Soilwork – Sworn To A Great Divide


Artist

Album

Sworn To A Great Divide

Label

Nuclear Blast

Year

2007

For Fans Of

In Flames – Fear Factory – Killswitch Engage

Summary

It's not Chainheart Machine, but it'll do...

Rating

81 / 100

Metallica take note,
“Sworn To A Great Divide” is Soilwork’s seventh studio album
in less a decade and they can still write a cracking tune or two…
so what’s your excuse!? 

The various members of Soilwork
described the record as something of a best of as they felt the combination
of melody, thrash and the band’s more straight forward rock moments
summed up the band’s ten year existence… and they weren’t far off.
“Sworn To A Great Divide” sounds like your favourite parts from
all of Soilwork’s previous efforts rolled into one cohesive album,
and while it can lag a bit at times, it’s pretty solid.. 

The record’s title track kicks
things off with one hell of a groove before a ring out makes way for
the Soilwork of old. If you’re not familiar with the band, that
means fast Euro riffing! Although it comes off as a little cheesy, the
chorus hook is going to be stuck in your head for days at a time and
you need not be concerned about Daniel Antonsson’s ability to
fill Peter Wichers lead guitar spot, as the song’s solo is top
notch. 

“Exile” and “Breeding
Horns” are two mid paced tracks but they stand out as some of my favourites
from the record. Both tunes have a groove that most metal bands would
kill for and the choruses are simply epic. The keys on “Your Beloved
Scapegoat” fill the song out nicely and provide an excellent backing
for the bridge, which features one of Speed’s most memorable
vocal hooks and another great solo from Soilwork’s newest member.  

The riffing on “The Pittsburgh
Syndrome” would sit comfortably with any of the band’s earlier records
but the speed of the vocal delivery in the chorus doesn’t really work
for. “I, Vermin” starts out with a melodious introduction but the
drums and vocals throughout the song’s verses make it one of the toughest
tracks on the record.  

“Light Discovering Darkness”
had such a promising start but the radio rock styled choruses completely
kill the vibe of the song. Luckily “As The Sleeper Awakes” is one
of the best songs Soilwork have committed to record in the recent
memory! The riffs are great and Speed’s vocals sound as gritty
as they did ten years ago. Couple that with the album’s biggest chorus
and you’re onto a winner. “Silent Bullet” is far from terrible but
it is still one of the weakest tunes on offer, although “Sick Heart
River’s” use of something other than a four/four beat does pick the
album up again.

Conclusion

“Sworn To A Great Divide”
is far from being the best record of Soilwork’s career but there’s
still enough going on to keep most long term fans happy. I’m interested
to see how the newer songs hold up when the band tour here in May.

Tracklisting

  1. Sworn To A Great
    Divide
  2. Exile
  3. Breeding Thorns
  4. Your Beloved Scapegoat
  5. The Pittsburgh Syndrome
  6. I, Vermin
  7. Light Discovering
    Darkness
  8. As The Sle

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