The War To End All Wars – The Movie

Those of you who are familiar with Sabaton know that the band has kind of created its own genre – Military Metal. True students of history, this Swedish band wants to help make sure that we do not forget the lessons and morals that war has taught us through the ages. Thus, all their lyrics are about war, the military, and the world’s history that’s been formed and forged through war.

If you’ve seen many of their videos, you know that they’ve produced some really vivid mini-movies that visually tell the story of their songs. The production company Yarnhub Animation Studio did an absolutely killer job animating in pristine high resolution. The big screen takes us to some breathtaking landscapes, like the snow-covered European Alps, the North Sea and the Dreadnoughts, the gnarly trench-dug battlefields during “Lady of the Dark” and deep inside the mazes of trenches as the Stormtroopers ravaged the Allies, and even the star-filled skies above.

It’s world-class imagery – much like what many modern day gamers are used to on their computer monitors. It’s not a musical or rock opera by any stretch, but a narrated batch of powerful, passionate, inspirational, and heart-wrenching stories … that break out into the monster metal riffs and melodic choruses that Sabaton songs purvey.

Like an additional dimension to these songs of depth, this film expounds upon and reveals creative details about the stories. Perhaps the avalanches that buried the “Soldiers of Heaven” were started by a soldier shooting at and missing a rabbit in the mountains – it’s echo reverberating around the towering summits.

The bravery of the woman dressed as a male soldier in “Lady of the Dark” is amplified when we see her rushing headfirst, climbing walls and leaping over trenches into gunfire and battle, taking the fight to the enemy against seemingly insurmountable odds. In “Race to the Sea,” we get the added explanation of what might have inspired the flooding at Yser – the spilling of wine on top of a battlefield map.

The incredible story of “The Christmas Truce” is fleshed out, including the punting of a soccer ball from one trench to another beyond the frontlines into the opposing trenches. Such a touching and amazing story is brought to life even more as we see with our eyes and not only hear the words with our ears: “…and today we’re all brothers, tonight we’re all friends.”

Like a Beatles movie from decades previous, the band throws in plenty of humor to add to our enjoyment. Whether it’s a band member in military uniform photo-bombing a battlefield portrait during the Christmas truce or seeing “The Unkillable Soldier” lighting cigarettes by the flames of war, throwing a small dart into the barrel of an opposing rifle, or other such legendary and uber-lucky nonchalant exploits.

The band released this movie as a global premiere in museums around the world. While this November 4 through 19 theatrical run just wrapped up, hopefully the film will be made available to the public that wasn’t able to make one of these museum premieres … as well as a way for us that did see it to experience it again and again.

It could be as wonderful as the first time you watched the Pink Floyd movie, The Wall. At just under an hour, it only ends too soon.

Watch the trailer here.

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