Soilwork
The Sledgehammer Files: The Best of Soilwork


3.5
great

Review

by KJ USER (32 Reviews)
January 14th, 2013 | 22 replies | 2,541 views


Release Date: 2010 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Soilwork effectively summed up in a nutshell.

3 of 3 thought this review was well written

Soilwork is most commonly regarded as a melodic death metal band; the six-piece group began their career with pipe-swingin’, blast-beatin’ metal anthems of the melodic-yet-brutal variety that quickly pushed the Helsingborg, Sweden natives to international notoriety among hardcore fans. Like most bands, Soilwork began evolving in their sound a few records later; this new sound had far less brutality which left many of their original fans collectively scratching their heads and wondering what caused the project to go askew. While many of the group’s early fans weren’t too keen on this direction change, the mainstream metal community around the globe welcomed them with open arms which allowed Soilwork to become a household name by the mid-2000s. That brings us to The Sledgehammer Files: The Best of Soilwork which sums up the first ten years (1998-2008) of the band’s respectable career.

Based upon first impressions of the track listing, Soilwork and Avalon Marquee Records are well aware of the style that made them famous to begin with; the first five songs on the compilation are remastered versions from their first two (and most brutal) LPs- Steel Bath Suicide and The Chainheart Machine. The Sledgehammer Files: The Best of Soilwork is a surprisingly satisfying compilation record; whereas many metal groups would pick songs that are easier on the ears in hopes of appeasing a wider range of listeners, Soilwork isn’t afraid to include a healthy dosage of their more brutal roots.

In fact, the compilation as a whole is evenly distributed and gives an accurate portrayal of the band’s discography through the time of this release. Also showing that the label and band are in tune with public perception is the fact that the 2007 album Sworn to a Great Divide, which was seen as a dismal effort in the eyes of most critics, only accounts for two songs on this compilation; of these two, one is a single that’s reworked to include orchestral arrangements to greatly improve the overall quality, and the second is the title track. Kudos on recognizing general public opinion, Avalon Marquee.

I personally find that many of the song selections here are suspect, but of course that is completely subjective and open to debate. Most specifically, I would argue that the three songs from A Predator’s Portrait here are in the lower half of that album while tracks such as “Like the Average Stalker” and “A Predator’s Portrait” are nowhere to be found. Further yet, “Machinegun Majesty” from the The Chainheart Machine which spotlights a sizzling guitar solo isn’t included either. All in all, this compilation does what all such albums should- it accurately sums up the artist’s career and includes many of that artist’s best works; for that reason, it is worth a play through whether you’re a longtime Soilwork fan or someone who wants to dabble in a new genre.



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user ratings (4)
Chart.
3.3
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
KjSwantko
January 14th 2013



8721 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

A fun, nostalgic listen for me.

Havey
January 14th 2013



9319 Comments


seems like a decent enough comp overall but holy shit those are terrible song choices from A Predator's Portrait

oh and that STAGD title track is among the worst songs they've ever written

Digging: Tim McGraw - Not a Moment Too Soon

KjSwantko
January 14th 2013



8721 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Agree with everything you just said, Havey.

CaptainDooRight
January 14th 2013



26459 Comments


solid rev, pos'd

i used to jam some of their early works a while ago and they do have some decent songs from what I've heard but I don't really listen to them much anymore due to my tastes changing.

Digging: Deniro Farrar - The Patriarch II

demigod!
January 14th 2013



40970 Comments


boring band :/ posd tho

Inveigh
January 14th 2013



24192 Comments


Idk Bastard Chain and Needlefeast are two of my favorites from APP, though the lack of Machine gun Majesty is inexcusable

Digging: Symptom - Caverns Of Katabasis

YankeeDudel
January 14th 2013



9291 Comments


yea used to jam these lads a bit

Digging: Ravi Shankar - Three Ragas

KjSwantko
January 14th 2013



8721 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Same; I still like jamming the stuff from the first half of their career occasionally, but the 2nd half stuff is pretty dull.

KjSwantko
January 14th 2013



8721 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

And just noticed this- why do they call this "Sledgehammer files" when the character on the front is clearly swinging a pick-axe? Damn.

CaptainDooRight
January 14th 2013



26459 Comments


that's actually pretty funny

branflakes911
January 14th 2013



84 Comments


Seems pretty uninspired that they have the title track from every record on there. This band released some OK stuff back in the day but eventually and unsurprisingly revealed themselves to be the essence of mediocrity. They're just so typical, so predictable, as is this compilation by the looks.

KjSwantko
January 14th 2013



8721 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

"Seems pretty uninspired that they have the title track from every record on there"

Neither Natural Born Chaos or A Predator's Portrait title tracks are on here.

XfingTheSullen
January 14th 2013



2198 Comments


The tracks from Stabbing the Drama are actually among the most terrible overall. Exile sucks anus too, like their most sellout song after Stabbing the Drama and Departure Plan.

KjSwantko
January 14th 2013



8721 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Agreed; I don't listen to much after NBC.

demigod!
January 15th 2013



40970 Comments


lol



boring

XingKing
January 15th 2013



9082 Comments


I don't understand why Sworn to a Great Divide was so hated. It was the best thing they had done since Natural Born Chaos

KjSwantko
January 15th 2013



8721 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Sworn sucked, man.

The only good song on it was the bonus track "Martyr" lol.

JamieTwort
Contributing Reviewer
January 15th 2013



18218 Comments


Nice review bro, pos'd.

Never got into this band.

Digging: Benoit Pioulard - Hymnal Remixes

XingKing
January 15th 2013



9082 Comments


Oh, I know it sucked. I rated it a 2.5, but I am saying it's the best thing since NBC so that should tell you a little bit about what I thought of Stabbing the Drama and whatever the fuck that other one was called

FrozenVain
January 15th 2013



2263 Comments


I have a sweet spot for Soilwork. I do infact think that they are awesome. It brings warmth to my heart everytime I see a positive Soilwork review. Good work, dude.



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