Life is a rollercoaster, with the occasional isolating feeling that what you’re going through is unique to the history of humanity. While no one has been through your exact life’s experiences, there have been many brave individuals that have braved through circumstances far worse. When I listen to Sabaton or see them live (4th time now!), their lyrics detailing historic battles remind me to press forward, and their music inspires me to address life’s stresses!
First, a thought on psychology, then the concert.
Why do we often feel so alone or so unique? Why are we frequently ill-equipped to combat even mild situations? Is someone obstructing your view really such a big deal? Would it help to more adequately learn about historical battles, where your life depended on pressing forward through any opposition? Have we become so comfortable with our modern lives that the underlying frustration of life, which can never be optimized or automated, wiggles out perversely?
Or are we simply more accepting at recognizing these invisible issues now?
Sabaton might actually address this subconsciously.
I don’t think Sabaton are becoming one of the biggest bands in heavy metal only because of their musical talents or irreverent on-stage humor. Other bands also perform energetic power metal. Other bands respond to heckling with humor. After asking if they should sing “Gott Mit Uns” in English or Swedish, someone yelled out Spanish, and the singer joked about not knowing Spanish. Other bands, like Amon Amarth, have lyrics about motivational situations and battles.
So what makes Sabaton so unique?
Sabaton’s persistently positive lyrical content could be the difference.
Focusing almost exclusively on historical events, famous or obscure battles, and people that fought in those wars allows the lyrics to cover more universal themes. Even when celebrating overcoming incredible odds over focusing on ideology, history is not without controversy. The valor expressed by Audie Murphy, subject of closing song “To Hell And Back,” wasn’t without price to both others, and himself, though the song is more about his bravery than his military kill count.
As such, without proper context, their lyrics could seem controversial.
In 480, Spartan troops led by Leonidas held a defense against Persian led by Xerxes. Leonidas with his troops of “300 Spartans, 700 Thespians, and 400 Thebans,” formerly 7,000 strong, did not win the Battle of Thermopylae against their enemy ranking over 100,000+ troops. When singer Brodén yells out parts of the chorus, it is both within the context of the battle and the chorus, so taken outside of that context or placed within a modern context, it could be offensive.
Sabaton make history exciting. Definitely more so than history class…
Stories of historic battles like “Sparta” and “Primo Victoria” (covering the Invasion of Normandy) stay with us because they remind us of people throughout history that have braved battles far worse than technical glitches or office politics. These were people with far greater problems than ego or finance to combat. They had to fight to survive! This may seem corny, but when I need to push through some minor adversity, their uplifting lyrics do help.
It’s like knowing you’re not alone out there…
To some degree, it’s all about your general perspective.
Knowing you’re not alone out there in the world is helpful because when it gets too rough, you can reach out to something like music, historical texts, or a friend to say hello. When I take photographs, I raise up my camera to get a better view. That’s not an accurate depiction of what shows like Sabaton’s are like; the reality is closer to the photograph below. Still exciting if you’re not front and center.
That’s why it’s useful not hiding behind false perspectives.
My true perspective and eye level is shown above.
Not censoring yourself from historical, psychological, or contemporary events allows you greater negative and positive context. Knowing you’re not alone out there is a powerful thought. That’s the most valuable lesson I learn from occasionally studying history, which is something I credit Sabaton’s lyrics for sparking an interest. Now that I can see the relevance of history in practical language, I can apply powerful historical concepts to life more than memorizing arbitrary facts for tests.
There’s also the power of the music.
Power metal is all about fun, excitement, and being in a good mood.
Though some of their lyrics are about battles where the main subjects lost, or had lost something important in the process, it’s always written from the perspective that these people faced adversity for the good of the world. Part of what makes “To Hell And Back” such an inspirational song for me is simply how much adversity Murphy faced, both on the battlefield and after returning back, and how he didn’t let it break him.
That keeps their concerts fun and exciting.
Because isn’t that what it’s all about?
Whether it’s a concert or anything really, finding something that lets you unwind from stress and perhaps subconsciously offer tools to address those stresses is important. Stress can become perverted without an outlet until it manifests into poor mental and/or physical health. That’s when it’s important to “Resist and Bite,” if you will, by riding out the initial waves of emotion until you can discuss or study a good plan of action for stress mitigation.
Seeing the cool lighting or dramatic poses is only part of any good concert.
What the music means to you is more important.
Sabaton’s music is like someone cheering me on during my last 30 seconds of a grueling rowing set. I feel more inspired, especially in an environment where I’m not distracted by other factors. Focusing on why I enjoy their music at this concert was more exciting than the first time I saw them, when it was surprising how good they were for an opening band. They were so good!
I’m studying their lyrical topics in preparation for their next concert!
Rating: ★★★★★ [5/5]