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SOILWORK - Verkligheten cover
4.28 | 8 ratings | 2 reviews
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Album · 2019


1. Verkligheten (1:44)
2. Arrival (3:47)
3. Bleeder Despoiler (3:37)
4. Full Moon Shoals (4:47)
5. The Nurturing Glance (5:25)
6. When the Universe Spoke (5:23)
7. Stålfågel (4:26)
8. The Wolves Are Back in Town (3:24)
9. Witan (3:48)
10. The Ageless Whisper (5:02)
11. Needles and Kin (4:58)
12. You Aquiver (4:04)

Total Time 50:25


- Björn "Speed" Strid / Vocals
- Sven Karlsson / Keyboards
- Sylvain Coudret / Guitars
- David Andersson / Guitars
- Bastian Thusgaard / Drums
- Taylor Nordberg / Bass

- Alissa White-Gluz / Vocals (track 7)
- Tomi Joutsen / Vocals (track 11)
- Dave Sheldon / Guitars (track 12)

About this release

Nuclear Blast Records, January 11th, 2019

Title translations:
1. [The] Reality
7. Steel Bird

Thanks to UMUR for the addition


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Nuclear Blast 2019
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Specialists/collaborators reviews

Kev Rowland
Since the previous album, 2015’s ‘The Ride Majestic’, the band have not only released a collection of rarities in 2016’s ‘Death Resonance’ but have also managed to misplace their rhythm section. Given just how important that backbone has been to the band, and with drummer Dirk Verbeuren having been the incumbent for so many years, it was always going to be a hard job in finding the right replacements, but drummer Bastian Thusgaard and bassist Taylor Nordberg sound as if they are right at home. Part of the reason is that Soilwork are Soilwork, they don’t try to be anything different to what they have been for most of their twenty years, so it is a case of slotting in and finding ways to hone and polish that little bit more.

That polish really comes through on tracks like “Full Moon Shoals” which is a great example of the whole album as there are times when it is complex and incredibly heavy, times when it is rough, and then there are almost poptastic vocals over the top with harmonies which never sound as if they are coming from a band who are happiest in front of a stack of Marshalls prowling the stage. Is that “Ooohs” I hear Strid crooning? Surely not. There are some introductions which make one think that possibly they have morphed into symphonic hard rock, especially with the piano playing such a key part, right up to the point when someone flicks a switch and all hell breaks loose. This band have long since stopped trying to please critics and instead are consistently providing the gigs. “The Nurturing Glance” is an absolute show stopper, and when Thusgaard gets the double bass drums pedals going and locks in with Nordberg while Sylvain Coudret and David Andersson blasting it out, there is a very small gap for keyboard player Sven Karlsson to make his presence felt and it is left for Björn "Speed" Strid to rise above it all. The combination of musicality, metal, hooks and stunning vocals are what make Soilwork what they are, one of the very finest bands to ever come out of Sweden.

“Verkligheten” is the Swedish word for reality, and the band state this album is their attempt to try and go somewhere else, to express all those things that are born in between hypnagogic states and frenzies of hyperrealism. I’m not too sure of the last bit, but I do know that the guys are back with a bang and another amazing album.
"Verkligheten" (which is the Swedish word for "Reality") is the 11th full-length studio album by Swedish metal act Soilwork. The album was released through Nuclear Blast Records in January 2019. It´s the successor to "The Ride Majestic" from 2015, although the 2016 compilation album "Death Resonance" bridges the gap between the two album releases. There have been two lineup changes since "The Ride Majestic (2015)" as drummer Dirk Verbeuren has left to join Megadeth and has been replaced by Bastian Thusgaard and bassist Markus Wibom has been replaced by Taylor Nordberg.

Stylistically "Verkligheten" is the sound of Soilwork through and through. Melodic death metal in the most accessible and polished end of the scale. Labelling the music death metal is sometimes actually a bit misleading, although there definitely are some pretty hard edged and even semi-brutal moments on the album (but they are few and far between). Other parts are so catchy and accessible though that we are closer to pop/rock melodic territory than we are to metal and there are also several of the riffs and rhythms on the album which are hard rock and heavy metal influenced rather than death and thrash metal oriented. Soilwork are however incredibly skilled composers who are able to combine all the sounds and influences into a sound that is unmistakably their own.

If you´re familiar with any of the predecing releases (maybe except for the first two which are harder edged), it´ll take you two seconds after lead vocalist Björn "Speed" Strid sings his first words, to identify that it is Soilwork you are listening to. While remaining relatively consistent Soilwork have still managed to develop and refine their sound over the years and continue to do so on "Verkligheten".

There are several standout tracks on the album and only a couple of quality "fillers". Highlights to my ears are tracks like the powerful "Arrival", "Bleeder Despoiler" (the start/stop riffs throughout the song are really great), and the ultra melodic "Full Moon Shoals" (where Strid reaches a new level of melodic excellence), but "Stålfågel" (which features some very well delivered clean female vocals by Alissa White-Gluz from Arch Enemy), the hard edged "The Wolves Are Back in Town", and the closing "You Aquiver" are also tracks which stand out.

"Verkligheten" also features a top notch sound production, and upon conclusion it´s yet another high quality release by Soilwork. It´s quite frankly amazing they are able to continue releasing albums of this quality and what is even more amazing is that they are still capable of challenging themselves as songwriters while still maintaining a signature sound this far into their career. Soilwork are one of those artists where lineup changes haven´t always been a bad thing, as the lineup changes have often meant that the band have been able to take their music in different directions (in small steps). Always under the musical guidance of Strid though which has ensured continuety. A 4 - 4.5 star (85%) rating is deserved.

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