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Thorbjörn "Thobbe" Englund (born 13 August 1979 in Luleå) is a Swedish multi-instrumentalist, composer, singer, who also works as a sound engineer and music producer. Englund achieved his greatest fame as the guitarist of the heavy metal band Sabaton. He has also been active as a solo artist since 2006.

Life

Englund grew up in Lappträsk in the municipality of Haparanda on the Finnish border and has Finnish ancestors. At the age of six he was given a small Casio keyboard. He got his first guitar as a gift at the age of 10. At first, he used the instrument more as a leisure activity, but soon, he grew the desire to spend more time with it and he practiced guitar eight hours a day. As his greatest influence as a guitarist, Englund cites mainly Yngwie Malmsteen, but also Ritchie Blackmore, Joe Satriani, Kee Marcello and Gary Moore.

Endomorph

Endomorph was Thobbe's first band which he founded at the age of 14 with his friend Tony Erkkilä. The band had some demos but was put on hold since Thobbe saw a music video of Yngwie Malmsteen in Swedish television and changed his musical direction.

Winterlong

Thorbjörn, Tony and two other buddies Erik Tornberg (bass) and Hussni Morsare (guitars, vocals) founded Winterlong in 1998. It was this project, that Thobbe got recognized for the first time. In Winterlong, Thorbjörn had been a lead guitarist, bassist and from 2006, a vocalist. The project released a total of four albums from 2001 to 2006. The same year saw the release of his debut album as a solo artist, Influences, although, by his own admission, the Winterlong recordings since the second album are already to be considered as a solo project.

Star Queen

The power/gothic metal band was created by Stella Tormanoff, then girlfriend of Thobbe Englund and has featured members from Bulgaria, Finland, Greece and Sweden. The band has released two albums, Faithbringer in 2001, Your True Self in 2004 on which Thobbe played guitar.

Englund has also been a member of Pavlovian Dogs (another band founded by Stella Tormanoff).

Raubtier

From 2009 to 2010, he was the bassist of Swedish industrial metal band Raubtier, in which Pär Hulkoff sings and plays guitar, who was also involved in Winterlong for a short time. Because Sabaton split up in 2012, Pär Sundström called Pär Hulkoff with the intention of getting him as a guitarist for Sabaton, but Hulkoff declined due to his own band. A little later, he called Sundström back to recommend Englund and gave him his number.

Sabaton

After meeting Joakim Brodén and Pär Sundström in Stockholm, Englund became part of the band in April 2012. Until his departure on 25th July 2016, besides guitar duties in the band, he also provided live backing vocals and lead vocals in one of the verses in Gott Mit Uns. He recorded two studio albums with Sabaton (Heroes, The Last Stand), for which he co-wrote three tracks (Soldier of 3 Armies, Shiroyama, The Last Battle). He also provided lead vocals on Judas Priest cover "All Guns Blazing" which was released as a bonus track on The Last Stand. Regarding his exit, Englund commented as follows:

"There's one thing I really believe in and that's that you should always follow your heart. Over the years I've found what really makes me happy and satisfied and so now I want to follow more of my own creativity and combine that with a slightly quieter life where I don't have to tour the world at the speed of light all year."

After his departure, he was replaced by Tommy Johansson.

"It was a really tough but well-thought-through decision. I was thinking about this on and off for a while, but it wasn’t until pretty close to my leaving that I actually had set my mind to 100%. I told the guys about it and it was an emotional moment. Tommy is doing a wonderful job and I really think they’ve got the right replacement."[1]

Career during and after Sabaton

In 2015 he performed as a guest musician with Orphan Gypsy at Wacken Open Air and played "Wasted Years" by Iron Maiden with the band.

On his solo albums "From the Wilderness" and "Before the Storm", released in 2015 and 2016, he played all the instruments himself.

Since his departure from Sabaton, he mainly focused on his solo career.

He has been playing live rhythm guitar with Swedish heavy metal band Bloodbound since 2017.

Englund likes to incorporate instrumental pieces into his albums. "From the Wilderness" was even purely instrumental, except for the bonus track "Fingerspitzengefühl".

With Tommy Johansson, Hannes Van Dahl and Chris Rörland he played various covers in the band The Last Heroes on Sabaton Open Air in 2017 and 2018.

On January 8th 2019, his son Thor Loke Englund was born.

In 2019 he was asked by Joakim to help him write a song for Sabaton, which became Fields of Verdun.

In 2019, Thobbe joined Sabaton on stage during their Wacken Open Air concert to celebrate the band's 20 years. He played on two songs that the co-wrote on the first part of the band's set: Shiroyama and Fields of Verdun. He then went off stage and retruned for the band's second part of the setlist along the previous Sabaton members Rikard Sundén, Daniel Mÿhr and Daniel Mullback.

Trivia

Because Englund never wore underwear under the camouflage pants that are part of Sabaton's live attire, in 2014 one of his pants ripped near the end of a performance at the livestreamed Dreamhack festival in Sweden, exposing his penis. Englund went on to perform the show.

Discography

  • Winterlong - Valley of the Lost (2001, Lion Music)
  • Star Queen - Faithbringer (2002, Lion Music)
  • Winterlong - The Second Coming (2003, Lion Music)
  • Star Queen - Your True Self (2004, Lion Music)
  • Winterlong - Winterlong (2005, Lion Music)
  • Thorbjörn Englund - Influences (2006, Lion Music)
  • Winterlong - Metal / Technology (2006, Lion Music)
  • Sabaton - Swedish Empire Live (2013, Nuclear Blast)
  • Sabaton - Heroes (2014, Nuclear Blast)
  • Sabaton - Live on the Sabaton Cruise (2015, Chaos Reigns/Nuclear Blast)
  • Thobbe Englund - From the Wilderness (2015, Lion Music)
  • Sabaton - Heroes on Tour (2016, Nuclear Blast)
  • Sabaton - The Last Stand (2016, Nuclear Blast)
  • Thobbe Englund - Before the Storm (2016, self-released)
  • Thobbe Englund - Sold my Soul (2017, Metalville)
  • Thobbe Englund - The Draining of Vergelmer (2018, Metalville)
  • Thobbe Englund - Hail to the Priest (2019, Metalville)

Guest appearances:

  • Mistheria - Messenger of the Gods (2004, Lion Music, lead guitars on track 11 "Titans")
  • Aldaria - When the Time Has Come (Single) (2017, Independent, guitars)
  • Hulkoff - Kven (2017, Faravid Recordings, backing vocals on track 4 "Einherjer")
  • Follow the Cipher - Follow the Cipher (2018, Nuclear Blast, lead guitars and backing vocals on track 10 "Starlight")
  • Civil War - Dead Man's Glory (Single) (2019, Napalm Records, guitars)
  • PermaDeath - Vermillion (2019, Hecatombe Records, additional guitars, intro)
  • Sabaton - The Great War (2019, Nuclear Blast, songwriting, lead guitar on Fields of Verdun)
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