Soilwork – Verkligheten (Album Review)

Soilwork - Verkligheten album cover

Soilwork – Verkligheten
Released: January 11th, 2019

Soilwork Line up:

Bjorn Strid | Vocals
David Andersson | Guitar
Sylvain Coudret | Guitar
Taylor Nordberg | Bass
Sven Karlsson | Keyboard
Bastian Thusgaard | drums

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Swedish metal heavyweights Soilwork are back for 2019, and, going off the below excerpt from their album press release, have had a rough time over the last few years.

“SOILWORK is a band that has been through a lot. We don’t have to try and tidy things up by using clichés like personal and/or musical differences. It has been hell. We have lost loved ones and significant others have fallen ill. We are not young anymore, and our reality these days is the hellhounds on our tails, the ghosts in our subconscious and the coldness of existence that starts eating at your soul the very day that you leave the womb. We can no longer escape the fact that we’re vulnerable to the shortcomings of life itself. “

Well then – anyone picking up on this album expecting happy times and good vibes would be best advised to pack up your hippy campervan and toddle off back to Nimbin. Soilwork have brought 12 solid tracks of melodic death metal that’s bound to fulfil the appetites prog fans, metalheads, and anyone that’s hanging for a new offering from Opeth.

 

Jokes aside, Verkligheten is a bound out of the gate for metal in 2019, offering up moments of pure guitar thrash, melodic choruses that fans can sing along to, along with some spatial keyboard passages that lend to Soilwork’s landscape well. The slide guitar that opens the album on the title track is different, and helps build up to the rest of the albums more metallic atmosphere. Blast beats kick off ‘Arrival’, alternating between a thrashy, screaming passage and melodic, catchy choruses. This style is something Soilwork do well throughout the album, continuing into ‘Bleeder Despoiler’ and beyond. ‘Full Moon Shoals’ is Soilwork’s first video from the album, and is a polished song, with a full and rich guitar mix, along with string passages the give the song some depth. ‘The Nurturing Glance’ gives guitarists Sylvain Coudret and David Andersson a great opportunity to show off their shred skills, resulting in solo passages that are polished and brilliantly crafted. ‘When The Universe Spoke’ brings the blast beats back in, mixing it up with quiet, melodic passages reminiscent of Opeth (apologies for the obvious comparison, but that’s probably the band that most comes to mind upon listening to this album).

 

‘Stålfågel’ features a guest appearance from Arch Enemy vocalist Alissa White-Gluz, and chuggs along at a moderate pace, with a few vocal nods to the power metal genre. Vocalist Bjorn Strid has an impressive vocal range and easily alternates between clean singing and death vocals in songs like ‘When The Wolves Are Back In Town’, which offers one of the most catchy chorus hooks on the album. ‘Witan’ is just about to be released as the next video for the album, and holds some impressive fills from drummer Bastian Thusgaard, while ‘The Ageless Whisper’ is another epic track that builds up and releases with some more great guitar work.

By the time Soilwork bring Verkligheten home with the closing tracks ‘Needles and Kin’ and ‘You Aquiver’, the band have made their mark, entering 2019 as a solid act that will surely impress audiences live when they hit our shores in March (UPDATE: Tour postponed until October/November) for a string of shows to support the album. With a sleek, polished production, Verkligheten may mark the start of some killer releases happening in 2019. And while Soilwork may not have strayed too far from the blueprint that’s made the Swedish melodic death metal genre what it is today, the band have brought some energy and passion to their music that will keep fans more than happy.

Soilwork - Verkligheten album cover

Soilwork – Verkligheten tracklisting:

1. Verkligheten
2. Awaken
3. Bleeder Despoiler
4. Full Moon Shoals
5. The Nurturing Glance
6. When The Universe Spoke
7. Stålfågel
8. The Wolves Are Back In Town
9. Witan
10. The Ageless Whisper
11. Needles and Kin
12. You Aquiver

Rating: 8/10
Verkligheten is out January 11th via Nuclear Blast. Pre-Order here
Review By – Simon Valentine  @SimonValentine1

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  1. Soilwork have postponed their 2019 Australian East Coast Tour – Wall Of Sound

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