One of the undisputed Godfather's of Swedish Modern Metal are back in a big way! Soilwork's latest release, The Panic Broadcast, (Nuclear Blast Records) is a call to arms for Swedish Metal fans. "Speed" and Co., have gotten back on track with The Panic Broadcast, which is a bombastic fury of hyperactive drum thumping, melodic songwriting and a return to the fold of one of the greatest Metal riff merchants, guitarist Peter Wichers.
Along with the welcome return of guitar Peter Wichers, Soilwork also introduce another new member on The Panic Broadcast, co-lead guitarist, Sylvain Coudret, and these two players up the ante with some of Soilwork's most muscular guitar riffing in years. Coupled with the always in your face and spectacular drumming of Dirk Verbeuren, The Panic Broadcast is a great combination of Soilwork's career up to this point. As the years have rolled by, Soilwork have grown into less of a "Swedish Melodic Death Metal Band" and have evolved into a powerful, as well as a melodic Metal band without the need for just flat out speed and angst in every single song and have been able to develop into a band that can craft a heavy melodic song with ALL of the riffing that has been Soilwork's M.O. Check out the manic double kick drums and the staccato guitar riff in the opening of the song, "Night Comes Clean". Heavy as hell, as it then leads into a catchy and melodic chorus that gets stuck in your head but NEVER loses the heaviness. This seems to be a thing that some fans have been slaughtering Soilwork over. Who ever said that you couldn't add a bit melody to a Metal song? Even my favorite Soilwork song and record, "Figure Number Five", has a lot of melody to it. People, melody isn't a bad thing! Want another killer guitar riff? Check out "The Thrill". Classic Soilwork with that pulsating and twisty riff wrapped around a great groove. Wichers is the man and his return to the band adds another dimension that was simply lost when he left the band 4-5 years ago.
And this brings me to the vocals of band leader Bjorn "Speed" Strid. "Speed" is in great form on The Panic Broadcast. He seamlessly melds his clean vocals with his patented growling and he sounds awesome. On CD lead off track, "The Akuma Afterglow", Speed quickly shows that he is in top form and sets the tone with his great performance. "The Akuma Afterglow" is also a good lead track, as it shows a great mixture of the old and newer work of Soilwork. Second track, "Deliverance is Mine" is a killer tune complete with some great harmonized guitar leads, and a heavy winding, chorus guitar riff. Anyone that thinks that these guys have lost a step needs to really check out The Panic Broadcast. Killer, heavy and groove laden stuff contained within, and if any of the past 2 records have scared you off at all, Soilwork have gotten it right here with their latest effort.
Soilwork has been a band of much debate on whether or not they have changed TOO much over the years or not and I for one love all of their records to this point, but having said that I also get why some people haven't been in their corner of late. If anyone is expecting The Chainheart Machine all over again, you will be disappointed. But if you were a fan of say, Figure Number Five you will totally dig this record. The Panic Broadcast is Soilwork at their best in years and with guitar mastermind, Peter Wichers back at the helm, this record is a killer. Is it melodic? Yes it is, but not in a sappy way at all. Chorus melody lines will get stuck in your head, while all of the intense guitar riffing, against the awesome drum work, that has become a Soilwork trademark, is all there in spades! The production is stellar (thanks to Peter Wichers handling the records production!) and there are no filler tracks on the record to be found, either. As I said earlier, melody is NOT a bad thing and used the way Soilwork has done here, none of the heaviness is lost either. From heavy as shit blast beats of "King Of The Threshold" to even an acoustic filled intro of a tune like, "Let This River Flow", The Panic Broadcast is an announcement that Soilwork are back and out to prove something. Listen up and pay attention!
1. The Akuma Afterglow
2. Deliverance Is Mine
3. Enter Dog Of Pavlov
5. King Of The Threshold
6. Late For The Kill, Early For The Slaughter
7. Let This River Flow
8. Night Comes Clean
9. The Thrill
10. Two Lives Worth Of Reckoning