Soilwork Stabbing the Drama

Soilwork Stabbing the Drama
Everyone’s pretty clear at this point on which side of Soilwork’s barbed wire fence they rock on. While some cling to the old material, many have embraced the band’s new sound: a slick, melodic and modern one that began with the shockingly great Natural Born Chaos disc, and continued on with less energy on Figure Number Five and finally revitalising with Stabbing the Drama. This Swedish act has their formula down pat, no doubt about it, and that’s the only thing that makes me cringe a tad when listening to this otherwise stellar disc. But when you do something this good and this unique, why mess around? The band has clearly got the touch when it comes to the catchy choruses, sharp Gothenburg thrash in the verses, and the hooks piercing the ears every which way you look; it’s like heavy radio rock gone good. While Figure Number Five was somehow a bit of a letdown (I think the surprise that made NBC all the more excellent just wasn’t there), this new one shows the guys clearly rising towards the top of their game, a pinnacle which they might hold off on for a few more discs, lucky for us. Where other melodic metal acts just don’t cut it anymore (Dark Tranquillity, hell, even In Flames), Soilwork totally rise to the challenge, crafting memorable music that is as bold as it is brutal, and as moving as it is metal. (Nuclear Blast)