Soilwork - Övergivenheten (2022)


The always evolving Björn Strid and Soilwork are finally back, with yet another boundary smashing release. Far from the band’s original Melodic Death Metal style, it seems like this band style is heading in a collision course with Björn’s other band The Night Flight Orchestra sans the 80’s glam. Most of the tracks are both soothing and catchy, with a rock’n’roll vibe, leaving aside from time to time, some of their heavier elements from before.

Starting with some funky folky atmospherics of the album title track, it quickly brings back some familiar onslaughts as there are plenty of heavy riffs and harsh screams, blended in with soaring melodic passages. This initial impression is quickly changed with “Nous Sommes La Guerre”, a piece more in the Night Flight Orchestra vibe, with pop-ish edges and engaging vocal melodies. The band’s duality to more melodic and ‘accessible’ pieces, and the heavier melodic DM influences is a bit confusing and chaotic as they transition through pieces like “Electric Again” and “Valleys of Gloam”.

While there are plenty of heavy moments in engaging songs like “It's In Your Darkness” and “Vultures”, there are just too many changes and back and forths to really set into a stable mood and enjoy the release. We still love songs like the catchy “Death, I Hear You Calling”, but placed next to “The Godless Universe”, the release’s flow seems to change and get convoluted. The same can be said when going from “Golgata” to “Harvest Spine”.

There are some great songs and great moments to be found in “Övergivenheten” don't get us wrong, but the album as a whole seems a bit convoluted and not free flowing. The transition from heavier to non-heavy Pop-ish stuff does not seem fully fleshed out, creating odd tempo changes and weird transitions that diminish the overall value of this release. The band’s constant evolution has been great to watch and hear, but in this one it feels a bit incompatible.

Bands: Soilwork Album: Övergivenheten

Label: Nuclear Blast Records

Release: August 19th, 2022

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Genre: Melodic Metal

Country: Sweden

Rating: 86/100

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