Soilwork
A Predator's Portrait


4.0
excellent

Review

by M A D R I G A L USER (5 Reviews)
September 12th, 2005 | 61 replies | 13,377 views


Release Date: 2001 | Tracklist


5 of 5 thought this review was well written

Soilwork is a melodic death metal band hailing from Sweden. Before the band was called "Soilwork" it went under the name "Inferior Breed." Their first record entitled "Steelbath Suicide" was a pretty big hit in the area and really boosted them into the scene. It's my third favorite album next to this and "The Chainheart Machine."

I didn't quite get into this band until I was on the Nuclear Blast website just listening to new music. This really shot out at me, and I eventually picked up every album thus far. They're a really great band, and this album I'm about to review is worth at least a full listen. Enjoy!

SOILWORK IS:
Bjorn "Speed" Strid - VOCALS
Peter Wichers - GUITAR
Ola Frenning - GUITAR
Henry Ranta - DRUMS
Ola Flink - BASS
Carlos Del Olmo Holmberg - KEYBOARDS

TRACK ANALYSIS:

1. "BASTARD CHAIN" - Alright here we go! Pummeling intro intertwining guitars and drums. Strid comes in soon after, and you are introduced with that melodic death metal that Soilwork is known for. The chorus is really cool with Strid chanting "Bastard Chain! With souls so lame! The Bastard Chain!" Really catchy, and has somewhat of an "anthem" vibe to it which I like. Great opening track that lets you see the rougher side of Soilwork. [4/5]

2. "LIKE THE AVERAGE STALKER" - One of my favorite songs on the album. The chorus is amazazingly catchy and the riffs are nice. Great melody throughout here to. The vocals are great as well. Solo kicks in at about 2:45 then to a cool little melodic part thereafter. I had a friend with me in the car as I was listening to this he stopped the CD player and stated "This song is amazing!" Right he is. Great song and a bit more melodic than "Bastard Chain." [4.5/5]

3. "NEEDLEFEAST" - Another standout track here. The intricacies of the guitars are great. Strid's vocals really shine throughout this track. My favorite part comes in at 2:17 with a solo at 2:33. This song also features Mattias Ia Eklundh, who is such a fantastic guitarist. He plays that solo that was stated earlier. That's three good songs in a row, can they make it three? [4/5]

4. "NEUROTICA RAMPAGE" - Unfortunately not. This is one of my least favorite tracks on the album. I think the chorus is lacking, and the whole structure of this song just doesn't appeal to me. I do like the part that comes in at about 2:46. Really eerie, and definately the keyboards shined. The almost dissonant solo in the background really sets the mood as well. I wish they could have kept with that throughout the entire song. Decent song, however, not as good as the last three in anyway. [3/5]

5. "THE ANALYST" - This is a pretty cool song, not as "in your face" as the other tracks. Starts of pretty slow with some ambiance from the keyboards and a cool guitar lick. The song kicks in at twenty-two seconds and you are walloped with a melodic assault. I love the chorus in this song. It seems that a lot of people are turned onto this band due to these great choruses. I love the line: "I am guilty by association, a sinner of mankind...I am forced to build my life on this hidden path I just can't find." Really cool. Overall great song, another great breakdown at about 2:34, and back to the body of the song. [4/5]

6. "GRAND FAILURE ANTHEM" - Here we go! This is such an amazing song, another one of my favorites on this album. You are shot into the song with a great, fast riff and then the chorus kicks in. I love the guitars in the background very cool. The trasition when Strid chants "Failed! Failed! Failed! Failed!" is just so cool. More ambiance created by Holmberg, which creates such a picture for you. The breakdown that comes in at 3:20 is great as well. The best part definately takes place 3:36. Really chilling keyboard and fantastic riff and solo to accompany. Overall, this song is just amazing and could be one of my favorite Soilwork songs. [5/5]

7. "STRUCTURE DIVINE" - Another pretty cool song here. Great intro with the keyboard here and you are once again jolted into the piece with a cool riff. The chorus is really cool. Great vocal work, and overall great playing on every members part. Solo kicks in at 2:46 with a basic riff in the background. Pretty basic Soilwork song. [4/5]

8. "SHADOWCHILD" - This was the fist song that got me into Soilwork. The vocals are great, and it is one of the more keyboard oriented songs. The chorus alone is what got me into them in the first place. Boy, what Strid can do with his voice. Great stuff! I love the breakdown that occurs rather quickly at 1:56. Solo(s) drop in starting at 2:22. I like the song a lot and can be listened to by almost anyone. [4.5/5]

9. "FINAL FATAL FORCE" - Tons of cool keyboard parts in this song. I like the overall rhythm of this song. A lot different than all that was previously heard. I'm not fond of the lyrics or chorus in this song, but it's still a great song. With the other songs, they were really heavy and brutal; with this it's a bit more toned down and is just a different experience as far as Soilwork is concerned. [3.5/5]

10. "A PREDATOR'S PORTRAIT" - What a song here! It features one of my favorite vocalists in metal today; Mikael Akerfeldt (Opeth). He fits the song very well, in my opinion. This is another in your face song, with the melodic parts coming in during the chorus. Breakdown at around 2:16, and then back to the main verse. Solos at 3:05, one of the best on the album. It's a pretty cool ending song. [4/5]

PROS:
+ The choruses are excellent.
+ Every member is just phenominal at their particular instrument.
+ Nice mix of melody and aggression.
+ Guest appearance by Mikael Akerfeldt =D

CONS:
- Lyrics don't do much for me.
- Could have used some more keyboard arrangements. You'll actually notice in some of the songs, Holmberg is practically holding his finger on one or two notes.
- Not everyone's cup of tea.

STANDOUT TRACKS:
= "BASTARD CHAIN"
= "LIKE THE AVERAGE STALKER"
= "GRAND FAILURE ANTHEM"
= "SHADOWCHILD"
= "A PREDATOR'S PORTRAIT"

OVERALL SCORE: 4.0 |---*-|


user ratings (414)
Chart.
3.8
excellent
other reviews of this album
Thomas Michael Morris (4.5)
Any metal lover will really enjoy this album. It's got great guitar melodies, amazing drumming and s...


Comments:Add a Comment 
Shadows
Moderator
September 12th 2005



2530 Comments


Not bad at all. I liked the unusual formatting style you used at the end. I've heard little Soilwork, but I doubt they'll really appeal to me. I've heard great things about Chainheart Machine and I found it somewhat enjoyable. Not really enough to motivate me to look into them further unfortunately.

EDIT: I would love to hear that song with Akerfeldt thoguh. The best metal vocalist around without a doubt.This Message Edited On 09.12.05

M A D R I G A L
September 12th 2005



103 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thank you. Coming from a Top 15, that means a lot.

Storm In A Teacup
September 12th 2005



12712 Comments


Nice Reveiw. Can you rev. Stabing the Drama if you've got it?

M A D R I G A L
September 12th 2005



103 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Sure. I'll do it tonight. I actually did a tossup between this and "Stabbing The Drama."

Dead_Trench
September 12th 2005



159 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I'll probably review Stabbing The Drama. I've listened to it a million times so it'll be easy.

Good review, it didn't drag on and it featured my favourite band ever, Soilwork.

Storm In A Teacup
September 12th 2005



12712 Comments


[quote=MAD.]I'll do it tonight[/quote]

THX I've only heard the title track which I love and I wasn't sure whether to get it or not.This Message Edited On 09.12.05

GuitaristPaul
February 19th 2006



51 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

this is probably my favourite album from this guys, with The Chainheart Machine coming in a close second. I saw these guys live and they were really great.

Cravinov13
February 19th 2006



3854 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

IMO Natural Born Chaos pwns the s**t out of this Cd.

Anglachel
April 3rd 2006



152 Comments


First album I ever heard from these guys. Great stuff, and great review.

lost_profits
June 7th 2006



59 Comments


I like this better than NBC.
The riffs in Needlefeast are probably the best you'll come across in Melodic metal.

TheTastyLettuce
June 29th 2006



130 Comments


This album makes my day, I tell you

Yazz_Flute
February 3rd 2007



18770 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Best album by soilwork definately. I just wrote a full review on it. Check it out and
comment.This Message Edited On 02.03.07

Digging: Eskaton - 4 Visions

Aeksis8745
April 25th 2007



448 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Unbelievable album, its gonna suck without peters tho. Lets hope for the best with their next album.


Cravinov13
April 25th 2007



3854 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I can't get into this like how I can with Natural Born Chaos.

Aeksis8745
May 26th 2007



448 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Grand Failure Anthem is quickly becoming my favorite Soilwork song.

Yazz_Flute
May 26th 2007



18770 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

^^

One of my favs as well, but my faav soilwork song of all time would have to be "Needlefeast," closel followed by "Bastard Chain," then "Machine Gun Majesty," then "Grand Failure Anthem."

And imo, this is easily soilwork's best album, and lately the only one i've been lsitening to much.

Aeksis8745
May 27th 2007



448 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Yeah I haven't listen to this in a while so when I put it on the other day it kind of blew me away again.

FR33L0RD
October 4th 2007



1461 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

IMO, best Soilwork album.period

hybridstigmata
April 5th 2008



169 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

how can this not be a higher rating, its a perfect album, it gets a 5 from me

I lowered this to a 4.5, still a great cd though.This Message Edited On 08.02.08

Yazz_Flute
January 1st 2009



18770 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Ha I remember when I used to think this was like the best album ever. I just gave it a listen today though and realized, it really isn't anything special. I still really love Needlefeast and Bastard Chain, but that's about it. Album is still really solid though, just not as exceptional as I thought 3 or so years ago. I think I prefer Stabbing the Drama to this now actually, though this is probably my third favorite.

Chainheart Machine is where its though.



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