SABATON Announces Return Of Guitarist THOBBE ENGLUND
February 9, 2024
Swedish metallers SABATON have been rejoined by guitarist Thobbe Englund. This news comes hot on the heels of Tommy Johansson's departure announcement less than a month ago.
Thobbe originally joined SABATON in April 2012 and amicably parted ways with the band in July 2016 to focus on his personal life and expand his creativity. Eight years later, he's back and ready to hit the global stage once more. Watch the official announcement video below.
Englund recorded two studio albums with SABATON, namely "Heroes" (2014) and "The Last Stand" (2016),and assisted with the songwriting of some very popular songs including "Shiroyama" and "Fields Of Verdun", among others.
On his return, which is effective immediately, Englund declares: "Words can't express how ready and how excited I am to jump back into SABATON. It feels like I was on a short holiday. The time is right, love is in the air and the best is yet to come!”
SABATON bassist and band manager Pär Sundström comments: "This is a full-circle moment for SABATON and we are beyond excited to have Thobbe rejoin the band. He's a talented guitarist, songwriter and a kind guy who we have a lot of fun with. We didn't even need to hold auditions with other guitar players. All that was needed was to spend New Year's Eve together to know that the time was right for Thobbe's return."
Echoing Pär's sentiments, SABATON frontman Joakim Brodén states: "This decision was a no-brainer for us as a band and for Thobbe. He knows the drill and is the perfect fit. This is a great outcome, and we think everyone is going to be psyched about the news! The time is right. Welcome back, brother!"
Meanwhile, SABATON drummer Hannes Van Dahl adds: "Who? Thobbe f***ng Englund, that's who! The man is back! I'm happy to once again share the stage with one of my best friends! Welcome back, brother!"
And finally, fellow SABATON guitarist Chris Rörland says: "I'm beyond excited and happy for the return of the king! We've had so many good times together, both on stage and off stage. It's gonna be great to share the stage again. Welcome back and welcome home my brother! Love ya!"
SABATON is currently preparing for a 19-show U.S. tour with heavy metal legends JUDAS PRIEST, which kicks off on April 18 in Wallingford, Connecticut and wraps up on May 22 in Syracuse, New York. The five-piece band is also currently in the studio working on its 11th studio album.
SABATON 2024 is:
Joakim Brodén - vocals Pär Sundström - bass Chris Rörland - guitars Thobbe Englund - guitars Hannes Van Dahl - drums
When Johansson announced his exit from SABATON on January 20, the band said in a statement: "After 7 amazing years in the band, our guitarist, Tommy, has decided to leave SABATON to pursue his own path. We wish him nothing but the best on his journey. We have been a close family and we will continue to support him in the adventures that await him in the future.
"Tommy joined the band in 2016 but he has been a close friend of SABATON ever since our first meeting at the end of a concert in 2005. As a valued member of the band, he has contributed to countless immortal memories.
"Tommy's departure from SABATON will not be effective immediately. He will stay on to ensure that all goes smoothly with the handover to our next guitarist.
"While a small part of his large heart will always remain within SABATON, we all know that he must follow his dreams.
"Even though we will not wake up daily in the tour bus next to him, we are sure that our paths will cross again many times in the future, both on and off the stage.
"Fly on your wings and strings brother!"
Tommy added in a separate statement: My dear friends! After 7 glorious years of Heavy Metal, I have decided to step down as the guitarist of SABATON.
"This has been the hardest decision I've ever made in my entire life.
"As many of you may know, I do a lot of things outside of SABATON. I play with another band, perform with various artists, and have a career as a singer that I've put aside for years to focus on SABATON. After doing this for seven years, I feel it's time to start following my heart. This means I will no longer tour with my brothers in SABATON and will not meet all you lovely SABATON supporters on the upcoming tours with the band.
"I will never quit playing music. I'll still be touring with MAJESTICA and other projects, but not on the same level as SABATON of course. I am sure I will meet you lovely fans on the road again in the future.
"My brothers in SABATON and the best crew in the world will forever be my second family and I will miss spending time with all these wonderful people. We had so much fun together every day. I've come to learn so much about life, about music and about touring that I wouldn't have learned anywhere else.
"A massive thank you to all you lovely SABATON fans for accepting me as the new guitarist in 2016. I am certain you will accept the person who takes over after me.
"All the best to you all and I'll see you again soon!"
Tommy Johansson is a well-known name, given his role as the longtime guitar player in SABATON. But before he joined the Swedish war machine, he had his own band REINXEED. His touring activities with SABATON slowed down the creative process for REINXEED but the group returned in 2019 — seemingly out of nowhere — with a 10-track album titled "Above The Sky" and a brand new name, MAJESTICA. The album saw Tommy taking on vocal duties, something he last showcased as TWILIGHT FORCE's stand-in singer throughout autumn of 2017.
SABATON's follow-up to 2022's "The War To End All Wars" album is tentatively due later this year via Nuclear Blast Records.
SABATON recently released the animated movie "The War To End All Wars", which tells the stories from the "The War To End All Wars" album. It begins with "Sarajevo", a song about the assassination of Austrian archduke Franz Ferdinand, which sparked World War I. It ends with "Versailles", about the 1918 Treaty Of Versailles that ended the war. SABATON also has the Sabaton History channel on YouTube, which includes historical looks at World War II, Swedish military history and even the 1995 massacre at Srebrenica, among others.
In September 2022, SABATON announced a new EP trilogy titled "Echoes Of The Great War". The trilogy features new songs specifically about World War I, coupled with topically related catalog music.
The last EP in the "Echoes Of The Great War" EP trilogy, "Stories From The Western Front", was made available in April 2023 on all platforms. It features a never-heard-before cover of MOTÖRHEAD's well-known track "1916".
SABATON climbed the international charts with its tenth studio album, "The War To End All Wars", securing No. 1 positions in Germany, Austria, Sweden, Poland, Hungary and Finland. Having achieved the top position for the second time in Germany, Sweden and Finland, the album peaked at No. 1 in Poland, Hungary and Austria for the first time in the band’s career. This and additional outstanding results in other territories have made "The War To End All Wars" SABATON's most successful album so far.
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