Top critical review
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aggressive & thrashy melodic death metal
on February 16, 2001
Soilwork's sound is probably best described as a mixture between At the Gates and recent In Flames (Colony, Clayman), along with maybe an additional dose of modern thrash. It's aggressive, often groovy, and has plenty of melodic guitar hooks. I recommend this album particularly to fans of bands like The Haunted and The Crown who also like a little melody in their music. Frankly, it is not my favorite style of melodic death metal. I prefer the sprawling, epic, mystical sound of bands like Opeth, early Dark Tranquillity, early In Flames (Subterranean, Jester Race), and Katatonia. Soilwork is definitely not in this vein. "The Chainheart Machine" is street- and gut-level music.
My favorite song on this CD is probably "Bulletbeast," which combines a nasty main riff with one of the few true guitar solos on the album.
Soilwork's lyrics are decidedly below-average, with exclamation points everywhere and frequent use of profanity. The quality of lyrics matters a great deal for me but will be less important for others.
High 3/low 4 rating.