The Art of War (Sabaton album)

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The Art of War
Cover art of war.jpg
Studio album by Sabaton
Released May 30, 2008
Recorded September 2007 - January 2008, Abyss Studios, Sweden
Genre Power metal
Length 49:28
Label Black Lodge Records
Producer Sabaton, Tommy & Peter Tägtgren
Sabaton chronology
The Art of War
Coat of Arms
(2010)Coat of Arms2010
Singles from The Art of War
  1. ""Cliffs of Gallipoli"/"Ghost Division""
    Released: May 30, 2008
Re-Armed edition
Front cover of the 2010 reissue
Front cover of the 2010 reissue
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3/5 stars [1]
Jukebox:Metal 4/5 stars [2]

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

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.[3]


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", "The Price of a Mile", "Firestorm", "Cliffs of Gallipoli" and "A Secret". These quotes are taken from LibriVox's audiobook version of the book, which follows the Lionel Giles translation.

Track listing

No. Title Lyrics Music Theme Length
1. "Sun Tzu Says"     A short introduction to Sun Tzu's Art of War 0:23
2. "Ghost Division" Brodén, Sundström Brodén Erwin Rommel and the 7th Panzer Division 3:51
3. "The Art of War" Brodén Brodén Sun Tzu's 'Planning Offensives' 5:08
4. "40:1" Brodén, Sundström Brodén The Battle of Wizna 4:10
5. "Unbreakable" Brodén, Sundström Brodén 'Partisans in WW2' 5:58
6. "The Nature of Warfare"     Sun Tzu's 'Vacuity and Substance' 1:18
7. "Cliffs of Gallipoli" Brodén, Sundström Brodén The Gallipoli Campaign 5:51
8. "Talvisota" Sundström Brodén The Finnish Winter War 3:32
9. "Panzerkampf" Brodén, Sundström Brodén The Battle of Kursk 5:15
10. "Union (Slopes of St. Benedict)" Brodén, Sundström Brodén The Battle of Monte Cassino 4:05
11. "The Price of a Mile" Brodén, Sundström Brodén The Battle of Passchendaele and senseless slaughter of World War I in general 5:55
12. "Firestorm" Brodén, Sundström Brodén The strategic bombing campaigns of World War II 3:25
13. "A Secret"     A humorous outro addressing music piracy 0:37
Total length: 49:28

Different versions

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.

Album lineup

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

In popular culture

"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. [4]


  1. ^ Donnelly, Dave. The Art of War at AllMusic
  2. ^ Jukebox:Metal review
  3. ^ The Art of War (booklet). The Art of War. Nuclear Blast. 2010. 
  4. ^ "Europa Universalis IV - Sabaton Soundtrack | Sabaton – Official website and headquarters". Sabaton – Official website and headquarters. 2015-12-01. Retrieved 2017-12-22. 
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