Throughout Sabaton’s career, the band faced controversy, but despite being falsely labeled Nazi sympathizers and coming under pressure from an early record label to change their inspired lyrics through the war, Sabaton remained true to his positions.
Late last year, we caught up with Joakim Brodén and Pär Sundström from Sabaton in Brussels, Belgium, to visit the Royal Museum of the Armed Forces and Military History. As the two history buffs shared enduring stories of World War I and World War II (surrounded by tanks, artillery and fighter jets), Joakim and Pär explained how Sabaton survived for more than two decades to become one of the biggest groups in Europe.
Right from Sabaton’s very first song from their very first album, some individuals received a bad impression from the Swedish band. “People thought it was a Nazi song, ‘Primo Victoria’,” Sundström told us before Brodén added, “The German distributor stopped it and we had to give them all the lyrics to the whole thing. album before they release it.”
“Primo Victoria”, which tells the story of the Allied invasion of Normandy, reads:Through the gates of hell, As we head for heaven, Through Nazi lines, Primo Victoria.”
“They wanted to change it, but we didn’t change it,” says Sundström. Pushing the question further, the label asked Sabaton not to put the word ‘Nazi’ in the intro of their second album. In response, Sabaton defiantly put “Nazi” into the first verse of “Attero Dominatus”.
According to Sabaton, the controversy that sometimes surrounds the group has also ruined the potential for certain collaborations. “We very often had quasi-collaborations with various military factions, armories and the like… but usually there is a politician who stops it,” says Sundström.
The bassist continues: “When Sabaton wrote a song about [the Holocaust], some people misunderstood this and thought that Sabaton was a neo-Nazi group. Very misinformed. Some people just want to blame, hate and find fault because they don’t like Sabaton.
Despite the hurdles placed in Sabaton’s way, the band rose to release three consecutive No. 1 albums in their home country while performing to arenas packed with die-hard fans. They also launched the hit Sabaton History channel on YouTube, once again sharing their fascination with war history with the world.
For more stories of how Sabaton overcame controversy, as well as wartime tales of asbestos-covered flamethrower soldiers, dogs and bears on the battlefield, the ominous use of “jam boys” by the British Empire and more, watch our exclusive mini-doc with Sabaton below. To get a copy of Sabaton’s latest album, The war to end all warsClick here.
Sabaton – THE ART OF WAR
The 66 Best Metal Albums of the 2010s
Check out Loudwire’s picks for the 66 best metal albums of the 2010s.