F U L L . R E V I E W S
Soilwork - Stabbing The Drama - 2005 - Nuclear Blast
‘Stabbing The Drama’ finds “Speed” and the rest of the band continually improving upon their trademark style. More aggressive in parts than ‘Figure Number Five’ and more melodic than any release since their incarnation. The major separating factor from the rest of the bands catalogue is the featuring of clean vocals. They have always been known for backing vocals and choruses containing clean vocals giving songs that great melodic element they do so well. Here this it’s stepped up, some songs are inverted from the normal SOILWORK style (mainly clean vocals with the rough vocals in the chorus or background). Compared to other bands out there adding this element to their sound, “Speed” has a killer voice that sucks you in (Yes that is directed towards IN FLAMES). Upon your first listening you may find it odd or slightly disappointing, I did but not for long. With each additional listening you begin to really understand what they were striving for, the most compelling, riveting and addictive music you have ever heard. You end up immersed in each song, like a junkie, finding yourself wanting to listen over and over again.
The title track is typical SOILWORK with exhilarating riffs and drum work. The perfect pick to lead this “metalfest” off. ‘One With The Flies’ contains some odd similarities to KORN vocally but then it turns on you with a TESTAMENT ‘The Gathering’ feel. This TESTAMENT vibe can be felt in parts of many songs such as ‘Stalemate’ and the short but brutally sweet ‘Blind Eye Halo’. ‘Observation Slave’ and ‘Fate In Motion’ are probably the most noticeably different songs here, they follow the inverted SOILWORK formula. Both could be considered a very heavy alternative song (but it’s still very METAL!). The best performance from ‘Speed’ with clean vocals has to be ‘Nerve’. The song is comprised of a powerful intro and a captivating chorus. Right in this vein would be ‘Distance’ another stellar vocal performance from “Speed” and contagious guitar riffs including a sweet little solo.
Wichers and Frenning really out do themselves here. This has to be one of the best guitar tandems in metal today. They really make these songs have a groove that grabs onto you and won’t let go. Verbeuren lays it down heavy and straight forward, and the drum sound is remarkable on this album. This pummeling combined with the excellent riffs leads to some of the most exciting songs from SOILWORK ever heard. Production is clean and crisp but with the mass amount of layers in these songs you will hear something new each time.
In all, ‘Stabbing The Drama’ finds a more metalcore side to it than previous releases but also a more melodic side. Even with some experimentation and added use of clean vocals this disc will not disappoint. The compelling drum lines laced with addictive guitar riffs and memorable choruses will keep you spinning it for months to come.
NOTE: Promotional copy did not include ‘In Profile’ which is on the actual release instead it included the bonus track ‘Wherever Thorns May Grow’.
Bjorn "Speed" Strid – Vocals
Peter Wichers - Lead and Rhythm Guitar
Dirk Verbeuren – Drums
Ola Frenning - Lead and Rhythm Guitar
Sven Karlsson - Keyboards and Synth
Ola Flink - Bass
CD Length: 42.44
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