Soilwork - _Stabbing the Drama_
(Nuclear Blast, 2005)
by: Jackie Smit (7 out of 10)
It's not hard to understand why the Soilwork massive have been crowing over this record as though it were the heavy metal equivalent of the second coming. Because for anyone who was able to extrapolate even a mild sense of enjoyment from the likes of _Natural Born Chaos_ or _Figure Number Five_, Soilwork mach six definitely constitutes a big pay-off.

Instantly heavier and rougher around the edges than any of its recent predecessors, one of the most notable alterations to the band's formula this time around is the implementation of melody. Rather than the duty of the band's guitarists, the tuneful aspects of the band's music are now primarily driven forward by Bjorn Strid's ample vocal talents. This opens up the floor to the rhythm section to focus on layering each track with some pretty nifty grooves, rather than to noodle away at dual guitar harmonizing and the like.

But from a personal point of view and speaking as someone who has never been the biggest Soilwork fan, _Stabbing the Drama_, while a far better release than anything I have come across by this band thus far, still comes up a little short. Maybe I'm just being a jaded old git, but for my money the almost poppy melodies of songs like "Weapon of Vanity" are just a little too saccharine sweet make any real impact. That this record has tremendous cross-over appeal is certainly beyond any doubt, but as far as convincing their current nay-sayers -- I just don't see that happening.


(article published 22/2/2005)

3/13/2001 A Bromley Soilwork: Predators For Pain
5/11/2003 P Azevedo 5.5 Soilwork - Figure Number Five
7/3/2002 P Azevedo 5 Soilwork - Natural Born Chaos
3/13/2001 C Flaaten 8.5 Soilwork - A Predator's Portrait
8/12/1999 D Rocher 9 Soilwork - Chainheart Machine
10/1/1998 D Rocher 9 Soilwork - Steel Bath Suicide
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