On January 7th, Sabaton released their newest single both in streaming format, as well as a Music Video – “Soldier of Heaven”.
This track is based on White Friday and the story surrounding Blood Mountain, or “Col di Sangue” as the Italians named it. Not only was this mountain named for its brutally cold winters that rendered many troops helpless but, for the casualties it consumed during its years of witnessing bloody warfare.
In December of 1916, Col di Lana became the site of ferocious mine warfare that resulted in an explosion that brought upon devastating avalanches, bringing about the death of around 300 Austrian Soldiers hunkered down in their barracks. Over a period of several days, these avalanches in the Italian Alps killed an estimated 10,000 Austrian, and Italian troops with few bodies ever being recovered. It is on these mountains they still watch, standing guard forever.
“Soldier of Heaven” was made in dedication to all those unknown heroes who never came home and in typical Sabaton fashion, is brought forth in a powerful and emotional retelling. The recapture of scenes in the bombing from planes, the mines exploding, and the simple salute from a CGI soldier is easily passed over in first glance but, after watching the video numerous times you begin to truly understand the impact of these visuals when fit with the lyrics.
Lyrics like “Among the ice and snow that bind me to this mountain” is not only a strong line but one that weighs on you with overwhelming emotion. The chorus, as well, is no lightweight either brought in with powerful visuals and ethereal glory when the line “I’m sky high when I die, I’ll be immortal,” escapes Joakim’s mouth.
The CGI retelling is necessary when you realize that it provides atmospheric backdrop and visual aid to those who may not truly grasp the gravity of this event. We are introduced with a techno-style beginning reminiscent of Beast in Black’s latest release “Moonlight Rendevouz” but coming in on more intensive terms with solid guitar solos deepening the heaviness of this tune.
The pacing keeps the song catchy yet upon repeated listening and lyrical review you get a true feeling for the depth of the history in this song. Another song where history may have gone unheard and now, the story is blown open to be heard by a younger generation, and remembered by previous generations so it can be researched, explored, and and revered.
To witness a ghost soldier salute before over-looking years of warfare, echoed by lyrics like “I watch the Soldiers come and go,” and “I saw the end of War” to “I have seen it all but none will hear my story,” are terrifying reflections of spiritual isolation for the memories of those still encased in ice and snow on the mountain tops. It is a true, and though-provoking look at just how long their spirits may have lingered, and may still linger on those slopes to bare witness to decades of rotating peace and bloodshed. Even for those without spiritual belief may see the impact that the families may feel having the memory of their loved ones eternally bound to Blood Mountain and its legacy.
If you haven’t had the chance to listen to, or view this track yet it is a definite need for early 2022 Metal drops. I know it made me do more research into the events of White Friday, and it’s a song that now lingers in my mind both visually and lyrically.