Review

SOILWORK The Living Infinite

Album · 2013 · Melodic Death Metal
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5/5 ·
Kev Rowland
‘The Living Infinite’ is the ninth studio album by Swedish modern melodic death metalheads Soilwork and is the first to feature new guitarist David Andersson who replaces founding member Peter Wichers, who first left the band in 2005 only to return four years later. It features artwork by Mnemic’s Mircea Gabriel Eftemie who previously created the artwork for 2005’s ‘Stabbing The Drama’, while it has been produced by Jens Borgen (Opoeth, Amon Amarth, Bloodbath). So, a lot of effort has gone into this – and that’s before you realize that this is actually a double CD with a total of 20 songs! When music is this intense and dramatic it’s asking a lot for a band to keep it up for 85 minutes, but somehow they do, and also provide enough variety to make the listener want to keep going until the end.

There is a real mix on this album, so much so that the listener goes from feeling that this number sounds as if it has been influenced by Disturbed, that one by Trivium, another by Devin Townsend and his wall of sound approach, more with old school etc. What I found staggering is that there really isn’t a weak number on the album – they are all incredibly powerful, but constructed in a manner that really demonstrates the light and shade. With the user of light, the dark seems even more so and it really is one of those albums where the song that is being played is the favourite. This is a 5* album in anyone’s book – and is easily one of the metal albums of the year so far. But what do the band think of it? Here are singer Bjorn “Speed” Strid’s views on the first CD.

01. Spectrum Of Eternity - A fast and thrashy, yet melodic opener bringing you straight to the "core of existence". 02. Memories Confined - An epic song with Sven's signature. 03. This Momentary Bliss - Reminding you of ‘A Predator's Portrait’ days. Super catchy and groovy chorus. 04. Tongue - A fast song with a great melancholic feeling 05. The Living Infinite I - A heavy driven mid tempo song with a timeless melody. 06. Let The First Wave Rise - If you mix Soilwork with Possessed, this is what you get. 07. Vesta - A very heavy and atmospheric song with an elaborate acoustic intro. 08. Realm Of The Wasted - Insane guitar work with the most intricate chorus on the album. 09. The Windswept Mercy - A melancholic but hopeful song featuring Justin Sullivan (New Model Army) 10. Whispers And Lights - The epic ending track of the first album on which we just invented ‘Levitating Metal’.

And drummer Dirk Verbeuren’s views on the second disc:

01. Entering Aeons - This eerie, crawling instrumental sets the tone for chapter II of “The Living Infinite”. 02. Long Live The Misanthrope - An up-tempo thrasher with killer riffs, epic solos and a catchy chorus: in short, 100% pure SOILWORK!

03. Drowning With Silence - crushing yet melodic, this track perfectly embodies the album’s introspective atmosphere. 04. Antidotes In Passing - Melancholy abounds in this atmospheric piece. 05. Leech - At 260 bpm, the fastest song on the album and chock-full of Sylvain’s signature riffing. 06. The Living Infinite II - Another catchy, heavy track with a timeless chorus. 07. Loyal Shadow - This beautiful instrumental honors a fallen friend. 08. Rise Above The Sentiment - A soaring chorus atop a rollercoaster of heavy riffs. 09. Parasite Blues - Pounding grooves, thunderous guitars and epic melodies: this is blues the SOILWORK way! 10. Owls Predict, Oracles Stand Guard - A magnificent Sven-penned closer, dark and truly unique, with lyrics by Ola.

If you enjoy modern metal, then this is essential. ‘Nuff said.
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