Soilwork have been around for an absolute age, their debut dropped almost a quarter a century ago, it is older than most the bar staff in my local, since then they’ve released plenty of albums defining them as one of the flagbearers of Swedish heavy metal. Many have come and gone through that period and as bands rise and fall in the days of the internet, it is easy to forget about many a band like a first girlfriend as life goes on.
Until 2017, I will openly admit that Soilwork had completely dropped off of my radar, post Natural Born Chaos, along with In Flames The Clayman, my tastes had garnered for more and went in search of a new spice to add to my rack, bands like Soilwork and In Flames had fallen into that back of the cupboard on the top shelf place, only to be found by either a clear out or the next person moving in after I had moved out and forgotten them. Then along came Bloodstock 2017, Soilwork sitting pretty on that main stage line up, wow, did they perform! What had I done with myself to forget such a good band?!
It went down just as good as that first experience with a woman too, and as luck would have it, 2018 would see them in the studio and releasing a belter of an album in 2019. Verkligheten being the end product. It doesn’t have that assault I expected from what Swedish melodic death metal can bring, instead the album brings diversity, power, clean and filth all in fair measures. Age has been far too kind, regardless of line up changes this is definitely Soilwork, but also probably them at their finest.
The fantastic adventure that takes place over the 50 minutes holds the melodic touch it always has, but sits more majestic on a throne of heavy metal than death metal courtesy of the approach taken. The twin guitar parts take hold like hooks in the back, while the most recent member of the band hidden on the drums lays down some beats that take a prominent and proud forefront of the picture. The adaptive styles the songs traverse create one of the most enjoyable albums the band have created in the past decade, ‘The Suturing Glance’ being a prime example of a showcase track from the album.’Let the River Flow’blends the harsh and clean vocal breaches that show Strid is still extremely able, the lyrical approach is very much in the thought process as they try to create a story with each track, a very thought out touch.
The downside to the album is that it isn’t much of a pick up and go album, its delicate, it deserves to be taken in and absorbed, the only way to get to know this album is to sit there and actually listen. This is something I wish I heard from them years ago, and sadly being released so early in the year it could easily become forgetful as the year goes by and we are washed away with the masses of albums that come out way. Verkligheten deserves our time and our respect, it is a phenomenal release that we should not forget about anytime soon. We do have the pleasure of them returning to Bloodstock this year, and this songs will no doubt be at the front of their mind when it comes to creating their set which will without question take a whole new meaning onto the album. From the slower tracks such as‘Bleeder Despoiler’to the monster of ‘Needles and Kin’, Soilwork have delivered something impressive that deserves your hard earned attention. Make sure you give it, you will not be disappointed, they are not going away anytime soon.
*Image Credit: Stephansdotter Photography