Here we are, exploring an album from another band that I have not heard of. In general, I like to think that I know a lot about music, but discovering all of these people I don’t know makes me think otherwise. Soilwork is a Swedish death metal band formed in 1995. They have a huge discography so I am looking forward to getting introduced to them.
- Verkligheten- This should be the main focus of the album as it shares its name with it. It is strange that they have it first as normally these songs are at the end so here goes… Oh this is interesting, it is an instrumental track which I did not expect. It reminds me of a song that would work on the Assassin’s Creed soundtrack. This is a fairly relaxed start to a metal album, which is interesting.
- Arrival- For a metal group the instrumentals are really clean. It is really melodic at times which is cool.The vocals are actually really good while there is screaming elements, it is mixed perfectly with powerful clear vocals. I like that I can understand what is being said because some metal bands are hard to hear. The guitar riffs are clean and prove that they are a melodic death metal band.
- Bleeder Despoiler- I have to say that the vocals are my favorite part of this group so far. While the instrumentals are hard hitting, there is a tenderness (which might not be there I’m just picking it up) to Bjorn’s voice that makes Soilwork so much more interesting than other bands. This song is about a woman bleeding this man dry, but it is hard to pick up on that theme.
- Full Moon Shoals- I’ve noticed that this album has repeated the same song structure through their songs. Hopefully, they change it up a bit. The chorus maintains that singing that has been throughout the songs. It is a little pop-rocky which is not what I was expecting or necessarily wanting, but his voice sounds great. The bridge picks up the pace a bit, but the rhythm change makes the song sound hectic which is what I thought the album would be like.
- The Nurturing Glance- The instrumentals change throughout this song from hints of classic rock to what I now know to be Soilwork’s sound. This song is about the end of the world. They use biblical references which creates an interesting juxtaposition with their sound.
- When the Universe Spoke- The intro to this song creates a certain expectation of what the song is going to be and once the vocals start it shifts. Not sure how I feel about that. The content is interesting because it is about the idea that God’s creation isn’t what the universe wanted which is a cool idea. I wish they strayed a bit from the template that they seem to have.
- Stalfagel- The electronic influence is interesting especially keeping the music video in mind. The use of a female singer (Alissa White-Gluz) adds something new to their sound. The content itself is mediocre. It isn’t anything that I haven’t heard before, but it isn’t bad.
- The Wolves Are Back in Town- This is the point in most albums that if the songs are going to get stale it is here. Sadly, that is what happens. While once again, the vocals are good, there is not much to comment on. The content is basic along with the classic metal instrumentals.
- Witan- This song has a cool concept in the corruption and darkness of governments. It’s about control which is interesting. I think there is more they could have done. The song isn’t as powerful as it could have been.
- The Ageless Whisper- Another basic song. I knew this wouldn’t happen but I was hoping it would be a metal reimagining of Careless Whisper. The instrumental break is cool but it doesn’t add anything to the song.
- Needles and Kin- This song features Tomi Joutsen- who sounds amazing. The song itself is sonically pleasing, but I wish that it could have been good enough to make the album better overall. The lyrics are really repetitive which is nice if they are catchy but that isn’t the case here.
- You Aquiver- I can immediately tell that they brought in Dave Sheldon for the guitars. Even though I don’t know who he is, the instrumentals are so much better than in their other songs. It is a lot cleaner than the last few songs which calls back to the first few songs on the album. The lyrics are metal stereotypes, which this entire album has been, it’s not necessarily bad but it is expected.
Overall, the first few songs got me excited that I would be hearing something new. Verkligheten and Arrival set up the album to be melodic and clean, which I was excited for. The middle songs reverted back to what I thought metal was and I wanted something new. You Aquiver was a good ending song because it brought back the things that I had liked before. My main problem with this album is its inconsistencies. With a great lead vocalists like Bjorn Strid is, I thought that he would be challenged more. I give this album a