It’s not Soilwork’s last word yet.
Created in 1995 under the name of Inferior Breed, the Swedish band has always known how to evolve its style. In 2022, Björn « Speed » Strid (vocals, Act of Denial, The Night Flight Orchestra…), Sven Karlsson (keyboards, ex-Evergrey), Sylvain Coudret (guitar, Scarve), David Andersson (guitar, The Night Flight Orchestra), Bastian Thusgaard (drums, Dawn of Demise), and Rasmus Ehrnborn (bass) announce the release of Övergivenheten, the band’s twelfth album, on Nuclear Blast.
The album begins with Övergivenheten, the eponymous track, which gently brings us into this melodious and catchy universe, accompanied by a scream, then the oppressive groove mixes with the quietest influences. The band goes back to more aggressive influences, unlike Nous Sommes La Guerre which sounds like a ballad with its few words in French and its airy harmonics. Backing vocals give the track a rather different atmosphere, which will end with the first notes of Electric Again, an explosive composition with a devastating blast. The song will be soothed by those Folk-ish sounds, then rhythmic resurfaces before leaving us with Valleys Of Gloam and its catchy sweetness. The band always offers efficient riffs that will hit the bull’s eye on stage, but we feel that guitarists also looked for soaring sounds, whereas Old School patterns will be used on Is It In Your Darkness, which will still brings some clear choruses to accompany the energetic screams. The contrast between softness and aggressiveness is also found on Vultures, a heady composition that leaves more room for melodies and intense vocal parts, then the band lets us breathe with Morgongåva / Stormfågel and its soft tonalities. Death, I Hear You Calling will surprise us with its contrast between aggressive vocals, saturated or not, and Popish patterns, then This Godless Universe will come back with a frantic blast the band shades with orchestrations and powerful clean vocals. Musicians also reveal darker influences on Dreams Of Nowhere, which will be quickly covered by these softer and haunting melodies, as well as catchy vocals before The Everlasting Flame comes to appease the rhythm with a short melancholic instrumental. Golgata follows with majestic sounds that stick to both screams and clean vocals, adding heavy roots to their sound, then we find their new accessible sounds on Harvest Spine, whose soaring leads peaked my interest, but the album is already coming to an end. It will be marked by On The Wings Of A Goddess / Through Flaming Sheets Of Rain, a track on which we find some words in French on the introduction again, before the band comes to place its rhythmic on this long composition, which will also reveal some Doom/Death hints at the end.
Soilwork continues its evolution by adding more and more diversified influences to its Melodic Death/Metalcore basis. Övergivenheten is an unpredictable album, which will combine raw tracks with very accessible parts, or all its opposite to constantly surprise us.