SOILWORK – Stabbing The Drama

SOILWORK - Stabbing The Drama


Nuclear Blast
Release date: February 28, 2005

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Drama is definitely an appropriate word to describe the latest album from Sweden’s Soilwork. The band began in 1997 as a malicious, yet Melodic Metal band. On 2002’s breakthrough release, Natural Born Chaos, vocalist Bjorn “Speed” Strid debuted his powerful clean vocals, which only served to expand the band’s appeal. His versatility is exemplified by the title track, where his voice switches smoothly from snarling to soaring. One could swear this band has two singers, but no, it all comes from the same throat.

Lyrically, Strid has a lucid insight into human nature and on this record he cuts to the heart of the troubles facing today’s youth. Kids are becoming steadily embroiled in the world’s problems at earlier and earlier ages, making it almost impossible to simply be young, wild, and free. Perhaps that is why so many turn to Heavy Metal as a release for their frustration, anger, and hopelessness?

The band’s rhythm section is another one of their strong points, with punch-in-the-eye percussion courtesy of session drummer Dirk Verbeuren, and Ola Flink’s thick, solid bass lines provide a substantial foundation upon which the band’s complex song structures are built. Refusing to be outdone, guitarists Peter Wichers and Ola Frenning churn out a wall of fierce riffing and swift solos. Their onslaught is offset by Sven Karlsson’s subtle and haunting keyboards, rounding out Soilwork’s sonic formula.

As expected, the production is impeccable as well. The sound is full, rich, and in-your-face, yet each element can be clearly heard, and no instrument has to fight with another in the mix.

As Strid promises in the band’s new bio, the album is “No fillers – Only killers.” It is quite difficult to pick standouts in a set this consistently good, but the title track and “Nerve” are certainly frontrunners. “Observation Slave” features some modulated vocal processing that gives the track a bit of an Industrial overtone, while the brutal blast beats of “Blind Eye Halo” harken back to the band’s Death Metal roots.

Combining harmony, heaviness, and a lot of heart, Stabbing the Drama easily maintains Soilwork’s hard-earned reputation for being one of the toughest, tightest bands in the business. A tour is in the works with fellow Swedes Hypocrisy and Dark Tranquillity.

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