The Art of War (Sabaton album)

The Art of War is the fourth album by Swedish heavy metal band Sabaton.

The Art of War
Cover art of war.jpg
Studio album by
Released30 May 2008
RecordedSeptember 2007 – January 2008
StudioThe Abyss (Pärlby, Sweden)
GenreHeavy metal, power metal[1]
LabelBlack Lodge Records
ProducerSabaton, Tommy & Peter Tägtgren
Sabaton chronology
The Art of War
Coat of Arms
Singles from The Art of War
  1. ""Cliffs of Gallipoli""
    Released: 30 May 2008
Re-Armed edition
Front cover of the 2010 reissue
Front cover of the 2010 reissue
Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic3/5 stars[1]
Jukebox:Metal4/5 stars[2]
Encyclopaedia Metallum7.8/10 stars[3]
Metal Storm8.51/10 stars[4]

The album is based on the ancient Chinese military treatise, The Art of War written by General Sun Tzu in the 6th century BC. It consists of 13 chapters, each of which describe a different aspect of warfare, and is considered the definitive work on military tactics and strategies of its time. The tracks on the album correspond to each chapter of treatise. The lyrics of the songs are about famous battles or war, mostly based on the battles of the First and Second World Wars where Sun Tzu's tactics were applied.[5]


The Swedish national anthem from Sweden Rock '09 (found on the Re-Armed edition) was the only song on which bassist Pär Sundström has contributed vocals until 2012, when the line-up change required Sundström to step up to the microphone on a more permanent basis.

Spoken quotes from Sun Tzu's The Art of War can be heard in songs such as "Sun Tzu Says", "The Art of War", "Unbreakable", "The Nature of Warfare", "Cliffs of Gallipoli", "Union (Slopes of St. Benedict)", "The Price of a Mile", "Firestorm" and "A Secret". These quotes are taken from LibriVox's audiobook version of the book, which follows the Lionel Giles translation.

Track listingEdit

1."Sun Tzu Says"  A short introduction to Sun Tzu's Art of War0:23
2."Ghost Division"Brodén, SundströmBrodénThe 7th Panzer Division, particularly in the Battle of France3:51
3."The Art of War"BrodénBrodénSun Tzu's "Attack By Stratagem"5:08
4."40:1"Brodén, SundströmBrodénThe Battle of Wizna4:10
5."Unbreakable"Brodén, SundströmBrodénGuerrilla warfare. Brodén and Sundström had a particular guerrilla ambush in mind, but have forgotten which one.[6]5:58
6."The Nature of Warfare"  Sun Tzu's "Weak Points and Strong"1:18
7."Cliffs of Gallipoli"Brodén, SundströmBrodénThe Gallipoli Campaign5:51
8."Talvisota"SundströmBrodénThe Finnish Winter War3:32
9."Panzerkampf"Brodén, SundströmBrodénThe Battle of Kursk from the Soviet perspective5:15
10."Union (Slopes of St. Benedict)"Brodén, SundströmBrodénThe Italian campaign and the Battle of Monte Cassino from the allied perspective4:05
11."The Price of a Mile"Brodén, SundströmBrodénThe Battle of Passchendaele and senseless slaughter of World War I in general5:55
12."Firestorm"Brodén, SundströmBrodénCarpet bombing campaigns in World War II3:25
13."A Secret"  A humorous outro addressing music piracy0:37
Total length:49:28
Re-armed edition bonus tracks
14."Swedish Pagans"The Vikings4:13
15."Glorious Land"A song about military forces defending their homeland3:19
16."The Art of War"Pre-production demo version4:48
17."Swedish National Anthem (Live at Sweden Rock Festival)"Swedish National Anthem2:34
Total length:14:54

Different versionsEdit

The Art of War was released in three different versions, a standard edition containing only the CD, a vinyl version and a Limited Edition. The limited contains the full-length CD and the book The Art of War by Sun Tzu. The limited edition comes in a DVD case with alternate artwork. All preorders from the official Sabaton homepage also included the single, Cliffs of Gallipoli.


  • Joakim Brodén – vocals
  • Rickard Sundén – guitars
  • Oskar Montelius – guitars
  • Pär Sundström – bass
  • Daniel Mullback – drums
  • Daniel Mÿhr – keyboards

In popular cultureEdit

"40:1" became a hit in Poland and Sabaton was asked to perform it on the Polish Independence Day celebration in Gdańsk in 2008. "40:1" is also used as an entrance song by Polish mixed martial artist Damian Grabowski.

The title track was featured in the Sabaton Soundtrack DLC for the grand strategy game Europa Universalis IV.[7]


  1. ^ a b Donnelly, Dave. The Art of War at AllMusic
  2. ^ Lye, Andy (2008). "Sabaton - The Art of War". Jukebox:Metal. Retrieved 18 April 2020.
  3. ^ "Sabaton - The Art of War (Reviews)". Encyclopaedia Metallum. 6 May 2019. Retrieved 18 April 2020.
  4. ^ "Sabaton - The Art Of War (guest review)". Metal Storm. 27 April 2009. Retrieved 18 April 2020.
  5. ^ The Art of War (booklet). The Art of War. Nuclear Blast. 2010.CS1 maint: others in cite AV media (notes) (link)
  6. ^ Neidell, Indy (host, writer); Sundström, Pär (host); Olsson, Spartacus (writer); Linke, Marcus (writer) (31 October 2019). "Unbreakable − Guerrilla Warfare − Sabaton History 039 [Official] − YouTube". YouTube. Sabaton History. Retrieved 23 November 2019.
  7. ^ "Europa Universalis IV - Sabaton Soundtrack | Sabaton – Official website and headquarters". Sabaton – Official website and headquarters. 1 December 2015. Retrieved 22 December 2017.