A Review of the Debut Album of Swedish Melodic Death Metal Band Soilwork (1998)
A Photo of Bjorn "Speed" Strid the Vocalist of the Band Soilwork
About Soilwork and the Band's Musical Style
Soilwork is a melodic death metal band that I started listening to several years ago. Their debut album called Steelbath Suicide was released in 1998 and it is melodic death metal band that has an Arch Enemy kind of influence to it. Soilwork has roots dating back to 1996 and although the first album I ever heard from these guys is 2002’s Natural Born Chaos I decided to give their debut album a listen and a review because of my love of Swedish melodic death metal bands. How can we do this so that the average person understands the musical style of Soilwork? Imagine a mixture of In Flames, Dark Tranquillity, and Arch Enemy put into this album and that’s what you get. Is this a standard melodic death metal album? You decide. As a side note, sometimes an overly descriptive title can be counterproductive but just know that this review is about an album released in 1998.
The Vocals of Bjorn "Speed" Strid and the Greatness of Sweden as a Country in the Melodic Death Metal Genre
The vocals of Bjorn “Speed” Strid resemble that of the band Hatesphere’s Jacob Bredahl to a certain degree and then a little bit of Anders Friden in the mix too. Sweden can do no wrong when it comes to the genre of melodic death metal beating all the countries in that region except maybe Finland which is just as superb a nation when it comes to melodic death metal. The solos in this album are of superb quality and they sound like what we would hear the year after in the album called Burning Bridges in 1999 by Arch Enemy.
How Does the Album Begin?
Entering the Angel Diabolique is an impressive instrumental song that is very much like the band In Flames in its structure and folks, THIS is how to write heavy metal! Sweden takes heavy metal very seriously and for that country heavy metal is more than just a musical genre it is like a religion. If the United States spent more time on perfecting the art of music in the heavy metal genre instead of focusing so much on providing high salaries to their athletes, then they could compete musically in the melodic death metal genre but that’s not what’s happening.
The next song Sadistic Lullabye showcases Soilwork’s guitar brilliance and there really isn’t much I can say about this one. My Need is a song about what happens when we are in the flow of life as we focus on finding that inner peace that is missing from so many of us. Sometimes we become enraged by certain things in life and we just need to express that rage and use it to creatively change our lives.
The Significance of the Song Skin After Skin
Skin After Skin is a song that criticizes liars and people that lack the ability to love others. It might as well describe we know who. Just take a look at one of the lines in this song that says “there is no truth in what you say.” And then we can turn that around and say that there is no truth in whatever who says? One of the biggest liars in the history of the world is… Donald J. Trump of course! There is no truth in what he says because he usually lies so much that he has become pathological. Even though this is an album review, the song might as well describe the personality of a man like Donald Trump.
About the Song Wings of Domain
Wings of Domain is a song about a person that wonders where the love has gone as he is suffering in pain. In a Close Encounter is a song about discovering the purpose of human intellect and wisdom deep inside the human mind. Our thoughts can sometimes blur the reality of what’s going on.
How is the Rest of the Album?
Centro De Predominio is the second instrumental song of this album and it has moderately fast melodies which repeat and you hear the influence of “The Jester Race” kind of guitar work. The Jester race is the 1996 album by the band In Flames and it is one of the finest melodic death metal albums ever written. Razorlives is a song about the dangers of lying and that history will turn on them in the long run. This earthly life is seen as a period of suffering for many but it is also important to emphasize that in this world, there is much pleasure as well. Demon is a song that is actually about the dangers of drug addiction. As the album concludes, the very melodic song The Aardvark Trail is about a man that gives off a stinking smell or aroma from his body and he has become a prisoner trapped in his mind of negative thoughts. These are the kinds of people that can bring us down in life. Overall, the debut album of the band Soilwork is very solid and should be given a chance.
"Skin After Skin"
"The Aardvark Trail
© 2018 Ara Vahanian