Soilwork – The Living Infinite


Artist

Album

The Living Infinite

Label

Nuclear Blast

Year

2013

For Fans Of

In Flames - Dark Tranquillity - Demon Hunter

Summary

Studio album nine from Swedish stalwarts.

Rating

70 / 100

It’s almost a full circle proposition in the way pioneering Swedish melodic death metal bands are viewed today. Soilwork, much like national peers In Flames seem to be met with tired indifference. Strange really, considering these are trailblazers, who deserve respect and at the very least a considered listen to see if they can match past feats. The long and the short of it, is Soilwork deserve your immediate attention.

When you reach benchmarks that aren’t just good but simply great, you try backing it up time and time again, in turn satisfying every excessive, unfair and grandiose expectation. It’s one of those clichéd cases where it is easier said than done.

Ok, we’ll meet you halfway, Soilwork have presented some lacklustre releases to parallel some of their truly brilliant material. The listener can’t go into this expecting ‘The Chainheart Machine’ part 2. Predecessor ‘The Panic Broadcast’ returned the band to form in many prevailing respects. However, this new release (a double album at that) is again Peter Wichers A.D., with the guitarist departing from the fold for a second time.

Openers ‘Spectrum of Eternity’ and ‘Memories Confined’ are melodic in tone – they are paced, but not blistering. 20 tracks split across two discs is a lot to absorb. Particularly in metal where less is often more due to its absorbing and frantic delivery. ‘The Momentary Bliss’ again shows Bjorn ‘Speed’ Strid can make the fluent switch between deeper vocals and clean cut, free-flowing choruses. Soilwork for all its density have always had this ‘happy metal’ feel going on. ‘Let the First Wave Rise’ is the first truly fast moment.

It feels like a contemporary Soilwork-type release. It’s definitely exploring the “melodic” elements in the melodic death metal genre label, but that’s not a critique or phrase designed to deter.

Is there a distinct point of difference in disc two? Beginning with the instrumental ‘Entering Aeons’, the tone quickly transitions back into blast friendly rhythmic structures. Dirk Vebeuren’s double kick patterns again prove a highlight. ‘Drowning With Silence’ is very modern sounding Soilwork.

It’s a tough one. The hooks are there, the proficiency solid and the production clear. However, you feel it is an hour and a half of music that would’ve been better served condensed to a neat hour. Take all the best bits and cut out the filler.

Conclusion

Soilwork deliver a solid, but perhaps not memorable album. If you want something constant, recognisable and assured, ‘The Living Infinite’ is a safe bet. It is a good release…just could’ve been a bit more.

Tracklisting

CD 1 – 

1. Spectrum Of Eternity
2. Memories Confined
3. This Momentary Bliss
4. Tongue
5. The Living Infinite I
6. Let The First Wave Rise
7. Vesta
8. Realm Of The Wasted
9. The Windswept Mercy
10. Whispers And Lights

CD 2 –

1. Entering Aeons
2. Long Live The Misanthrope
3. Drowning With Silence
4. Antidotes In Passing
5. Leech
6. The Living Infinite II
7. Loyal Shadow
8. Rise Above The Sentiment
9. Parasite Blues
10. Owls Predict, Oracles Stand Guard

One Response to “Soilwork – The Living Infinite”

  1. SerenityRose

    Agreed, there are some solid tracks, but mostly it just seems bloated. They could have easily taken the best songs and compacted them into a nice, heavy, single-disc release. Great as (almost) always, but just too much.

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