Released: 2005, Nuclear Blast
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.