Soilwork – Death Resonance
Label: Nuclear Blast
Release Date: August 19, 2016
It seems that Soilwork has become an unstoppable force since post-2012. After releasing their amazingly crafted double album, The Living Infinite (2013), and their just as impressive tenth full length album, The Ride Majestic (2015), it would seem that Soilwork might decide to take a break and give us another grandiose effort in a few more years. This doesn’t seem to be the case, however, as they soon announced the release of a “kind of” new addition to their discography in the form of a compilation effort featuring a collection of Japanese exclusive B-sides and special edition tracks, sprinkled with a couple of new songs to tide us over. While this may seem underwhelming to some fans, others have expressed how readily anxious they are to be able to listen to these tracks without spending tons of money on imported CDs and listening to crappy digital renditions from YouTube.
Upon first listen, Death Resonance honestly feels like a new Soilwork record. Every track has an identity and purpose, finding a certain groove to fit into for any occasion. A majority of pieces are from as early as 2005 but the band gives us two monstrous compositions, as mentioned previously, that show how relevant the rest of the material is to where they are now. “Helsinki” showcases the band’s present state, reminiscing over the ever-familiar formula and combining it with their newly found resolve. David Andersson and Sylvain Coudret absolutely slay it on the guitars, expertly combining the softer and heavier sides of the project. Bjorn Strid contributes immensely to this endeavor as well, switching between his trademark vocal styles. “Helsinki” feels like it leans more onto the heavy side, which reminds the listener of that aforementioned intensity they’ve rekindled in their most previous efforts.
“Death Resonance” keeps the energy flowing but takes on a more melodic path. This emphasis isn’t new to Soilwork’s resume, and comes off in such a way that it feels as if the project is looking to break through to the next level in their songwriting and musicianship. With The Living Infinite and The Ride Majestic, it was apparent that these guys were experimenting and trying to find new ways to reinvent their trademark and they have definitely done that with “Death Resonance”. I’m hoping to hear this “new” Soilwork in their next opus.
Only two songs in and this collection is already massive. It gets even more so with the inclusion of several Japanese only endeavors that now make their way to a worldwide release. “These Absent Eyes” and “Resisting The Current” were to only be heard from Beyond The Infinite, much like their cousins “Martyr” and “Sovereign” from Sworn A Great Divide. “Martyr” and “Sovereign”, along with a few others, get some updated mixes as well. An impressive 13 recordings brings the rest of the assemblage to an hour’s worth of stellar Swedish modern melodic death metal. Casual and diehard listeners will not be disappointed.
Death Resonance is a museum of undiscovered gems and proves that even Soilwork’s “extra” and “b-side” tracks are just as, if not more, impressive than many of their outputs on their full-length records. Again, casual listeners will dig this compilation as it will feel like just another album to them, while the diehards will be drooling over new mixes and favorite rarities all in one location. It is one to be added to the collection, no doubt about that.