Soilwork – Verkligheten (Review)

Soilwork - VerklighetenThis is the eleventh album from Soilwork, a veteran Swedish metal band.

Soilwork’s eleventh album mixes melodic death metal with fat grooving riffs and a hard rock sensibility that sits at the heart of the band, allowing them to straddle the worlds of metal and rock quite effectively. Having said that, it should be clarified that the rock aspects of this album are mainly hidden underneath a firmly metal veneer; they inform, without overpowering.

Soilwork’s vocalist boasts one of my favourite clean singing voices. On Verkligheten he sounds fully utilised, incorporating his widest range of abilities into the band’s new songs. He can be ably found belting out melodic hooks and catchy choruses, amongst a myriad of other things. His shouted, (and screamed and growled), vocals are pretty damn good too. The singer of Amorphis guests on one song as well, which is great to hear.

The music is probably more nuanced than a lot of what Soilwork have produced before. Don’t misunderstand; this is still instant-gratification music that can easily fill large venues with its anthemic delivery, but on Verkligheten there are additional avenues explored and subtleties probed and tested alongside this. For example, it seems like the singer’s work in The Night Flight Orchestra seems to have rubbed off on Soilwork in places, which is no bad thing to be honest. Couple this with some very tastefully deployed keyboards and a new drummer who makes an impressive debut, (and knows how to bring the blast beats when necessary), and you have an album that’s a very satisfying and moreish listen.

It’s good to see a band that formed over 20 years ago still releasing quality material like this. Verkligheten is a strong album from a band that sound like they’re still enjoying what they do and are still trying to push themselves to be the best that they can be. I’m sold. Check this out.

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