Soilwork is a melodic death metal act out of sweden. This album came at a time when Soiwork was still fairly unknown. They had gotten some acclaim with their debut but their sophomore release hoped to changed that. I'll try and let you know what you're in for if you listen to this. The Chainheart Machine(album) is pretty much all growled in terms of vocals. If you've only heard Soilwork's late material then you'll be surprised. There is no whoring of clean vocals here. The guitar lines are fast and heavy, the drumming is brutal and pounding. The bass is your standard netal affair apart from a few lines. They aren't all fast and heavy, Soilwork has a great melodic side to them as well.
Soilwork is(at this point in time, 2000)
Bjorn 'Speed' Strid - Vocals
Peter Wichers - Guitar
Ola Frenning - Guitar
Ola Flink - Bass
Henry Ranta - Drums
Carlos Del Olmo Holmberg - keyboards
Onto the track by track.
The Chaineart Machine: The title track is up first. It begins with some odd sounds. Hard to say what it is exactly but I'd say it's some machine running on overtime. A growl by Speed gets the whole band in motion. This is fairly fast paced in the verses, with a few awesome drum fills. The pre-chorus brings even more speed before we slow down for the chorus. The guitar work in the chorus is slightly melodic though I don't think the tone is really suited here. The chorus is very catchy with semi-clean vocals. Before the song is ended to are treated to two guitar solos thanks to Wichers and Frenning. They aren't the fastest ones on here, but the melody should keep your attention. This is a great song to start the album with. 5/5
Bulletbeast: This song for the most part is high speed drums mixed with mid speed guitar and vocals. The lyrics deal with someone who has become addicted to killing. The guitars pick up speed in the pre-chorus before the chorus kicks in. It's partly catchy with Speed chanting 'WHY, WHY' and saying what he loves about the hunt in between. The drums slow down for the interlude in which the guitars speed up, doing an awesome riff/melody. Then the solos come in. They are melodic, but the speed doesn't match the riffs played before them. Good song overall with leads placed here and there. 4/5
Millionflame: The song begins with a fast paced guitar melody, while Ranta works over his cymbals. Then BAM, the melody is gone as the guitarists begin a low riff which continues through the verses. I'm not too sure on the lyrics, I think they have to do with someone suddenly becoming evil. The chorus isn't too catchy but there is a nice guitar melody throughout. The solo in this song is melodic like in previous songs put add some fast runs so we don't get bored of the formula. After this you get a lone bassline. That is repeated by the guitars before another solo. This is another good song. 4/5
Generation Speedkill(Nice Day For A Public Suicide): Before you hear anything you'll notice the title. The title itself sounds good but the subtitle sounds like some emo garbage. The intro to this song sounds like one of the guitarists is just sliding his pick around. Before the first verse there is a nice lead. The verses play some low riffage, with the main focus being drumming and vocals. The pre-chorus takes a more melodic approach with the guitars and fast vocals. The chorus slows it down with some chords ringing and Speed repeating "Generation Speedkill, Operation Seedspill". The interlude has a nice riff under Speed's vocals and the solos and fast and only partly melodic. THe song ends with the some growls
getting deeper unnaturally, like a whammy or something. Parts of this song are good but it just misses me for some reason. 3.5/5
Neon Rebels: This is song is another fast and heavy song. It has some killer riffs, but the vocals aren't really special compared to other songs. It also happens to be the shortest song on the album at 3: 24. The drums are also pretty simple in comparison to the rest of the album. The lyrics are interesting, I don't know what they are on exactly(aside from rebellious attack), but they use fancy words. The solos in this song aren't much different from the others, fast and melodic but they accomplish what they're trying to do. This song is simpler than the others songs but it sounds good and keeps your attention. 3.8/5
Possessing The Angels: This song kicks off with a weird sounding guitar riff, and then Speed doing a growl which fades in and out quickly. The verse vocals are very agressive and quick. The pre-chorus has a good guitar riff with light keyboards in the background. The song goes back into another verse before you get to hear the chorus. When you finally get to the chorus you here Speed talking about being one evil bastard and possessing angels. The solos in this song are the best you've heard on this album so far. They sound epic, melodic, fast and some runs sound like they came from Kirk Hammets hands. Awesome song
Spirits Of THe Future Sun: Starts off slow. It's the creepiest, and slowest song. The drumming makes use of a cymbal, I think the ride or hi-hat, I'm not sure because I'm not a drummer. The verses pick up some speed with the drumming and palm muted riffs. THe chorus is catchy, in a creepy sort of way. The solos are longer than usual, with Wichers and Frenning trading melodic leads. This is a good song. 4/5
Machine Gun Majesty: THis is another heavy song. The guitarwork in this song is just your typical heavy riffage. This is fine though, because the drumming more than makes up for it. The song starts with a fill. The pre-chorus build up is pretty good, with some simple power chords, but you recieve some more verse before it finally comes. The chorus is catchy. "Kill, Kill, Machine Gun Majesty, Just... Spill, Spill". The keyboard adds some atmosphere while Ranta pounds away at the toms to give a machine gun feel. You get some more great solos from Wichers and Frenning on this one. I reccommend this track. 4.2/5
Room No. 99: The player might say this 7:39 long, but that's not true. After about four and a half minutes it's just silence. The drums are pounding throughout, with the guitarists just doing palm muted riffs save for a few emphasized notes. Speeds "singing" in this song is top notch, you can tell what he is saying and the lyrics are pretty good. You get one of the catchiest chorus's on the album. It sounds like the guitar is tremolo picking too. There is an eerie sounding lead before the song goes back into
the verses. The solo is no shred-fest but it sounds nice and melodic. The outro to the song is interesting. Guitars play sustained chords while the drums use double bass and cymbals. The song fades out as an evil sounding voice is speaking. After all the silence you get a short piece on the cello(") and the same noise the album starts with. 4.5/5
- Nice swapping solos in each song.
- Speed is a great death metal vocalist, you can actually tell what he is saying too
- Henry Ranta is an amazing drummer.
- Songs flow very well.
- Bass and keyboards are underused.
- Could use more diversity, a ballad would be nice.
Overall, this is a solid release for the band between their heavy and melodic stages. If you like the bands older material then you should definatley get this album. I give it a 4/5. I struggled doing that
though because Soilwork is easily my favourite band. 4.5/5 for fanboys.
The Chainheart Machine
Machine Gun Majesty
Room No. 99