Review Summary: Another solid album from Soilwork, what more can i say.
Soilwork have become progressively more melodic with each release, which in my eyes is no bad thing but in doing so they have lost a great deal of there original melodic death metal fan base. True, Chain heart machine is an amazing if not underrated album but I think it is unfair to state they have become worse or less original as band if anything have moved away from the pack, everyone was following the traditional Gothenburg sound and something else was bound to emerge sooner or later and Soilwork along with ex melodic death metal acts such as In Flames where at the head of this movement spawning a new era of Melodic metal. This brings us up to now, hot off the heels of Stabbing the drama come Sworn to a great divide and yet another step forward for the band.
Vocals: Bjorn “Speed” Strid
Guitars: Ola Frenning
Guitars: Daniel Antonsson
Drums: Dirk Verbeuren
Bass: Ola Flink
Samples/ keys: Sven Karlsson
Before I go on id like to point out Soilwork long time lead guitarist is now absent from the band and has been replaced with ex Dimension Zero member Daniel Antonsson, for anyone worried about the change in line up do not fear its still a good record and keeps to the Soilwork sound. The Album opens with a lead riff signalling this record is probably going to be a harder record then STD (immature but I never realised abbreviating Stabbing the drama was STD I’m such a loser), quickly the rest of the band follow for one of soilwork’s most metal songs and best album openers in a long while. By this point something becomes very apparent, fans of soilwork would of picked this up quickly…where are the synth sounds that have dominated the past two soilwork records? No longer do they dominate entire songs but have been saved for more appropriate sections to songs which in my opinion is a great thing.
The title track and opener of the album pretty much sums up how most of the album sounds but the album itself if very diverse, for example the second track and single Exile is probably the most melodic song on the record. Although not as melodic as past tracks such as departure plan it is more along the same vein as As we speak . Other more melodic tracks include Light Discovering Darkness, Bleeding thorns and Sick heart river, all are decent tracks following the typical soilwork structure of growled heavy verses with huge melodic chorus which we can now thank good old Devin Townsend for. Devin Townsend has done a marvellous job of producing Speeds vocal parts, the chorus’s are catching the verses are brutal, id go as far as to say this is Bjorn’s best vocal performance yet!
A track which I felt let down the album and this may seem controversial but Pittsburgh Syndrome seemed to me a sorry excuse for a speed metal track, it lacks any real impact and seems to be put on the album to prove they can still put out some harder tracks but to me it comes off very filler ill leave you the readers to make up your own mind. Also the guitar tone on this album seemed a bit empty, the overall sound of the guitar is amazing but it seems empty like they hadn’t layered any of the guitar tracks, this to some will be a good thing but I prefer the wall of noise approach to music.
Overall if you’re a soilwork fan or not pick up this album it is a great record and deserves a listen. Soilwork deserve a lot more media attention then what they are getting at the moment. The Album is diverse, catchy and a lot more metal then the previous few releases.
Great Song writing
Synth sounds put mainly on the back bench
You my find most of the songs are fairly similar
Not as full sounding as previous works
Sworn to a great divide, Silent bullet, Bleeding thorns, Exile