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Album Reviews : Soilwork – The Panic Broadcast

By on June 24, 2010

While oft-maligned by the music press and metal fans as merely re-packaging the classic Gothenburg sound in a more mainstream box, Soilwork have certainly released a number of strong ‘singles’. What they’ve failed to do over their decade-plus career is release an album full of great songs, with their previous records being frustratingly patchy and inconsistent. After the disappointment of their last full length, “Sworn to a Great Divide”, the band had a guitar duo switch over. Out went long time axeman Ola Frenning and newish recruit Daniel Antonsson (who now hits the thick strings for Dark Tranquillity) and in came the recently departed founding member Peter Wichers and Sylvain Coudret. With Wichers also producing “The Panic Broadcast”, the band’s eighth record, the stakes are high for Soilwork to finally deliver the goods.

To put it simply, “The Panic Broadcast” completely destroys any notions that the band are destined to be merely also-rans. Opening with frankly incredible “Late for the Kill, Early for the Slaughter”, the song shows off everything great about this album, with the pace, heaviness and catchiness of the tune off the charts. An amazing solo section shows off the skills of both Wichers and Coudret, with the pair perfectly balancing melody and shred, while drummer Dirk Verbeuren annihilates his kit with blitzkrieg blast beats throughout.

“2 Lives Worth of Reckoning” features more fantastic musicianship from the band, but with more emphasis on frontman Bjorn Strid’s throaty bellows and exceptional clean vocals. Another jaw dropping solo piece is present, with the guitarists essentially creating a song within the song through their awe-inspiring melodic passages. The more groove filled song “The Thrill” follows, once again showing off Soilwork’s knack of combining heavy verses and extremely memorable choruses with ease. “Deliverance Is Mine” flies by at a ferocious pace, before another blinding solo section carries the song home, while the more streamlined “Night Comes Clean” once again shows off Strid’s highly impressive vocal range, with the singer utilizing high and low notes along with his stock standard screams.

While the acoustic intro doesn’t last long, the slightly commercial sounding “Let This River Flow” screams out as a potential single, with Wichers’ and Coudret’s riffs dancing on the line between melody and aggression with ease. The multiple middle section passages throws in an almost progressive vibe to the song, before moving back into the hook filled chorus. The tune also highlights the interesting lack of keyboards on the album, with Sven Karllson’s contribution on the album almost non-existent on numerous tracks,

Another groove laden track, “Epitome”, appears near the back end of the album, with an almost industrial vibe added to the song with Strid’s low vocals and a minor key backing, before moving into, you guessed it, another hugely catchy chorus. The closing “Enter Dog of Pavlov” starts off almost like an instrumental, with multiple guitar melodies cropping up before the vocals and a faster pace kicks in – but unfortunately it’s probably the weakest track on the album, with the songs seemingly finishing before anything vaguely memorable kicks in.

“The Panic Broadcast” is the album that finally will show the fans of Soilwork that the band has a consistently brilliant full length in them, with almost every song on the record having the potential to be a fan favourite for many years to come. Despite only being just under seven months into the year, it will be very hard for another band to outdo this truly amazing album in 2010. Buy this album. 9/10

Band: Soilwork
Album: The Panic Broadcast
Year: 2010
Genre: Melodic Death Metal
Origin: Sweden
Label: Nuclear Blast/Riot!
www.myspace.com/soilwork

Track listing:

1.Late For The Kill, Early For The Slaughter <- Reviewers Choice
2. Two Lives Worth of Reckoning <- Reviewers Choice
3. The Thrill
4. Deliverance is Mine <- Reviewers Choice
5. Night Comes Clean
6. King of the Threshold
7. Let This River Flow <- Reviewers Choice
8. Epitome <- Reviewers Choice
9. The Akuma Afterglow
10. Enter Dog of Pavlov

About

Mitch Booth is the owner, designer and grand overlord of Metal Obsession. In the few seconds of spare time he has outside of this site, he also hosts a metal radio show over on PBS 106.7fm in Melbourne (Australia) and organises shows under the name Untitled Touring. You should follow him on Twitter.