Today’s Music Monday offering is from Swedish metal titan Soilwork, who in my opinion, is one of the most solid bands in the business. Their 2013 double-disc The Living Infinite is one of my favorite albums in many years and has been in my rotation since its release. I still play both discs start to finish!
It’s quite an accomplishment to release an album that is mostly listenable, one that doesn’t provoke you to press the skip button more than once or twice. On this double-disc release, Soilwork has managed to produce two discs, twenty tracks, that are solid from start to finish–no skips necessary for me! The only track I would be tempted to brush past is the last one on disc two and it’s not bad by any stretch.
Soil work’s brand of melodic metal encapsulates everything I want in a metal album–heavy yet catchy riffs, ripping solos, precision drumming, and a vocalist with range who can actually lead the band. Björn “Speed” Strid is a versatile vocalist with impressive lows and shrill highs, both of which are tempered by a perfectly suited clean signing voice that is devoid of the emo-laden whiny cleans that have plagued so many metalcore acts. As a drummer, I have long thought that Dirk Verbeuren’s skills land him in the upper echelon of metal drummers. Certainly he plays fast and does so with furious precision, but he incorporates various elements and styles in every song, resulting in a much more intricate backdrop for the rest of the band . It’s never just a straight forward rhythm with fills, but always something more complex. Naturally, all the other instrumentalists are integral to the band’s sound and perform splendidly.
It’s not hard to see how Soilwork has maintained a consistent presence in a musical genre in which it is easy to get lost in the plethora of more mediocre bands. They have forged a sound that has spawned numerous imitators and continue to evolve and improve as a band.
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