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Soilwork
Stabbing the Drama
April 2005
Released: 2005, Nuclear Blast/Sound Pollution
Rating: 5.0/5
Reviewer: Anders Sandvall

Previous albums delivered by this Helsingborg Sweden based band are, NATURAL BORN CHAOS and the latest one FIGURE NUMBER FIVE from 2003. They have done a great amount of touring through Europe, the U.S., and Japan; having been out with Children of Bodom, Hypocrisy, and Killswitch Engage, to mention a few.



Soilwork started out under the name Inferior Breed about ten years ago, but decided to change names two years later to their current one. Almost instantly after the name change, they signed a deal with Nuclear Blast. The band today are a well known name in the music business, thanks to their endless touring throughout the world and the great back up they have had by their label, Nuclear Blast.



Soilwork went through some line up changes when Richard Evensand left in 2004, and on the European tour last year he was temporary replaced by the drummer from Scarve Dirk Verburen. Dirk also handles the drums on this album, but I don’t know if he’s a full member of the band.



The work on STABBING THE DRAMA began in the middle of 2004 and they’ve used Dug-Out Studio in Uppsala Sweden, and Fascination Street Studio in Örebro Sweden to record in. The producer seems to be the well known Daniel Bergstrand; he’s also the owner of Dug-Out Studio, but whoever the producer is has done an amazing job with the soundpicture. The production really sounds like Soilwork should, and you can instantly hear that it’s them when you put on the album.



I think that most of you already know what kind of metal these guys play, but for you who don’t; I’d say it’s melodic death metal. They have managed to copy the distinct feeling of the famous Gothenburg sound exceptionally well. They play really technical melodic, death metal with a lot of different passages through the songs. With melodic, I mean that they have really put work into the song structure and melodies to make them extra special. But still, they sound just as angry and aggressive as they always have and that can only be a good thing. You can draw a comparison between Soilwork and another Swedish band, In Flames. Now you might know more about exactly what I’m describing for those who haven’t heard Soilwork.



They run through 11 raging tracks, leaving only a few slower parts in almost all of the songs; except for two of them that are really slow. The slower songs are called “Fate in Motion” and “If Possible”. Björn, the lead singer, has really got energy and power in his vocals that he varies between ordinary and death metal vocals. Peter and Ola share both the sharp, riffing and grinding lead and rhythm guitars; that take up the biggest part in the production. The guest drummer Dirk is enormously fast and technical; the only one that you can’t really hear is through the keyboard player, Sven.



The cover consists of a very straight and clean artwork that represents the title quite well. The artist that made the cover is Mircea Gabriel Effemie, normally the guitar player in the Danish metal act Mnemic.



2005 has, to this date, been a very promising album year so far, with some really strong releases including Soilwork. This is an outstanding album and it’s melodic, death metal at its best. The quality of the songs are high straight through, and to my surprise, all of the songs are killer tracks. The music/songs and arrangements are brilliant; the musicians are skilled and the production and cover are genius. If they’re not bound to have a world wide breakthrough with this album, they never will. This album has been given a place at the top of my 2005 list at the end of the year, and its music like this that makes you proud of being a Swede.
Track Listing

Track list
Stabbing the Drama
One with the Flies
Weapon of Vanity
The Crest Fallen
Nerve
Stalemate
Distance
Observation Slave
Fate in Motion
Blind Eye Halo
If Possible

Lineup

Peter Wichers – Lead/Rhythm guitar
Sven Karlsson – Keyboard
Björn “Speed” Strid – Lead vocals
Ole Flink – Bass
Ola Frenning – Lead/Rhythm guitar


Next review: » Soilwork - Stabbing the Drama
Previous review: » Soilwork - Stabbing The Drama

Soilwork
Stabbing the Drama
July 2005
Released: 2005, Nuclear Blast
Rating: 4.5/5
Reviewer: MetalGeorge

I’ve always felt that Soilwork has, through no fault of their own, become metal’s whipping boy as of late. Being one of the few bands that have, in my opinion, truly progressed-at their own pace-into their unique sound, it seems that the band gets unfairly slagged left and right by much of the underground. From being called “nu-metal” to “unimaginative”, I really fail to see it.



In my humble opinion, Soilwork have both become to the band to beat and to BE in this new millennium. Since their CHAINHEART MACHINE release, the band have slowly but surely become a mainstream metal colossus, influencing countless younger acts with their own trademark Melodic Death sound. That’s right, I said “death”, and if you doubt my words, give one listen to the track “Blind Eye Halo” and tell me Soilwork as “wimped out”.



Indeed, STABBING THE DRAMA displays both the clean sung choral power of frontman Speed Strid, but also possesses a vicious, guitar-heavy meanstreak that hasn’t been heard in quite some time from the boys. Thrashtastic and infectious, this record exemplifies Soilwork’s delicate balance of harmony and aggression, as well as proving to all nonbelievers the extend of the band’s impressive songwriting prowess.



Each song is arranged for maximum impact upon the listener, an impact which only increases upon multiple listens. Studio drummer Dirk Verbeuren is an absolute monster behind the kit: probably the best drummer Soilwork has ever had. I only hope the band can convince him to stick around, because he truly takes the band’s sound to a whole other level.



With the seemingly unbeatable tag team of Strid’s anthemic choruses (“The Crestfallen” and “Nerve” just may be two of the band’s best songs ever) and guitarists Peter Wichers and Ola Frenning’s stadium-ready riffs, it’s only a matter if time before Soilwork leaps over the staggering In Flames to become Sweden’s next big megastars. STABBING THE DRAMA is yet another triumph for a metal force which refuses to be contained. All Hail Soilwork. Long may they reign.
Track Listing

1. Stabbing the Drama
2. One With the Flies
3. Weapon of Vanity
4. The Crestfallen
5. Nerve
6. Stalemate
7. Distance
8. Observation Slave
9. Fate in Motion
10. Blind Eye Halo
11. Wherever Thorns May Grow

Lineup

Bjorn “Speed” Strid-vocals
Peter Wichers-lead and rhythm guitar
Ola Frenning-lead and rhythm guitar
Sven Karlsson-keyboards
Ola Flink-bass guitar
Dirk Verbeuren-studio drummer


Next review: » Soilwork - Steel Bath Suicide
Previous review: » Soilwork - Stabbing The Drama





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