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!
Bjorn "Speed" Strid - VOCALS
Peter Wichers - GUITAR
Ola Frenning - GUITAR
Henry Ranta - DRUMS
Ola Flink - BASS
Carlos Del Olmo Holmberg - KEYBOARDS
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]
+ 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
- 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.
= "BASTARD CHAIN"
= "LIKE THE AVERAGE STALKER"
= "GRAND FAILURE ANTHEM"
= "A PREDATOR'S PORTRAIT"
OVERALL SCORE: 4.0 |---*-|