Soilwork – The Panic Broadcast


Artist

Album

The Panic Broadcast

Label

Nuclear Blast

Year

2010

For Fans Of

At the Gates – Dark Tranquillity – Bleeding Through

Summary

What is in the Swedish water?

Rating

80 / 100

When you are the leader in your chosen field, responsibility and expectation are seemingly magnified. At times to unfair levels. People expect or rather demand more and are conversely more vicious in response when these excessive expectations are not met.

Sweden has been the Mecca of heavy metal (at least in European terms) for some time. Its influence and significance is symbolised in the countless number of acts that borrow heavily from the Gothenburg stylebook. Chances are if you’re familiar with any metalcore, deathcore band around today, you are inadvertently familiar with the Soilwork sound. In the same way as their national counterparts, At the Gates led the way in the early 90’s, Soilwork have maintained a certain pioneer status, with their riffs reflected in almost every aspiring heavy metal band out there currently.

First observations reveal ‘The Panic Broadcast’ channels perhaps a more thrash-oriented sound as opposed to the band’s predominant melodic death metal styling.

One could be forgiven for thinking we had jumped into ‘Slaughter of the Soul vol. 2’ upon an initial listen to opening track ‘Late for the Kill, Early for the Slaughter’. Dirk Verbeuren’s brief drumming stint in Aborted has definitely seen him bring a newfound intensity and speed to the Soilwork structure, with the opening track one of the heavier songs your likely to here come out of Europe this year.

Moreover, the re-introduction of Peter Wichers has done nothing to upset the fold or disturb the continuity, with the aforementioned guitarist helping Soilwork return to a slight old-school feel.

‘Two Lives worth Reckoning’ is signature Soilwork. A powerful verse section coupled with interchanging guitar riffs culminate in a memorable chorus. ABBA might be one of the cheesiest acts to come out of the last century but they did show Sweden’s knack for writing the catchy chorus. Soilwork, well within the metal genre, show they are in no way scared of delivering a clean sung, grandiose chorus too. ‘The Thrill’ tops off a solid opening drawing on the said claims.

Other tracks such as ‘King of the Threshold’, with its blast-oriented, thrash approach and ‘Deliverance is Mine’, containing Soilwork’s anthemed qualities contribute to ‘The Panic Broadcast’s’ overall appeal.

At times however, there is a certain rollercoaster feel going on. One song delivers a high and lasing thrill while the very next one offers a slight low that does nothing to strengthen the release’s value.

Conclusion

By no means their grand opus but arguably Soilwork’s most well rounded album. A very settled offering. Definitely worth a listen for new and old fans alike.

Tracklisting

1. Late for the Kill, Early for the Slaughter
2. Two Lives Worth of Reckoning
3. The Thrill
4. Deliverance is Mine
5. Night Comes Clean
6. King of the Threshold
7. Let this River Flow
8. Epitome
9. The Akuma Afterglow
10. Enter Dog of Pavlov

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