Genre: Melodic Death Metal
Review by Steve Jenkins
Over the last decade, Swedish melodic death metal masters, Soilwork, have released solid album after solid album, making it hard to even find a flaw in their stellar catalogue. Ever since their 2013 masterpiece 'The Living Infinite' was released, a spark seems to have been lit which has turned into an explosion of magical, melodic, heaviness that Soilwork have created.
Their newest release, 'Verkligheten', is another success that continues the bands path of growth, experimentation and progression. A terrific way to kick of 2019, Soilwork have made another great album that highlights just how talented they can be when they are on a creative roll. There's crushing guitars, catchy hooks, soaring vocals and beautiful melody that makes you warm inside when you hear it. There are also moments on this album that remind you of some old school classic rock, such as tracks “The Nurturing Glance” and “The Wolves are Back in Town”, with riffs and rhythm that sound like they could be lifted straight from the 80's. Perhaps some Night Flight Orchestra influence?
Highlights are tracks "When The Universe Spoke" and "Full Moon Shoals", and possibly some of their best work to date. You get the best of both worlds with these songs, their signature blastbeat, accompanied by that melodic death metal guitar that shines through brighter than ever. These songs and others get stuck in your head making you want to play the album over and over on repeat, which is definitely a good thing. One of the things I love about Soilwork is their ability to create an almost haunting atmosphere through their sound but then in the same song pull off a bright chorus that's infused with melody and harmonising vocals that turns the feeling from dark and cloudy to warm and sunny.
Another thing that always seems to drag me in on a Soilwork album, is how accessible and catchy their songs are. There's never a shortage of infectious groove, choruses that make you want to sing out loud, and stabbing guitars that make your head move accordingly. It's funny how they've almost paid homage to their classic rock favourites on here, but also modernised the music so that their progression and sound keeps on evolving. Now that's clever, and not many bands would be able to do that successfully.
I can't recommend this album enough, it's just a really enjoyable listen and there aren't any dull moments. It's got everything you look for in a Soilwork album and more, and it's just a really strong way to start off the year. While a lot of bands in that European Melodic Metal genre seem to have been forgotten about or have become lost along the way, Soilwork keep their heads above water and continue to make incredible music. I think the only thing that is stopping me from giving this album a perfect score, is the familiarity and the similarities from previous albums. I'm not saying they should drop what they're doing and try something completely different, because whatever they're doing now seems to be working just fine.
8.5 out of 10.