For those of you who've hung around a while, my love of Sabaton is not news. There are metal bands with more intricate musicianship, but the overall blend of history and music sense is outstanding. They've also started a youtube history channel with Indy Neidell, who has two other youtube channels dedicated to history in general and WW2.
I'll post links to the first seven videos released up until now below, but another question has been knocking around the back of my head. What do they believe? I'll grant up front that I cannot and will not read minds, but a few things can be inferred from their music and the statements they've made.
First off - I do not know if they are Christians. Many metal bands, especially Scandinavian ones, absolutely hate Christianity and in some cases are outright satanic. I don't mean the show-satanism of Alice cooper, Kiss, Ozzy, etc., but in the actual philosophies presented in their music, and how they use goats heads and other deeper occult symbology as stage props. This Especially applies to another band who's music I like, Nightwish, and is one reason I've toned down listening to them, as well as Volbeat.
Sabaton, on the other hand, while never stating one way or the other, and including a viking-centered song "Swedish Pagans," utterly unironically presents us with the stand of the Swiss Guard at the Vatican in 1527 with the line in the chorus "in the name of God". We have 7734 (think old calculators and the trick of numbers that look like letters when turned upside down) with overt religious themes of redemption and heaven. We have Carolus Rex that is mixed, but includes a very straight and sincere look at the devout belief of Adolph Gustav and his troops.
In short, whether or not Christians, they do not mock Christianity.
They respect a warrior culture, but this is not too rare, as the same can be said of Five Finger Death Punch and other bands: FFDP named an album "War is the Answer" because yes, sometimes it is. The consistent themes of their songs are of bravery, valor, honor, and again, done sincerely and with respect rather than mocking them as a chump's game. The band members pay visits to war memorials and to sites tied to the heroes they sing of.
Are they nationalist? I don't know. But:
- They sing the Swedish national anthem live in Sweden.
- The terms in their lyrics come from a nationalist point of view - "Into the motherland" of Panzerkampf, for example.
- They take pride in the joy their songs centered on national pride bring, such as how "40:1" and "Uprising" are received in Poland, or "Last Dying Breath" in Belgrade, where they actually found a voice actor to recite the speech of Major Gavrilović, and the crowd followed along from memory.
They certainly don't look down on national pride.
If you think about it, what was the point of WW2 if nationalism doesn't matter? Otherwise who cares who rules? Even the Soviets used nationalist propaganda to inspire.
Anyway, here are the videos to date:
- 40:1 - the Battle of Wizna.
- Blood of Bannockburn - Scottish independence
- Panzerkampf - the Battle of Kursk
- To Hell and Back - the story of Audie Murphy
- Last Dying Breath - defense of Belgrade, WW1
- Talvisota - the Finnish "Winter War" against the Soviets
- Shiroyama - the Satsuma rebellion and the last stand of the Samurai