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Live In The Heart of Helsinki

Company: Nuclear Blast
Release: 2015
Genre: Melodic Death
Reviewer: Greg Watson

  • An incredible listen

  • Live albums nowadays are more of a predictable package than they were back in the 90's. Now, live albums receive the same polish and attention that an album does, crystalizing the sound and making the mix fluid and listenable while still retaining the live feel intended. Soilwork's "Live In The Heart of Helsinki" is no exception and for me was an incredible listen. Having never seen these Swedish progenitors of evolving soundscapes, this album really gives you a fantastic idea of what you would experience at an actual show. Vocalist "Speed" Strid interacts, amps up and feeds off the audience and is genuinely charismatic and engaging, as a lead singer should be. His vocals sound ridiculously good, his death growls sound even more brutal and guttural than they do on the album and his cleans, my God, how does that dude go from such a growl to a voice as sweet as honey? Guitarists Sylvain Coudret and David Andersson wield Soilwork's progressive dual attack with a ferocity and precision that reminds one of a superbly crafted Samurai sword. The band sounds incredible live and while part of that may be due to the mixing, you still can't make a bad band sound good and clearly Soilwork need no tweaking when it comes to being a tight performing outfit. While not as expansive catalogue wise as Testament's "Dark Roots of Thrash" was, "LITHOH" covers a good chunk of Soilwork's career, going as far back as 2000's "Steelbath Suicide" and up to the most recent release "The Living Infinite". A live album in the truest sense, "LITHOH" makes you feel like you are part of the show and you can't help but yell back Strid's commands of shouting along with the words to songs or chanting when he orders the crowd to. A nice appetizer to what will hopefully be a new album from these Swedish masters.

    About this Writer:
    Greg Watson // Greg Watson has been hooked on the loud and heavy sounds since the summer of 1994 when he first heard the opening notes of "Operation: Mindcrime" by Queensryche. Since then his tastes have expanded and grown like the ever evolving heavy metal tree of genres. He has been an active member of Maximum Metal off and on for 10 years. In his spare time, Greg enjoys deciding the fate of his loyal subjects in the realm of Skyrim and secretly playing air keyboard to "Separate Ways" by Journey when no one is watching. He currently resides in Roanoke, VA with his wife and his metal wannabe beagle.

    Maximum Metal Rating Legend - Click for Full Details
    5 Excellent - Buy it and say a prayer to the metal gods that you were tuned on to this masterpiece. A classic.
    4-4.5 Great - Almost perfect records but there's probably a clunker or a lacking somewhere to keep it from perfection. You won't feel bad about dropping some bones on these.
    3.5 Good - Most of the record is good, but there may be some filler. This is the OK range where you'd search for the record on sale or used.
    3 Average - Some good songs, some bad ones at about a half/half ratio. Could show skills but be dull overall. Redeeming qualities for indy bands are effort and passion. Majors that don't try or suck outright end up here.
    2-2.5 Fair - Worth a listen, but best obtained by collectors. There is much better metal out there.
    1-1.5 Bad - Major problems with music, lyrics, production, etc.
    0 Terrible or an otherwise waste of your life and time.

    Note: Reviews are graded from 0-5, anything higher or not showing is from our old style. Scores, however, do not reveal the important features. The written review that accompanies the ratings is the best source of information regarding the music on our site. Reviewing is opinionated, not a qualitative science, so scores are personal to the reviewer and could reflect anything from being technically brilliant to gloriously cheesy fun.

    Demos and independent releases get some slack since the bands are often spent broke supporting themselves and trying to improve. Major releases usually have big financial backing, so they may be judged by a heavier hand. All scores can be eventually adjusted up or down by comparison of subsequent releases by the same band. We attempt to keep biases out of reviews and be advocates of the consumer without the undo influence of any band, label, management, promoter, etc.

    The best way to determine how much you may like certain music is to listen to it yourself.

    All reviews for Soilwork:
    Live In The Heart of HelsinkiSoilwork
    Greg Watson5/8/2015
    Stabbing The DramaSoilwork
    Ken Pierce8/10/2005
    Stabbing The DramaSoilwork
    Troy Cole3/17/2005
    Sworn to a Great DivideSoilwork
    The Living InfiniteSoilwork
    Eric Compton3/24/2013
    The Panic BroadcastSoilwork
    Greg Watson8/9/2010
    The Ride MajesticSoilwork
    Greg Watson10/9/2015

    All interviews for Soilwork:

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