Soilwork make it an even dozen with their new album Övergivenheten.
Soilwork came together in the mid-nineties in Sweden. Initially, their music would probably have been categorized as melodic death metal. Later it evolved toward a groove metal, although the melody never went away. Over the decades, the band has released eleven other full-length studio albums plus a plethora of singles, EPs, and splits, making them one of the most prolific metal outfits in the business. The new record carries their banner further down the path, and delivers mana to Soilwork’s waiting fans. The band is Björn “Speed” Strid (vocals), David Andersson (guitar), Sven Karlsson (keys), Sylvain Coudret (guitar), Bastian Thusgaard (drums), and Rasmus Ehrnborn (bass).
The Google translator will tell you that Övergivenheten is “the abandonment” in English. It also offers “desolation” and “desertion” as possibilities for Övergivenhet. Even if something is lost in the translation, we certainly get the general idea.
There are fourteen tracks on the new album, including a couple of transition pieces. The title song breaks the ice with acoustic emanations, voices, and a banjo. Layers and multiple elements soon join and intertwine as the music builds until, a minute and a half in, the song really takes off. The first principal vocals are gruff and insistent while the surrounding music is less dire, and a melodic voice merges in soon enough. It is the perfect way to position the set.
“Nous Sommes La Guerre” breaks off a snappy riff up front to generate the initial mood, but the song itself is complex. Certainly, this is what we expect from Soilwork, and they offer it up on every song with their signature style whether the thrust is fast or slow, dark or light. There is no track that is simply one thing. “Electric Again” starts out as a ravager, loud and harsh enough to peel off the top layers of anything it encounters, but it also has calmer moments. “This Godless Universe” walks in quietly and bares its teeth later on. Some songs have a catchy riff, like “Death, I Hear You Calling,” while others, like “Golgata,” are front loaded with more challenging, technical presentations. Throughout it all, there is no mistaking this music for anything other than Soilwork – they have come through again with an album that raises an already high bar. Recommended.
Övergivenheten is out now through Nuclear Blast Records. Links below.
Soilwork website, https://www.soilwork.org/
Nuclear Blast Records, https://www.nuclearblast.com/eu/band/soilwork
© Wayne Edwards