Maturity and experience can do wonders for a band. When these young Swedes released their debut album Steelbath Suicide in 1998, the immediacy and intensity of the music brought the band instant recognition from the European press. The album earned them praise and adoration as well as inevitable comparisons to established bands like Arch Enemy, In Flames and Dark Tranquillity. Recording at the now nearly infamous Studio Fredman didn抰 help curb comparisons. The months following the debut release saw Soilwork face a series of lineup changes. Guitarist Ludvig Svartz and drummer Jimmy Persson left the band to be replaced by Ole Frenning and Henry Ranta respectively.
With a new lineup in tact, the band once again entered Studio Fredman. The result? The Chainheart Machine, one of 1999抯 (released domestically in 2000 by Century Media) most intense and solid releases. With The Chainheart Machine, Soilwork explored more dynamic structures, which not only showed great maturity but also served to help shatter any illusions that Soilwork were merely a 揷lone?band. While still retaining the 揋othenburg?flavor, The Chainheart Machine stretched the somewhat well-worn boundaries of the style. The delicate mix of underground aggressiveness, thrash quickness and melodic hooks resulted in powder keg of sound that exploded all over the metal scene.
The combination of pure death influences like Carcass and At the Gates and more traditional metal bands like Judas Priest and MSG provided Soilwork with a finely tuned rapid-fire metal attack with enough speed and aggression for the hardcore underground dweller and enough melodies and hooks to pull in those who like their metal with a little sweetener. After the worldwide acclaim for The Chainheart Machine, which saw the band tour Europe with the likes of Defleshed, Cannibal Corpse and Marduk and Japan with Dark Tranquillity, fans across the globe have anxiously been awaiting album number three.
The old adage 搕he third time抯 a charm?has never been more true; A Predator抯 Portrait capitalizes on Soilwork抯 strengths while expanding their sound into new territory. Tracks like 揃astard Chain?and 揊inal Fatal Force?solidify Soilwork抯 place as an intelligent, aggressive death metal band while 揟he Analyst?and 揝hadowchild?see vocalist Bj鰎n 揝peed?Strid glide comfortably in and out of both his harsh and new-found clean voice. Yes, Speed has learned to vocally match the melodies Soilwork has always had running through their music. The boundaries of what we call the 揋othenburg sound?have been forever shattered.
A Predator抯 Portrait catapults Soilwork into a new level of sophistication, aggression and melody. Taking steps more established bands are still hesitant to take, Soilwork have left the competition behind. Of course, they didn抰 do it alone. Once again the services of producer Fredrik Nordstr鰉 and his Studio Fredman were called upon, as was the vocal prowess of Opeth guitarist/singer Mike 舓erfeldt for the title track. No longer content running with the pack, Soilwork have painted a new musical soundscape that sees the band cutting new paths in the extreme metal underworld.
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Soilwork | Reviewer: pisha | 4/8/2005
This is one of the best bands I know... soilwork!!!
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