics enable The Great War to come out on topic. Something that can be considered a good sign because it came out in 2019, meaning that Sabaton isn’t one of those bands with their best days behind them.