Soilwork: The Panic Broadcast
By Mikhail Madnani
Release Date: July 2nd, 2010
Record Label: Nuclear Blast
My rating points:
- Late for the Kill, Early for the Slaughter
- Two Lives Worth of Reckoning
- The Thrill
- Deliverance Is Mine
- Night Comes Clean
- King of the Threshold
- Let This River Flow
- The Akuma Afterglow
- Enter Dog of Pavlov
Every time soilwork releases a new album, the metal community rejoices. Now we all know that "sworn to a great divide" wasn't received that well with the fans and critics. This album has pushed the envelope. Scratch that. This album has taken the envelope and torn it to f***ing shreds. Right from the first blast beat on the album opener to the growls on the album closer this album grabs you by the throat and doesn't let go. Soilwork has ventured into US metalcore territory before and with this album they prove that they are from Sweden and they know what melodic death metal is. The album is full of brilliant soloing and hooks that make you beg for more. The riffs have really improved since their last few efforts. I have yet to find something wrong with this album.
The Sound : I really love the mix this album has. Luckily soilwork hasn't taken part in the loudness war like the 2 big bands that did. Every note from every solo and riff can be heard clearly with the thundering bass and drums that form one of the best rhythm sections ever in a band. Bjorn's vocals have improved considerably in my opinion and he sounds phenomenal on this record.
The Album Cover : I rarely review the album covers on a record but this one definitely deserved it. It is reminiscent of a Nile meets Mastodon cover. I really like it and I hope the album is released on vinyl so it can be appreciated to its fullest.
Here's a track-by-track review:
- Late For The Kill, Early For The Slaughter : This has to be one of the best album openers that I've heard in a long time. It has one of the most creative names and it starts of brilliantly. The keyboard intro takes you into a thundering drum roll that sets the pace for this song. The guitars come in with blazing riffs and the blast beats continue before the first vocal break. You cannot help but grin when you hear this. The song goes back into the keyboard intro in the middle section with vocals. An amazing solo follows. Mind you it's not just shredding/wankery. It has emotion in it.
- Two Lives Worth of Reckoning : This track starts off like some bad quality recording of the song that changes in to the actual song. It sounds like a near far effect. Bands like Obituary and Devildriver have used this same effect on some songs. This song has very catchy riffs and vocals. The solos here are very nice and technical but I would have preferred them minus the WAH. I really look forward to seeing this track live. It will definitely be a fan favourite.
- The Thrill : This song has a dare I say Killswitch Engage feel to the intro. I am not comparing the bands in any way but the intro reminded me of KSE. This is a pretty ballsy bluesy song. The vocals really shine on this track. Just when you think this song is about to get over a solo puts that thought to rest before breaking into the intro riff and vocal section again. Very well done.
- Deliverance is Mine : Definitely one of my favourite songs on this album. This song is classic soilwork : quasi death metal riffage , brutal verses , clean vocals , face melting solos. The highlight of this song is the guitar solo trade-off between Peter and Sylvain. The guitar riffage at the end of the song has a nice djenty feel to it.
- Night Comes Clean : This song starts off with a 'textrem' effect that continues in many sections of the song. One of the longer songs on the album, this one features some nice lurching grooves. The clean vocals on this one seem surprisingly familiar but fit perfectly in the song. I love the solo time changes on this one. The song should have ended after the solo but we get another chorus before it closes.
- King of the Threshold : This song will take you back to the old no-clean-vocal soilwork albums that scream like beasts you can't even imagine. Clocking at almost 5 minutes this one is the most brutal song on the album and it has very clean soloing that will definitely make it a favourite. The song ends with an intro to the next song. A nice change from distorted guitars.
- Let This River Flow : An acoustic intro leads into the albums most eclectic and commercial track. The guitars and clean vocals drive this one. There's nothing else that needs to be said about this song.
- Epitome : This is the weakest song on the album in my opinion. It features only clean vocals and is basically a pop song with random stuff happening with the background instruments. I could barely listen to this more than once. The middle section to the ending is the saviour for this song.
- The Akuma Afterglow : Another song that's starts out with clean guitars and builds into some nice riffage. This is a nice highpoint after the previous weak song. The song is typical soilwork and also features insane guitar playing. The solos on this one really show you the talent in this band.
- Enter Dog Of Pavlov : The last song on the album starts of in a very sombre way. I really wish there were more songs on this album but we can't get whatever we want every time now can we? The longest song on the album. The eastern influence heard on the intro changes into a full blown metal song that sounds a little like Sadistic Lullaby (Chainheart Massacre) . I think they tried doing too much in this song for its own good. It has the sinister and evil theme throughout but never really manages to do what it aims to do. I would have preferred a better album closer.
Overall I give this album 8/10 . It's a must hear for long time Soilwork fans and for people who want to get into the band.
To buy the CD and for more information, check out their official website.
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