REVIEW: SOILWORK – “Death Resonance”
As a band that has had a prosperous and lengthy career, Soilwork is bound to have many tracks, samples and riffs hidden away that just didn’t make the final cut on any of their albums. Having previously included bonus tracks on some of their past albums or region specific releases, the band has opted to finally collate some of these items into one neat little package for their latest release ‘Death Resonance’.
Not one to mix with their regular formula too much,the tracks on this offering are another sound installment in the Soilwork back catalog. While some of the latter songs on the album have been in circulation in various forms for some time, it was a masterstroke to begin the album with entirely new tracks “Helsinki” and title track “Death Resonance”. These songs hit like a rampaging bull and are filled with everything that makes this band great. The high soaring choral sections complement the massive hooks in these songs and the solo’s slot in seamlessly to further enhance the bands signature sound. These new tracks are brilliant, and are well worth the cost of the albums asking price, and I hope that these get included in the bands live performances.
While the remaining songs have all been circulated as part of ‘bonus’ special edition Japanese releases, which I know collectors and fans alike have tracked down individually, it’s nice now to see them all bundled neatly in one package. With songs spanning through bonus editions of 2005’s ‘Stabbing the Drama’ up until last year’s ‘The Ride Majestic’, there are some true rarities here, with some tracks even being remixed and remastered for their own 2016 version to sit on this release. There are some standout classics on this CD, with tracks like “My Nerves, Your Everyday Tool”, and, “When Sound Collides” offering the frenetic melodic death metal that the fans clamor for, while “Sovereign”, “Sweet Demise” and“Resisting the Current” highlight the adaptability of the band in creating music which is catchy and accessible.This adaptability is the greatest hallmark of Soilwork, and is a true credit to their longevity and expansive appeal.
The majority of these tracks have the same versatility that fans have come to love and expect from Soilwork, with very thick and prominent guitar tones, immaculate drum fills, and a soothing bass line that not only immerse, but also mesmerizes it’s listeners. This overall sound reaches a perfect climax when mixed with the unique vocal styling’s of Bjorn ‘Speed’ Strid. With his impressive range and ability to change pitch and timbre at a moment’s notice, the vocals really shine strongly on some of these tracks, which is why many regard Speed as one of the strongest vocalists in the business. While this is touted as an album of B-sides and rarities, it doesn’t feel that way. The term B-sides is generally used to define the less important songs on an album – and after listening to these songs, that’s a term I strongly refute. As a whole package, this album is an incredible listen, and as individual pieces, these songs have some serious depth about them that could rival almost any song in the bands back catalog.
Soilwork is a band which has consistently prided itself on the strong foundations built in its formative years, and the subsequent advances they have made since that time. This has been prevalent on their last few albums, which have continued to amaze and highlight the progression of the band’s sound. With a little bit of remastered old, a little bit of new, and a lot of material in-between, Death Resonance is definitely an album you need in your collection, and while some of these tracks may not entirely be new, they do sound fresh against the band’s current catalog –a true credit to the way that Soilwork’s music speaks to its audience.