Soilwork are a Swedish metal band from Helsingborg, signed to Nuclear Blast records. On 11/01/19 they release their 11th full length studio album, Verkligheten, which also coincides with the guys starting an extensive European tour, hitting London’s Electric Ballroom on 4th February. They also have a date with Bloodstock the weekend of 8th August, which just happens to be my wedding anniversary, but that’s another story.
Having released their first album way back in 1998, Soilwork are a band I have never taken the time out to listen to. Why? I do not know. But I am now glad I have. Title track ‘Verkligheten’, which translates to ‘Reality’, is a beautiful intro, which I’m sure will be their intro tape for their upcoming tour, which concentrates mainly on Germany.
It’s a short intro, not allowing ‘Arrival’ to wait too long before it punishes us with some outstanding double bass drumming. It’s an anthemic number. There’s a mixture of growls, together with some melodic vocals. A mesmerising power metal track so relentless in everything it stands for, it’s an absolute stomper of an opener.
‘Bleeder Despoiler’s’ opening riff is what all us metallers dream off. A proper chugging riff that will get any mosh pit spinning. It has the same sort of formula as ‘Arrival’. Soilwork are building tracks and mixing different genres together. Why not? ‘Full Moon Shoals’ take us a little bit more towards the synth style melodic rock. One thing I have noticed so far is that Bastian Thusgaard’s double bass drums is relentless. It’s constant through each song. Not sure it’s a good or bad thing, but that’s personal preference I guess. Either way, he’s a more than adequate replacement for Dirk Verbeuren who departed for Megadeth in 2016.
‘The Nurturing Glance’ offers a peaceful guitar intro which the more I listen to it, the more I want to listen to it. That doesn’t last long before the whole band follow with another epic opening. Soilwork seem to be keeping the divide between thrash and metal to a minimum on this album, a very clever thing to be able to do in my opinion. Watch out for a stormer of a finish to this track, which is bound to be a fans favourite. Moving on to ‘When the Universe Spoke’, I can only describe this as an onslaught to my ears. Powerful, anthemic, and relentless drumming make this track so intense. Best track so far.
‘The Wolves are Back In Town’ is another hard hitter and one thing I haven’t mentioned so far is Bjorn Strid’s vocal perfection. His Billy Corgan look is supported by a vast vocal range from melodic, to hard, to screaming which shouldn’t be overlooked because it makes a lot of these songs what they are. ‘The Ageless Whisper’ has a haunting feel of Iron Maiden’s ‘Infinite Dreams’ in it’s intro. Lovely.
Such is the diversity of this band, one minute you think you are listening to a thrash album, the next a rock album. These guys have stood the test of time and I’m sure all long standing fans will enjoy this album as much as I have. Soilwork has a new fan.
1 – Verklighenen
2 – Arrival
3 – Bleeder Despoiler
4 – Full Moon Shoals
5 – The Nurturing Glance
6 – When The Universe Spoke
7 – Stalfagel
8 – The Wolves Are Back In Town
9 – Witan
10 – The Ageless Whisper
11 – Needles And Kin
12 – You Aquiver
Bjorn Strid – Vocals / Sylvain Coudret – Guitars / David Andersson – Guitars / Sven Karlsson – Keyboards – / Bastian Thusgaard – Drums
- £9.99 (CD) - £18.13 (Vinyl)