Swedish heavy metal band Sabaton formed in Falun, Sweden in December 1999.
1999-2009: Beginnings and first albums
The band recorded its first tracks in Peter Tägtgren's (Hypocrisy, Pain) studio, The Abyss. These initial recordings drew the attention of several record labels, including Italian label Underground Symphony, who signed the band and released, internationally, the promo CD Fist for Fight. Fist for Fight was the culmination of two demos CDs, recorded throughout 1999 and 2000.
The band then began working on its debut album, which would later become Metalizer. The album was completed and was due for release by Underground Symphony in 2002, but was shelved by the label for unknown reasons. Having waited for two years for the release of Metalizer, the band began working on its new debut album, Primo Victoria, in 2004. Primo Victoria was released on March 4, 2005. Inspired by the film Saving Private Ryan, the album’s lyrics mainly focus on the subject of war, something that sets the groundwork for their future albums. Later in 2005, Sabaton signed with Black Lodge, the metal division of the Sound Pollution record label. That same year, Daniel Myhr joined the band as keyboard player, allowing Joakim Brodén to concentrate on his performance as frontman.
In early 2006, Sabaton toured in support of Edguy and DragonForce. The band released its next studio album, Attero Dominatus, in July 2006. The album reached number 16 on the Swedish Albums chart, remaining on the chart for seven weeks.
In March 2007, Metalizer was finally released as a double-album with the band’s demo compilation Fist for Fight. It reached number 21 on the Swedish Albums chart. The band followed the release in 2008 with their fourth studio album, The Art of War, which is a concept album based on the sixth-century book of military strategy by General Sun Tzu. The album contains the singles "Cliffs of Gallipoli" and "Ghost Division".
In 2009, the band toured Europe as an opening act on the HammerFall Tour. After appearing at Bloodstock, the band went on tour with DragonForce in the UK for eighteen shows.
2010-2011: Coat of Arms
Coat of Arms, the band’s fifth studio album, was released in May 2010. The album charted at number two on the Swedish Albums chart. It also charted in the top 10 in Hungary, Poland, and Greece, in the top 20 in Finland and Germany, and also charted in Switzerland and Austria. The album was certified gold in Poland. A music video for the single "Uprising" was released that Agust, featuring Swedish actor Peter Stormare (Fargo, Prison Break). The video for "Screaming Eagles", was released on May 25, 2011.
2012-2015: Line-up changes
In 2012, Sabaton underwent a drastic line-up change with only vocalist Joakim Brodén and bass player Pär Sundström staying on board. New members Chris Rörland and Thobbe Englund (guitar), and Robban Bäck (drums) joined the band. Former members Oskar Montelius, Rikard Sundén, Daniel Mullback and Daniel Myhr went on to form the band Civil War, together with vocalist Nils Patrik Johansson and bassist Stefan Eriksson. That year, the band released the concept album Carolus Rex, achieving gold certification in Poland and quadruple platinum in Sweden.
Heaven, their fourth studio album, was released in May 2014. The album hit number one on the Swedish Albums chart and charted in 12 other countries, including the UK and the US, where it charted on the Billboard 200 and also reached number 29 on the Top Rock Albums chart.
2016-2018: The Last Stand
On 6 June 2016, the 72nd anniversary of D-Day, Sabaton released a music pack for the Paradox game Hearts of Iron IV with songs based on World War II, the theme of the game. A second was released on 26 January 2017.
The Last Stand, the band’s eighth studio album, was released in August 2016. It was preceded by the single "The Lost Battalion" in July. That month, guitarist Thobbe Englund was replaced by Tommy Johansson of Majestica. The Last Stand charted in 19 countries, reaching number one in Finland, Sweden, and Switzerland, and the top five in Austria, Belgium, Germany, New Zealand, and Poland, where it has been certified gold. It reached number 63 on the Billboard 200 and number five on the Top Rock Albums Chart.
2019: Sabaton History and The Great War
In January 2019, the YouTube channel Sabaton History was created as a collaboration between Indy Neidell, TimeGhost History, and Sabaton. It premiered the following month and documents the history of the events behind Sabaton songs and the songs themselves.
April 2019 saw Sabaton release a standalone single, "Bismarck", in a collaboration with Wargaming and their game World of Warships. That month, the band announced a new concept album about the First World War entitled The Great War. The album was released that July. As with its predecessors, it charted in several countries globally, reaching number one in Germany, Sweden, and Switzerland. It was also certified gold in Poland.
On 1 August 2019, the band performed their 20th-anniversary show at Wacken Open Air festival 2019, during which the band’s former guitarist Thobbe Englund joined the band on stage for two songs. In the concert’s second half, Rikard Sundén, Daniel Mÿhr, and Daniel Mullback (now of Civil War) also joined Sabaton on stage.
The band was involved in a serious car accident in Tunisia while returning from a music video shoot in the Sahara Desert in August 2019, forcing them to cancel a show in Poland while they recovered from injuries.
2020-present: Single releases and The War to End All Warships
On February 26, 2021, Sabaton released the Swedish-language version of the single "Livgardet", releasing the English version on April 9. The following month they released an English version of a Russian song by the band Radio Tapok, called "Defence of Moscow".
The War to End All Wars, the band’s tenth studio album, was released in February 2022. The single "Christmas Truce" was nominated for Music Video of the Year at the 2021 Global Metal Apocalypse Awards. The War to End All Wars reached the top spot on the Austrian, Finnish, German, Hungarian, Polish, and Swedish Albums charts.