Date: November 4th, 2023
Metal has existed for over a half of century and in its long and shocking history we experienced much. Many prejudices lead to some events that made metal music a black ship in pop culture. Those were prejudices of course but sometimes it went too far. We all know for protests of mothers in Detroit against Kiss or the public stick of shame the American government made to mister Dee Snider (Twisted Sister). I don’t even want to talk about the targeting of metalheads in schools, workplaces etc. Those were just a small dot in everything after. As metal became more extreme, problems for us were bigger. The other side of a coin is that the audience in metal concerts was enormous. Hippodrome, stadiums, double concerts and what’s the most important festivals dedicated only to metal music became reality. In that big adrenaline rush musicians were creative and made more interesting metal subgenres.
In all those positive and negative aspects of metal history I have never seen that some band come that far to be a part of education. Before Swedish war metal band Sabaton no one had that idea. People who said of metalheads that we are students with bad grades are ashamed now. As they should be. In the present time when we have many metal Gods, one band pretty fast climbed on the throne of immortality. That’s Sabaton. They exist over 20 years and in all those years their purpose was actually to talk about history and become an important part of it. Their audience here in Serbia is so big that almost every second year they play here. As they are really impressed about our history, two songs were dedicated to us. “Last Dying Breath” was one of their biggest hits and “The Lady of the Dark” about our war woman hero Milunka Savic. I hope it’s just a beginning and there are many glorious events and persons from Serbian history they should and can mention. Sad part about this is even our own country didn’t give such importance to history as Sabaton from Sweden made with only two songs.
On Sunday, 11th of November 2023, in National museum of Serbia, in Belgrade and three more in the country as a part of project “History Rocks” Sabaton presented us their first animated movie. “The War to End All Wars” is dedicated to WW1 as their latest album. In the duration of one hour the audience had a chance to see and hear animated adjusted movies full of stories, adrenaline and metal music. I am not gonna talk about which songs were in it or review them. You had a chance to read about it in our review we did in Abaddon magazine, back in 2022. This report or review call it as you like is my gratitude to Sabaton and their story. Excitement for the movie was present even from 30th of October and once I saw that in 120 museums around the world small Serbia was a part of it I was so delighted.
Victory Day came and the whole day had some special smell of pride and victory, full of movies and songs about WW1 and our big suffering then. My biggest impression was that I had a chance to listen to metal in the most beautiful hall in the country full of history tales and artefacts. I felt important and so proud of our Milunka Savic, Sabaton and the big audience who came. Audience that came to the museum was colorful. Small children with parents, older ladies and gentlemen and an army of us metalheads. In the moment that movie started till its final moments in air you could feel such a rush of energy like you are in some concert but everything was quiet. Except for songs that were loud and could be heard from all parts of museums on three floors. When “Lady of the Dark” began some of us were crying but with big smiles on our faces. Thanks to Milunka Savic and other heros we are alive today. Moment was amazing and I am so happy I was a part of it. Animations were in the shape of video games which is pretty common for Sabaton and the target group of young fellas who listen to them. It made the movie more interesting. The real Yarhub and other crews did a marvelous job. This movie should be a part of history class in all ages from kindergarten through schools to colleges because it’s important to remember and be grateful to those who died for our freedom.
My point of this report is Sabaton as a fenomena in the metal world that managed to be part of school history books and also part of culture. It’s one long and hard path. I hope there will be more movies like this because there are many historical events they can sing about and teach new generations real values. Culture of memory is important for the identity of one nation. Sabaton showed us how, so, it’s on us to continue.