Soilwork - _A Predator's Portrait_
(Nuclear Blast, 2001)
by: Chris Flaaten (
The follow-up to _Chainheart Machine_ [CoC #42] is here, and it is everything I expected it to be. Soilwork continues with their melodic and intense thrash/death metal, adding a dash of new elements while maintaining most of the winning formula of _Chainheart Machine_. The album kicks straight off with intense riffing on "Bastard Chain", but it is on the next nine tracks that they really show what they're good at. Weaving in melodic guitar harmonies, soothing background synth and, for the first time, clean vocals in their riff-attack GTI(tm) engine, they squeeze in the last grain of variation such music needs to never grow repetitive or tiresome. I am unsure who is behind the clean vocals; I've heard some say it is Strid himself while others have mentioned Mikael Akerfeldt from Opeth. My guess would be that they're sharing the melodic vocal duties. It sounds great, whoever it is. Soilwork have a few qualities about them that really shine, now stronger than ever. First, they are extremely talented musicians. Furthermore, they do not go overboard with technicality, although they surely could. Instead, they make music that simply kicks human bacon and is a blast to play. The result is superbly played music that flows smoothly from one killer riff to another, from one killer song to another and yes, from one album to another, it seems. Anyone into intense metal should be able to thoroughly enjoy this album.
(article published 3/13/2001)
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