Review Summary: Faster, darker, and epic as ever, The Ride Majestic shows Soilwork at the top of their game yet again, and they aren't showing signs of slowing down.
Soilwork managed to accomplish what few groups had ever done. With the loss of one of the main powerhouses, Peter Wichers, and announcing a double album, The Living Infinite
, things looked grim. However, what resulted was not only their greatest record overall, but also one of the best metal releases of 2013. Two years later, everybody seemed to be asking the same question: will their next album be just as good or better still than their magnum opus? Now we have The Ride Majestic
, and thankfully that question seems to be answered with a smile, because Soilwork managed to accomplish that task.
The sound on The Ride Majestic
couldn’t have been more grand and epic than now. Virtually every member has improved since their last album. Bjorn Strid is probably the most notable as he delivers what may be his greatest performance to date, yet Dirk Verbeuren has also improved as he blasts out momentous energy on the drums throughout the album. The guitar melodies are also written and performed better than ever, ‘Death in General’ being one of the best examples. Coudret and Andersson seem more focused and coordinated than ever before, as both bring out powerful riffs and amazing solos. And though most the choruses are not as strong as they were on The Living Infinite
, they are still memorable enough to give the album a great amount of substance.
Right off the bat, the album brings out that epic feeling with the title track, which sets the mood perfectly. Bjorn soars through the entire song while the instrumentation gleams with the vitality they’ve always had. The production, while familiar, creates a solid yet grand sound that's more progressive than in The Living Infinite
. One of the key factors in The Ride Majestic
is speed. Songs like ‘Alight in the Aftermath’, ‘Petrichor by Sulphur’, and ‘Shining Lights’ waste no time at delivering that mountain of energy as the guitar riffs blast their way through with quick, robust precision, while the drums unleash ferocious beats giving each song lively rhythms. Even so, the album does take a brief moment to slow down with ‘Whirl of Pain’, which is especially notable as it contains Bjorn’s best performance in the album. The guest spots of Odium’s Pascal Poulson and Sonic Syndicate’s Nathan Biggs are also a nice touch. Poulson’s haunting screams help 'The Phantom' develop a black metal influence which give the album a nice change of pace, meanwhile Biggs gives ‘Father and Son, Watching the World Go Down’ a bit more variety.
The Ride Majestic
is an album that lives up to its title. Once again, Soilwork is at the top of their game, proving that they still have the means and abilities to create one of the best metal albums of the year. Everything all comes down to a smooth, beautiful, and glorious forty-nine minutes. It’s epic, brooding, and bursting with fury and energy, Soilwork manages to accomplish another impossible task, and it sets the bar even higher as to what they will do next.