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Soilwork | Natural Born Chaos | review | metal | Lollipop


Natural Born Chaos (Nuclear Blast)
by Martin Popoff

I hear Soilwork doesn't want to tour with really heavy bands based on their perceptions of this album. It's funny how those who inhabit the underground can get so inside themselves, finding shell housing shell housing shell that would be undetectable outside some drafty crud club bad draft listening party for their new album. Natural Born Chaos is a very heavy record and it's a great record, groundbreaking, potentially star-making. Plus that playing live comment... c'mon, it's not like in the context of the live sound crumbling crappy depictions of Hell all over North America, this is going to sound substantially different than Cradle, The Haunted, Immolation or (God help us all) Vader. OK, a slight difference: Here's Soilwork backing up Dimmu: thrash, thrash, clear-singing part, thrash, clear-singing part, thrash, thrash, clear-singing part, Slayer cover, gear change (accompanied by P.A. renditions of "Highway To Hell," "Panama" and "Cat Scratch Fever," which, in total, every last bar patron and band member in attendance would rather be seeing live), thrash, clear-singing part, thrash, blast, thrash, blast, Slayer cover. Final score: Three clear-singing parts to one. My point is... oh, forget my point, that's another rant...

The Soilwork album: Yes, it rules, being essentially an In Flames/Darkane/Carnal Forge-type collection of sweet Swedish thrash infused with a daring quantity of daring quality clear-singing interludes, copasetic keyboards (sometimes too much, sometimes too separated from the fray), and outside-the-box melodies. Devin Townsend produces (and guest sings), and his influence can be heard in the spiritual melodic interludes, in the profundity and profusion of production layers, and in the slight industrial coating on these starry star compositions. But man, what variety, what riffs, each track being a little, pretty, working engine that seems like a mini-album followed by a mini-album followed by another, Soilwork really trying hard to painstakingly craft "music" out of something 98% of the world would yank off with a scowl after a handful of seconds, certainly after the first thrashy vocal. But, in our world, here's the thing: Even before they ascend to the top, folks will be wanting to topple Soilwork because of this record. That's the compressed timeline this music operates on.
(2323 W. El Segundo Blvd. Hawthorne, CA 90250)  

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