Review: Soilwork

““A Predator’s Portrait””
(Nuclear Blast)

I’’ve been told that people are libel to get a little crazy if the find out I got the latest from Swedish act Soilwork, “A Predator’s Portrait” and its no surprise.   With a broad spectrum of styles present in each song, a comparison to Children Of Bodem is a useful starting point.  Though far from a perfect album, there is much more promise within this disk for dominating today’s metal scene. Its hard to capture all that is Soilwork’s sound.  The short end is that it is the bringing together of several divergent metal sounds.  The long end begins with a firm planting in death metal and hard-core, then it gets more interesting.  There is a power metal flare that is off the beaten path.  Despite my usual distaste for the epic sounds, they were used well.  Not heavily depended on, the power influences mostly from guitar and keyboards give an opposition to the raw and distorted rhythm section.  In addition, electronic sounds find there way in to the mix, hinting at a industrial heritage.  Often the guitar riffs start to move towards the Nu-Metal sound, which ends up coming across as watered down hard-core.  Much of “A Predator’s Portrait” was really good from a technical stand point, but nonetheless there were many times, a riff here, a passage there, when things started to break down.  And as the album wore on, I found the heaviness slipping out little by little, with the exception of the title track, the last four songs or so were slightly pale compared to the more extreme sounds of “Bastard Chain” or “Like The Average Stalker.”  A honing of the sound intended to be produced could really help give the kick that’s needed.  At  times it just felt like they were holding back, afraid to get down and heavy.  A little overrated, but still quality.