Thursday, September 30, 2010

Soilwork (Warning: Death Metal) (Second Warning: Another Huge Post)

(READ: IF YOU DO NOT LIKE "SCREAMING" IN MUSIC, SKIP TO FIGURE NUMBER FIVE/NATURAL BORN CHAOS, AS THOSE ARE PROBABLY THE ONLY TWO ALBUMS YOU'LL LIKE) Easily my favorite death metal band ever, Soilwork has released seven past studio albums, and released an eighth studio album very recently (June/July). In my opinion, every song that they've released is nothing less than great. If you enjoy  bands like Sonic Syndicate, Scar Symmetry, In Flames, Veil of Maya, or Hypocrisy, then Soilwork is for you. This is going to be another Iron Maiden-esque post (I.E: Song for each album), So bear with the length.

Soilwork's debut album, Steelbath Suicide, is one of the heaviest albums they've released. This album, as well as the album after it (wait for that one), are the only really non-melodeath albums that they've released. If I had to pick one song off of SS that was really the MVP, I'd have to say Sadistic Lullaby, with Demon In Veins being a close second. It really is difficult to pick out which song is better, so this is purely a matter of opinion (as are all music-related conversations, but this one in particular).

Entering The Angel Diabolique is another great song off of SS, it can be found in the related section at the end of Sadistic Lullaby. It has a mild speed metal feel to it, and an undertone of melodic death. Although Soilwork really doesn't begin to abuse synthesizers until Figure Number Five, it does sound as if they use them a bit during the first few albums.

Their second album, The Chainheart Machine, isn't too different from Steelbath. It has a heavy feel to it, and while it isn't quite melodic death yet, it's a step in the proper direction. Bulletbeast is definitely my favorite song on the album, although Millionflame is a very close second. This is my least favorite Soilwork album, but that doesn't make it bad. It's simply the worst they've released, which is still pretty good in my opinion.

You can listen to Possessing The Angels and Spirits of the Future Son off of this album in the related section, as well as a few songs off of their later albums (if you can wait to listen to them, please do). You'll notice that alot of Chainheart songs begin to step further into the direction of melodic death metal, and you'll see much, much more of that with the next few albums.

The next release in 2000 was A Predator's Portrait, which adapts a much more melodic sound than the previous two albums. The best song on it is, unfortunately, not on the regular release of the album. It is a bonus track entitled Asylum Dance, and it's actually probably the best song they've ever released. As I stated, it's not on the regular album release, the song is only available on Korean/Japanese versions of the album, which is a shame.

You'll notice that this song is much more melodic, both in it's instrumental components and it's lyrical composition. They do much more "singing" and much less growling, which is probably what most of the people reading this post are looking for. A few songs off of this album are available in the related section of the video, but some of the better songs are not listed. Songs such as Needlefeast, Shadowchild, and Grand Failure Anthem are among the better songs off of APP.
Next up we have Soilwork's most melodic album up until this point, and it's called Natural Born Chaos. It has alot of synthesizer action in it, as well as very melodic vocals in the chorus of almost every song. This is probably what most of you are looking for, so I'll make this one good. Don't think that just because I'm singling this album (and the next) out as "softer" that I don't think they're good. These are absolutely two of my favorite Soilwork albums, but most people who are reading this are probably into heavier death metal, whereas these albums are what I would consider "entry-level" death metal. In other words, if you've never listened to it before, this is a good place to start. Now that the digressions are out of the way, I really can't decide on a best track for this album. They're all just so incredible. However, I do have to pick one to post here. I'll post the one song on the album that's very instrumental heavy, and that's Song of the Damned.

This is a really good one to post for a few reasons. First of all, it's a pretty soft song. It's a crowd-friendly post compared to the rest of the album. Secondly, it has two of the best songs on the album in its related section: Black Star Deceiver and The Bringer. Some other songs you should check out off of NBC are Follow The Hollow, As We Speak, The Flameout, Natural Born Chaos, Mindfields, Mercury Shadow, and No More Angels. That's the whole album, in case you didn't figure that out.
And up next we have the second best album that Soilwork has ever put out, and that is Figure Number Five. It's an incredibly melodic album, and uses very heavy synthesizers and very melodic vocals; it's basically a mainstream metal album as far as I'm concerned. This is (as stated in the Natural Born Chaos section) "entry-level" death metal. It's not too loud for the genre, and it's very coordinated. While this whole album is just great, I'd have to say the one song that sticks out is Light the Torch. Overload, Cranking the Sirens, and Rejection Role are all incredible as well, but Light the Torch is just better in my opinion. You can hear the emotion in the song, and it's also the first Soilwork song I heard back when I was 10. (15 now (In before hate comments)). While I'm sure that has alot to do with it, it's also just a great song. As a side note, enjoy the music video:

I completely forgot that this song had a music video prior to posting this, but after watching it again, I think we can agree that it was pretty cool, regardless of how little sense it made. I think we can also agree that it's an amazing song. Surprisingly enough, there aren't any songs off of this album in the related section. Overload, Rejection Role, Cranking the Sirens, and Brickwalker are positively worth listening to. And no, that's not the whole album.
Right about now, Soilwork starts getting into a more thrash-influenced type of death metal. While they do retain some synth undertones, as well as some melodic vocals, they mostly stick to thrash influences. Their first thrashy album is Stabbing the Drama. Stabbing the Drama is sort of like a big clusterfuck of Thrash and Melodeath. This, while not bad, is just very odd. Strangely enough, my favorite song off of this album is the most thrashy one on here, and that's Blind Eye Halo. I feel that it represents the direction that they were taking the band very well, as you'll see with the next release.

The first thing you're probably going to notice is the incredible drumming that takes place in this song. The related section contains the other songs that really stick out on this album. These are If Possible, and Nerve. Some others worth mentioning are Distance and One With the Flies. Not much else to say about this album. It was pretty meh compared to the previous two releases, but it wasn't bad by any means, just different. It's more of an acquired taste.
We have here yet another thrash-influenced album. That album is Sworn To A Great Divide. STAGD is the followup thrash album to Stabbing the Drama. It's another meh album to me, not their best but not their worst. Breeding Thorns (below) is the best song in my opinion.

Some others worth listening to are 20 More Miles, Martyr, and The Pittsburgh Syndrome. Oddly enough, none of those are in the related section, so if you're strictly looking for related songs, two good ones would be As The Sleeper Awakes and I, Vermin. Again, not too much to say here. Good album, but sort of in the middle when it comes to Soilwork.
Lastly, we have some very recent work from these guys. It's called The Panic Broadcast, and it dwells back onto Natural Born Chaos and Figure Number Five alot, in the sense that it's pretty melodic. I've yet to listen to the entire album, but from what I've gathered thus far, Night Comes Clean is my favorite song. If you so desire, look up the rest yourself.

You'll notice that the guitar is alot slower, and more calm (if you can even call it that). They've also gone back to more melodic choruses, and you can hear the synthesizer throughout the song. A big improvement from STD and STAGD in terms of melodeath.

And now you know what Death Metal sounds like. For those of you who haven't heard death metal before, your ears just got the equivalent of first time anal sex. For those of you who HAVE heard it before, you just experienced anal sex from the perspective of a sodomy expert, except with your ears. On a serious note, I do sincerely hope that a few of you got into this band from this post, because I put a fuckton of work into it. As always, email me with requests (, or leave a comment in the most recent post. Thank you, and I'll see you at a later occasion.

No comments:

Post a Comment