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Soilwork - The Chainheart Machine

2000 Century Media Records :: Reviewed by rofreason on 2005-07-14

Finished almost a year ago, The Chainheart Machine is here to once again prove the worth of these 6 young Swedes. Averaging an age of 18 when they released Steel Bath Suicide, initial comparisons were drawn to other Scandinavian groups such as At the Gates (vocally) and Arch Enemy (musically). Well, the similar sounds may have been there, but let me tell you, I played SBS into the ground, and The Chainheart Machine is rapidly following course. Both CDs are instantly recognizable and likable, no doubt due to the similarities between albums released before. To my ears though, Soilwork manage to add their own signature, injecting a shot of speed and fury into one of my favorite brands of metal. A couple changes in the Soilwork camp since the last album have also helped the band define more of a trademark, with things noticable improved in the drum department. Reading the last statement, you'd think I had some problem with Jimmy Persson's playing on Steel Bath. I'll clarify things a bit... The percussive work on SBS was top notch, creative yet solid, impressing me quite a bit, yet there's no comparison to Henry Ranta's explosive job here. From all angles, things are pushed up a notch due to the energy he's throwing around here, actively trying to run circles around some of the best dual guitar licks this side of the Amott brothers. And while I'm in this vicinity, I'll acknowledge the Arch Enemy references, but I hear more of the common bond references between these two bands, such as Accept or other late 70s, early 80s guitar hero metal. It's not over the top, just technical enough to pique interest without becoming a detriment. There also appears to be somewhat of a blues influence here, especially in some of the leads. To end this, I'll just say that Soilwork are definitely one of my top new bands as of late, and with The Chainheart Machine, easily avoided the "sophomore slump" that plagues many groups. Add in to the equation that these guys are barely of drinking age in the states, and I can almost guarantee that we'll be hearing quite tons more from them in the future. I, for one, will be waiting...