Album Review: Soilwork – The Living Infinite
Posted by Irmelinis
Soilwork has been one of my favourite melodic death metal bands for a long time, almost since they first started out. Like every band, they have had their ups and downs; good releases, fantastic ones and in the middle there were a couple of mediocre ones. However, this album more than exceeded all my expectations. It’s like they have wrapped up their entire music career, a little bit of everything they have done and more, in this one. ‘The Living Infinite’ is their ninth studio album and with it they have certainly managed to prove to the metal world that they are still a force to be reckoned with.
This was one of my most anticipated releases of 2013 and it seemed like many were a bit worried that Soilwork wouldn’t be able to pull off releasing a double album with more than only a few good tracks. I was a bit concerned too; I have been waiting for something really good from these guys for a while now. But when March came I received two discs that surprised me greatly. I could hear everything from thrash to ballads, from black metal to power metal, prog to metalcore. All of it with a heavy, convincing Soilwork-sound. Finally!
“The hated see the light of day and here comes the sane, they’re aching once they were sacred. Search for forgiveness, forgetting their weakness. I do belong.”
I have followed this band ever since their second album ‘The Chainheart Machine’ was released in the year 2000. The main reason I started to like them was because of their prominent skill when it comes to making heavy, fast and memorable songs that are catchy but never crosses the line to cheesy-ness. Songs that are serious and sincere, but easy and fun to listen to. I remember how fans were complaining back then about Soilwork “going soft” because they strayed a bit from the death metal sound and added more clean vocals and melodies. But it was a good choice. After all, ‘A Predator’s Portrait’ and ‘Natural Born Chaos’ are still the brilliant masterpieces in their discography. With this release it seems like they are back to creating that uplifting and energizing music that I find so satisfying to listen to. And best of all: it lasts for a long time and is completely filler-free.
“There’s noone here to guide you, there’s noone here to bring you home.”
Considering there are 20 songs and over 80 minutes playtime, the fact that every song delivers is very impressive. One thing you’ll quickly notice is Björn “Speed” Strid’s excellent vocal performance. I can’t emphasize enough what a fantastic singer he is, doing all kinds of styles like angry growls, gentle cleans and even power metal screams. He never disappoints and sounds better than ever. Other things that really stand out are the captivating choruses and the fantastic guitar work, something Soilwork always excelled at. Just like it should be! The production is extremely good, which makes everything sound more powerful and that is something that has been lacking on a couple of their previous records. Even though they added many different elements and twists, the songs are very well written, the whole double album flows naturally and nothing feels forced.
This is the Soilwork I love. They sound so inspired and genuine. There’s just no end to the brutal drums, the speedy guitars, blasting solos, interesting details and emotional vocals. I already know that this album will place very high on my ‘Best of 2013’-list.
Some of the best moments (there are many!): Spectrum of Eternity, Tongue, Let The First Wave Rise, Vesta, Whispers and Lights, Entering Aeons, Leech, The Living Infinite II, Owls Predict, Oracles Stand Guard.
Soilwork is a Swedish band and ‘The Living Infinite’ was released in March, 2013 on Nuclear Blast.