It could have been the bad fortune to end all bad fortunes.

It was roughly one year ago and Sabaton, one of the most prolific bands in the modern metal world, had just landed what may have been the most coveted tour spot of the year: opening the stadium tour for Judas Priest as they embarked on their celebration of 50 years of heavy metal creation. The tour had already been postponed a full, agonizing year due to the onslaught of COVID-19, so fans were more than eager to see and hear the best.

This meant that Sabaton not only needed to deliver the goods, but they also needed to be the most impressive opening band in rock 'n' roll, or they were doomed.

Deliver, they did.

That meant, for Sabaton, tight musicianship, discreet timing changes, a song or two in a major key (unheard for most heavy metal), and even a tank on stage. Hungry fans were given a full ration in the form of solid Music executions and lyrics that described the thrills and woes of history in ways that most documentarians could only dream of.

Then, without warning, the battlefield changed.

The heart attack felt around the world

No sooner had the successful tour kicked off did disaster strike.

The blitzkrieg came in the form of Judas Preist axe master, Ritchie Faulkner, suffering a catastrophic heart emergency which doctors say, had he not been full of adrenaline whilst playing Priest's classic, "Painkiller," would surely have left The Mighty Falcon dead right on the stage!

While Hannes van Dahl, drummer for Sabaton, is quick to point out that the health of Faulkner was clearly concern number one, it goes without saying that the band found themselves in a terrible predicament, right at the time when fans, fresh from lockdown, were ready to rock the hardest.

While this was, as Van Dahl told Neopa Radio, a "huge bummer," it was particularly so, "for Ritchie."

The drummer added: "He survived, basically, you know, and that, in the end, is the most important thing.

It was an abrupt ending to such a thing, a great, great tour, you know? So, we decided to end the world tour of 'The Great War' album in Denver, where we played [for] two hours and forty-five minutes."

Conquering the world

After the show in Denver, it was time to gather the generals and regroup for victory, and that is precisely what the members of Sabaton did.

With a fighting spirit, solid songs and a tireless behind-the-scenes crew, that goal has been achieved and the band is scheduled to serve up their relentless form of neo-power metal to the globe.

The current tour covers virtually everywhere imaginable in the United States all the way up to October 2022. Then, starting in December and running all the way into May of 2023, Sabaton is set to wage war in Europe and all places related.

This means that, while fans have had to wait to catch the band that is all but reinventing the power metal genre, the wait will only prove to make the band hungrier to please and fiercer than ever.

Considering what we have seen so far, that is saying quite a lot.

Bombs away...