Swedish progressive outfit Soilwork return with "The Ride Majestic". While it isn't my favorite album by any means, "The Ride Majestic" is still a hearty slab of metal pie. What stood out to me most on the album was the latent black metal influence on the drumming and pace of the songs, which was a bit of a throwback to older era Soilwork. Before the meshing of death and clean vocals, Soilwork were predominantly a melodic-death band with black metal tendencies at times. That spirit has been recaptured musically on tracks like "Alight in the Aftermath", "Enemies in Fidelity" and especially "The Phantom". Vocally, the album follows the pattern of the last several albums with "Speed" alternating between growls/harsher vocals and his velvety smooth singing voice. Added to the mix for a little flavor are some gang vocals that add to the sing-along quality of several tracks. The production is solid as always and the final mix really allows the music and vocal layers to comingle and weave together in a tapestry of sound and wonder. Standout tracks for me are "The Phantom", "Death in General", "Whirl of Pain" and "Alight in the Aftermath". Fans of the band will feel right at home with "The Ride Majestic" and it will inevitably garner some new fans as well for these forward thinking Swedes.
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.
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