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Soilwork: Figure Number Five

Fans really get their money's worth with this 2CD special edition of Soilwork's 2003 release Figure Number Five, as you get the new album plus a bonus disc with six demo tracks from 1997, most of which made it onto the bands 1998 release Steelbath Suicide. What is striking though is hearing how much this band has changed since 1998. These early songs are examples of brutal & technical death/thrash metal, with monstrous guitar riffs and menacing growls, while the bands new material treads the melodic death metal trail, with hints of industrial, nu-metal, as well as progressive metal.

How can you resist such crunchy yet catchy tunes like "Rejection Role" or "Overload", complete with a perfect mixing of throaty and clean vocals, punchy guitar riffs, electronic keyboard washes, and a driving rhythm section. The lead vocals of Speed have a wide range, as he can perform the grunts as well as the melodic passages equally well. He goes for the jugular on the maniacal title track, a booming thrash piece, and mixes gruesome shouts with a catchy clean chorus on "Strangler", a tune that could easily appeal to the nu-metal crowd. Reference to fellow Swedes In Flames can be heard on the prog-metal/electronic mayhem of "Light the Torch", as well as the bubbling, futuristic "Departure Plan", a tune that has the album's best hooks.

Of course, there's plenty of bombastic Swedish metal here, like the rampaging "Cranking the Sirens" and technical ferocity of the Meshuggah-like "Brickwalker", both of which contain huge, shredding guitar riffs, and just enough keyboards to add a nice symphonic touch. "The Mindmaker" also plays at breakneck speed with chugging guitars and manic drum fills, plus the added attraction of Speed's clean and frenzied vocals.

While Figure Number Five shows Soilwork veering from the deadly sounds that they originally crashed on to the scene with, it is a polished and mature release from a band that seems set to make their mark in the mainstream metal market.

Track Listing
1. Rejection Role
2. Overload
3. Figure Number Five
4. Strangler
5. Light The Torch
6. Departure Plan
7. Cranking The Sirens
8. Brickwalker
9. The Mindmaker
10. Distortion Sleep
11. Downfall 24
Bonus CD
1) Bound to Illusions
2) My Need
3) In a Close Encounter
4) Skin After Skin
5) Wake Up Call
6) Steel Bath Suicide

Added: January 24th 2005
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Soilwork Website
Hits: 3775
Language: english

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