SABATON Explains Why They Made Three Versions Of Their New Album ‘The Great War’

Sabaton 2019
Photo credit: Tallee Savage

In a recent interview with Brave Words, SABATON members explained on how they ended up making their latest album, The Great War, in three different versions.

Bassist Pär Sundström said: “We’ve made the album available in three versions for a reason. You can have it without the narrative – so, just the normal version – which is how most people will listen to it. The History Version is the idea that if you want the album, the mood, you want to engulf yourself in it; if you want to listen to it in its complete form, this is the one to listen to.

“If I’m going to play you just one song from the album, I might as well just take it from the standard version because the narrative doesn’t make sense unless you have the context. The third version of the album is the soundtrack to The Great War, which we created with several other musicians.”

Guitarist Chris Rörland added: “The third version is mainly instrumental, like a Hollywood movie soundtrack, based on the songs we’ve written. We thought the songs on the album were so strong that it would fit perfectly into a soundtrack version.”

Pär continued: “This album is bigger in all senses than anything we have done before. There are so many things connected to it, like The Great War choir at Hellfest this year, and we also launched the Sabaton History Channel.

“Thinking about how to plan it was huge work. We didn’t really know how it was going to turn out, and we brought in the creative team, but I ended up being the executive producer of the whole series.

“We’re making the stage set into a World War I theme, and to make the album available in three versions, you will see there are a lot of other things coming. We have been very busy and The Great War has been, by far, our biggest project.

“The album is more than just 11 songs; it’s a concept that we took on fully to adapt to SABATON for the next two or three years.”

SABATON has released their ninth full-length studio album, The Great War, on July 19 via Nuclear Blast Records.

The band has started the recordings exactly 100 years after the end of the First World War (11/11/1918) and took 3 months of intensive work to complete the album together with their long-term producer and partner  Jonas Kjellgren at Black Lounge Studios. Furthermore, the album has been mastered by Maor Appelbaum and the artwork was once again created by Peter Sallai.

Side by side with the album, the Swedes have worked hard to make their 20th anniversary a very exciting year, and also started the SABATON History Channel – a unique collaboration between the band themselves and multimedia historians Indy Neidell and Timeghost, capturing the power of social media to tell stories about the wars, battles and heroes behind SABATON’s songs.