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The Panic Broadcast

Company: Nuclear Blast
Release: 2010
Genre: Melodic Thrash/Death
Reviewer: Chaoslord

  • Pushing the envelope of their sound once again

  • Sweden's Soilwork is back and delivers another quality release, pushing the envelope of their sound once again. "The Panic Broadcast" is one of their most ambitious albums to date, in this writer's humble opinion. You won't find a whole mess of blast beats, frenzied fretwork or guttural vocals as on previous albums. Following the direction the band started to head in with "Natural Born Chaos", Soilwork has continued to challenge the boundaries and evolve their sound with each subsequent release.

    This album also marks the return of former member Peter Wichers, most recently appearing and helping produce Warrel Dane's solo album. The band's sound on this album is very ethereal and creepy at times. Each song is different from it's predecessor and Wichers, fellow guitarist Sylvain Coudret, bassist Ola Flink, keyboardist Sven Karlsson and drummer Dirk Verbeuren feed off each other and expand on each other's sound. Wichers and Coudret combine melody, technical precision and a brutality that meld together phenomenally.

    Flink, Karlsson and Verbeuren add in some atmosphere and filler with their work, adding eerie keyboard riffs, wandering and frantic bass lines and drums that go from chaotic to subdued in the blink of an eye. Rounding out the band is vocalist "Speed" Strid. Strid continues to polish his clean vocals and take you to a serene place before demolishing your dream world with a voice that would make a demon cower in fear. The songs on "Panic Broadcast" range all over the spectrum, from fast and brutal to slow and melodic.

    That is something that in my opinion sets the band apart and continues to help them evolve their sound. No one album sounds the same and they continue to get better with each release. The production, as always, is spot on throughout. The only drawback I have is that I feel that a song or two was just thrown on the album to make it complete. Other than that, this is definitely a release that any metal fan would be wise to purchase.

    If you are unsure of the state of metal and the direction things are going, go check this out as well. It'll give you a feel for things and bring you into the Panic Broadcast.

    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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