Soilwork – Övergivenheten

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Reviewed:  September 2022

Released:  August 2022, Nuclear Blast

Rating: 4/5

Reviewer:  Buddy H

 

In our beloved world of Metal, identity is crucial for survival and longevity. Adaptability is always the trickiest aspect of identity. Bands completely void of any adaptability get labeled as stale or stagnant and fade into obscurity. Bands leaning in too heavily on adaptability run the risk of alienating their loyal fan base for the sake of recruiting new listeners. Finding the right balance of adaptability takes true grit and absolute nerves of steel!

For better, or worse, Soilwork have proven themselves to be of the mindset that adaptability and identity change are just part of their evolution. They began way back in 1998 as a melodic death metal band from Sweden, the home of all things melodeath. A quarter of a century later, we are handed their 12th studio offering, OVERGIVENHETEN. So, the burning question is, what form of Soilwork will we be greeted with?

Let’s just rip the band-aid off here. If you are looking for A PREDATOR’S PORTRAIT, NATURAL BORN CHAOS, FIGURE NUMBER FIVE, or even STABBING THE DRAMA era Soilwork, stop right here. You will be sorely disappointed. However, if you have completely embraced the fact that those identities from glorious days gone by served their intended purpose and were shed for band survival and longevity, then please read on.

OVERGIVENHETEN is like a musical journey through a clothing department store. Underneath all the shiny new and varied outfits that are tried on, Soilwork still remains. There are times, such as on “Electric Again,” “Is It In Your Darkness” and “Vultures” that the melodeath masters of old poke through and rear their heads. Then, there are times, such as on “Overgivenheten,” “Nous Sommes la Guerre,” and “Dreams Of Nowhere” that a very different almost proggy Fates Warning like style can be heard. Each song wraps itself in new elements and the resulting album is a collection that feels experimental yet familiar at the same time. Clean vocals are relied on far more than ever and I don’t recall hearing keyboards play this prominent a role in previous Soilwork releases. Both work exceptionally well and help to establish, what appears to be, the new Soilwork identity.

I would love to be able to tie all this together and put a label on OVERGIVENHETEN. But the fact is that, sometimes, there are no labels that adequately reflect what has been presented. Accept this latest offering from Soilwork for what it is – a musical journey, or metamorphosis, if you will. What results and emerges from this process remains to be seen.


 

Track Listing:

  1. Övergivenheten
  2. Nous Sommes La Guerre
  3. Electric Again
  4. Valleys of Gloam
  5. Is It In Your Darkness
  6. Vultures
  7. Morgongåva / Stormfågel
  8. Death, I Hear You Calling
  9. This Godless Universe
  10. Dreams of Nowhere
  11. The Everlasting Flame
  12. Golgata
  13. Harvest Spine
  14. On The Wings Of A Goddess / Through Flaming Sheets of Rain

Lineup:

Björn “Speed” Strid – Vocals
David Andersson – Guitars

Sylvain Coudret – Guitars

Sven Karlsson – Keyboards

Rasmus Ehrnborn – Bass
Bastian Thusgaard – Drums


 

www.soilwork.org/

www.facebook.com/soilwork

bfan.link/SoilworkAlbum

www.youtube.com/watch?v=8lnviIWjliE

www.youtube.com/watch?v=UBpZy6myvu8

www.youtube.com/watch?v=EYZo3o_sC2U