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History to highlight Sabaton’s Columbus show

Courtesy of Michael Johansson

Sabaton, a heavy metal band from Sweden, broke up in March, but announced its new lineup just three days later, right in time to begin its first North American headline tour.

The group canceled three shows in the United States before opening the tour in San Antonio, Texas April 15.

Swedish Grammy nominated, Sabaton, is scheduled to perform at 6 p.m. Saturday at Alrosa Villa, located at 5055 Sinclair Road.

The performance is part of the band’s Swedish Empire Tour, which marks its first headlining tour to stop in Columbus.

“I like North American people,” said vocalist Joakim Brodén. “We have been treated very well so far.”

Sabaton combines history with fast-paced, 1980s-style heavy metal to bring its audience a high-energy lesson on the history of war. The band officially formed at a party in 1999 when Brodén hit it off with some of the band members.

“I came to a rehearsal meeting and it all took off from there,” Brodén said.

Sabaton is known for its war-based lyrics, a style which began in 2006 when it paired huge sound with a huge subject matter: D-Day, Brodén said.

The band was confident with the new lyrical style.

“We knew basic stuff about it, but we did some extra research on it and all of a sudden it clicked,” Brodén said. “That was six or seven years ago, and we are still doing it.”

Brodén equated Sabaton’s heavy metal sound to metal bands that toured in the 1980s, such as Megadeth.

“It’s (an) old-school, hard-rock metal band,” Brodén said.

The band’s new album “Carolus Rex” is scheduled for release May 23.

This album differs from the band’s previous albums because it zeroes in on the Swedish Empire in the 1600s and 1700s and not just military conflict in general.

“This one focuses on King Carolus Rex, and it was a time when the Swedish Empire was the biggest threat to the Holy Roman Empire,” Brodén said.

Brodén said the band’s live show provides “pure adrenaline and good fun” to its audience.

Online critics from “Jam Magazine” evaluated the band’s onstage antics.

“During Accept’s (a band Sabaton toured with) epic ‘Princess of the Dawn’ Sabaton came back onstage wearing ‘princess’ costumes, complete with pink dresses, tiaras, wands and sashes with words like ‘DIVA’ written across them,” said Andy Laudano, a “Jam Magazine” writer. “This was by far the most fun I’ve had at a concert in a long time and well worth the five-hour road trip.”

Brodén said the band’s favorite tour was in 2006, when it toured Europe by a tour bus for the first time.

“It was one of those times where we were playing 20 to 30 shows over five weeks,” Brodén said. “I would say that nothing beats that because at that point, of course, it was all of our dreams come true.”

The band’s new lineup consists of Chris Rörland on lead guitar, Thobbe Englund on guitar and Robban Bäck on drums along with original band members, singer Brodén and bass player Pär Sundström.

Brodén said he understands some of the original band members decided to leave to attend to their families and other priorities.

“It was sad, but I totally understand why,” Brodén said. “Everybody wants to be a rock star when they are 18, but it’s a little different when people grow up.”  

Saturday’s show, which is being thrown by Columbus Events Group LLC, will feature local and international acts.

CEG owner Mary Coffman said the supporting bands are Tension Head from Michigan, Skullbomb, Dark War, Bovicide and Trabue.

Advanced tickets are $12 in advance and $15 at the door. The show welcomes people aged 18 and up.

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