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Soilwork “Death Resonance” Album Review

Genre: Metal: Melodic Death Metal
Released by: Nuclear Blast Records
Release date: August 19, 2016

Tracklist:
01. Helsinki (new song)
02. Death Resonance (new song)
03. The End Begins Below The Surface (“The Ride Majestic” Japan bonus track)
04. My Nerves, Your Everyday Tool (“Beyond The Inifite” Japan-only EP)
05. These Absent Eyes (“Beyond The Inifite” Japan-only EP)
06. Resisting The Current (“Beyond The Inifite” Japan-only EP)
07. When Sound Collides (“Beyond The Inifite” Japan-only EP)
08. Forever Lost In Vain (“Beyond The Inifite” Japan-only EP)
09. Sweet Demise (“The Panic Broadcast” Japan bonus track)
10. Sadistic Lullabye (re-recorded, “The Panic Broadcast” Japan bonus track)
11. Overclocked (2016 mix, “Sworn A Great Divide” Japan bonus track)
12. Martyr (2016 mix, “Sworn A Great Divide” Japan bonus track)
13. Sovereign (2016 mix, “Sworn A Great Divide” Japan bonus track)
14. Wherever Thorns May Grow (2016 mix, “Stabbing The Drama” Japan bonus track)
15. Killed By Ignition (2016 mix, “Stabbing The Drama” Japan bonus track)

The Band:
Björn “Speed” Strid | vocals
Sylvain Coudret | guitars
David Andersson | guitars
Markus Wibom | bass
Sven Karlsson | keys
Dirk Verbeuren | drums

Soilwork is back at it again with release of ‘Death Resonance’

It wasn’t too long ago when Swedish Melodic Death Metallers Soilwork released ‘The Ride Majestic’ in 2015 (roughly around this time last year). However, despite being non-stop on the road in support of that album, they are back at it again with the release of ‘Death Resonance’ on August 19, 2016, under Nuclear Blast Records. The album is a collection of rarities that a handful was only available in Asia, remixed tracks, and two new songs.

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Frontman Björn ‘Speed’ Strid defined the artwork and the meaning behind this album as, “The cover for ‘Death Resonance’ is made by Mircea Eftemie and in many ways he has managed to capture what we went through while recording ‘The Ride Majestic’: the sorrow, the close encounter with death, the aftermath and also the existential cogitation that came with it. It links those albums together, even though ‘Death Resonance’ contains unreleased material from 2005 onwards. The cover almost seems like a link between life and death and not only captures where the band is right now, but also where we’ve been and what lies ahead.”

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Here We Go…

The album opens up with the new tune “Helsinki” as it begins with a soothing melodic guitar riff as it shortly rips into a heavier tone. As the song progresses on there is an interesting and catchy guitar riff just before it moves back to its barbaric pace. The ending of this track feeds well as melodically everything crumbles together. Next is the second new song along with being the title track “Death Resonance.” It combatively kicks off in a dark and possessive way as it holds a fast pedaling movement which is a similar rhythm to the previous track. After listening to lyrics such as “Now that she’s gone, I know,” made me wonder how much about death or the aftermath of the loss of a relationship this song holds. The lyrics continue with “I thought you would last forever, just give me a sign,” that to me demonstrates sadness, searching for closure, and eventually acceptance of such loss.

Next is a bonus track originally from ‘The Ride Majestic’ that was exclusively released in Japan, “The End Begins Below The Surface.” It is another aggressive tune that has quite a few explosive moments. Why this received the ax to be a main track from ‘The Ride Majestic,’ I have no idea as it carries a high production quality more so than a few songs on that album. “My Nerves, Your Everyday Tool” is next which was in the Japan Only EP from ‘Beyond the Infinite.’ It generates less chaos than the prior. However, the vocals remain consistently coarse. It’s a catchy tune that I could have envisioned it being a single as it continues to include flowing guitar riffs.

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“These Absent Eyes” is another tune from the Japan-only EP ‘Beyond the Infinite’. It opens with a keyboard as it instrumentally builds towards another catchy and well constructed track. There is a decent guitar solo towards the end as it moves into a concluding explosion. The album seems to be working in order as “Resisting The Current” rolls in being another song from the Japan release of ‘Beyond the Infinite’ EP. I love the lyrics on this song especially, “did you come to witness my downfall?” It is slightly a slower track as it holds more of an emotive energy.
“When Sound Collides” from ‘Beyond the Infinite’ Japan only EP comes in next as it begins with an extended guitar riff with as it progresses into a heavier tune with its vigorous distortions. There is a decent melodic break in this song where a Progressive guitar solo sneak in that erupts into an aggressive, engaging frenzy. Another ‘Beyond the Infinite’ from Japan only EP release “Forever Lost In Vain” is next as it begins with a unique swaying introduction. I noticed there were a bit of noodling sounds on the guitar as the drums soon follow at a panic-induced speed. There is a pristine melodic breakdown halfway through this piece as a gratifying guitar solo ignites shortly after. “Sweet Demise” which is from ‘The Panic Broadcast’ Japan only bonus track softly enters in next. It holds a slow and slightly distorted introduction as ambient sounds sneak in before it explodes into another massive tune.

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At this point in the album the rest is filled with re-recorded and re-mixed tracks spanning from albums ‘The Panic Broadcast,’ ‘Sworn A Great Divide,’ ‘Thorns May Grow,’ and ‘Stabbing the Drama.’ These songs include “Sadistic Lullabye,” “Overclocked,’ “Martyr,” “Sovereign,” “Wherever Thorns May Grow,” and “Killed By Ignition” as each of them continues to encroach one’s eardrums. ‘Death Resonance’ seemed to be constructed quite well, where at first I did not know what to expect from this album. It was not carelessly structured as it seems well placed and thought out. The new tunes are enjoyable as well which showcases they have a lot more and who knows perhaps this time next year a new album will be released.

Reviewer: Zenae Zukowski

Rating 8/10

 

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