|Pictured - a sabaton.|
This focus has enabled the band to engage in some interesting and unusual promotional collaborations. One such is Sabaton History, a YouTube channel hosted by popular Internet-based historian Indy Neidell that examines the background of a given songs' subjects. For example, one of my favorite Sabaton songs is "Blood of Bannockburn", about the Scottish wars for independence:
Much to my delight, the second ever episode of Sabaton History covered the song; explaining the greater historical context, the immediate tactical byplay, and even the writing of the song:
While an excellent example of the format of the show, it is a bit atypical in that subject isn't from one of the World Wars of the early 20th Century. If I have one criticism of the show, it's that it does tend to focus on that era - and to be fair, not only does it appear to be Neidell's historical specialty, but Sabaton just this summer released The Great War, an entire album of songs about that conflict.
While metal often has something of a dark reputation, and indeed neither Sabaton's songs nor their history videos shy away from the realities of war and bloodshed, they never fall into a meaningless, nihilistic glorification of violence. Much to the contrary, the subjects they choose primarily exemplify virtues like courage and faithfulness, even in the face of overwhelming odds, and ensure that the stories of these heroes - individuals and armies - are remembered for another generation.