Well, here’s a confusing bit of news. People have spent the last 18 hours left debating whether or not sure this news was the result of a website hack, an April Fools’ joke that got splurted out a day early, or whether it’s just the result of some good old-fashioned miscommunication. However, this morning the Swedish military fetishists and all-round OTT metallers, Sabaton, have confirmed the rumours that have been making the rounds all week – that not one, not two, not three, but FOUR of their line-up have left the band, mere weeks before the band’s seventh studio album is released.
Earlier this week in an interview with Swedish newspaper, Joakim Brodén and Pär Sundström, the band’s vocalist and bassist respectively, both refused to confirm or deny rumours that the band’s line-up had fragmented, and that they alone would be continuing in the band with a hang of hired session musicians. Now obviously there are plenty of reasons why the pair might not have want to confirm the validity of these rumours either way, but by far the most likely reason – and as it has turned out to be – was that these rumours were correct.
Fuel was added to the speculatory fire last night, when the following post appeared on the official Sabaton Facebook page, with the link to Sabaton’s website proving frustratingly unhelpful, given as it was that at the time of posting, Sabaton’s official website seemed to have been taken offline entirely:
The waters were further muddied by the unhappy coincidence that the band’s official forums over at panzerbattalion.se were taken offline
this week ages ago due to an apparent hacking incident, which combined with Sabaton’s non-existent official website, prompted some fans of the band to speculate on whether the Facebook post was also the result of some malicious online spat. However, Sabaton have subsequently clarified the situation over on their official Facebook page, where they’ve now reposted the following statement:
Starting a band at the age of 18 is simple, keeping it intact for 12 years is much harder, and finally we have come to the crossroad where we will go separate ways.
Pär Sundström and Joakim Brodén will continue to battle on stage, carrying the banner of Sabaton to further victories.
We will always have an eternal bond to each other, created by more than 12 years of friendship & touring, and wish each other long and prosperous lives with families, various projects and musical careers.
In the end, all six of us will end up in our own glorious future…
…which of means that Rikard Sunden, Oskar Montelius, Daniel Mÿhr, and Daniel Mull have all quit/left/been fired from Sabaton – right now, we’re not sure, and no-one from either Sabaton or their label, Nuclear Blast, appear to be forthcoming with any specific details of this split. As we mentioned above, this is all going down when Sabaton’s forthcoming new album, Carolus Rex, is mere weeks away from release. For such a drastic split to happen at such a crucial stage in a band’s recording/promotional cycle suggests some seriously heavy shit just went down in the Sabaton camp.
Anyway, it’s an excuse for us to revisit all the photos we’ve taken of Sabaton over the years. SABATON! Even with all this drama going on, just saying that band name makes us feel all warm and happy inside.
Sabaton are, of course, nominated in the delightfully-titled ‘Metal As F*ck’ category in this year’s Metal Hammer Golden Gods. If two-thirds of the band’s line-up has just quit, does this mean that Sabaton are intrinsically 66% less metal today than they were last week? Or is the quality of being ‘Metal As F*ck’ transcendant of a band’s specific membership, and more tied the the metaphysical concept of ‘Metal A F*ck’ness that a band carries with them? Or is it because whoever replaces the four ex-Sabaton members, they’re still going to wear those nifty (yet comical) stage outfits with the metal body plates? We’ll leave that question up to history – and out comments section – to decide.