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Soilwork | Stabbing The Drama | review | metal | Lollipop


Stabbing The Drama (Nuclear Blast)
by Martin Popoff

Comparisons with In Flames are inevitable, but there's a consistency here that makes Soilwork more cohesive: Soilwork's vocalist isn't weird. Sure, Bjorn wears many metal moods, but all of them have to do with good singing - notably in a continuum - from melodic death through Hetfield growl through to his clean voice. All shades of grey of the same voice. One flaw here: Clean-sung passages are so starkly trendy now - a thing Soilwork helped invent - that Soilwork might be viewed as bandwagony. I'm actually a bit embarrassed to like Soilwork about ten times on this record, like I'm too old for the band's fans, but then I'm back, comfortably headbanging to the drum-attacked mania of it all. Lofty production picked up from the Townsend-era are pixie-dusted all over Stabbing the Drama, although there's a close-combat intimacy about this album as well. Soilwork fit between the old guys and the new guys, elders with energy. And even if the melodic passages bristle like kiddiecore, Soilwork handle another controversial area with aplomb, and that's any degree of venture into industrial or quiet bits (see "Observation Slave"). And on the heavy end of things, bloody good riffs are everywhere, and at all speeds.

Stick around for the swirling, proggy last track, "If Possible," a tale of the unexpected if there ever was one: Twists everyhow, Soilwork throwing down a challenge to Dillinger Escape Plan for kitchen sink head removal.


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