SOILWORK
"Natural Born Chaos"

(Nuclear Blast)

01. Follow The Hollow
02. As We Speak
03. The Flameout
04. Natural Born Chaos
05. Mindfields
06. The Bringer
07. Blackstar Deceiver
08. Mercury Shadow
09. No More Angels
10. Song Of The Damned

RATING: 8.5/10

Arguably one of the year's most anticipated “underground” metal releases, SOILWORK's Natural Born Chaos has turned out to be a boldly experimental effort for the Swedish outfit, with the group stripping away some of the unadulterated aggression that characterized their earlier releases in favor of a substantially more melodic approach. Of course, much of what has made the band's A Predator's Portrait album such a memorable effort is still in place, and there are plenty of incredible riffs and breathtaking musical passages on the offer that are certain to please lovers of the Swedish melodic death metal approach. However, SOILWORK's songwriting is now much more refined and revolves far more around huge, melodic choruses (i.e. “Song Of The Damned”, “Mercury Shadow”) than was ever the case on the group's past releases. How much of that is due to the involvement of STRAPPING YOUNG LAD mainman Devin Townsend (who also contributes lead vocals to “Blackstar Deceiver”) is open to speculation, but one thing is certain: SOILWORK have never sounded quite as ready for mass domination as they do here—from the production all the way down to the vocal work, which is by far and away the best we've yet heard from Bjorn "Speed" Strid.

If I have one glaring criticism of Natural Born Chaos, it's simply that the songs' melodic sections appear to have diluted some of the intensity that was previously present in the group's songwriting approach—a seemingly inevitable consequence of the band's natural musical evolution. This aside, SOILWORK have delivered an excellent album that is certain to rank as one of the year's finest.

COMMENTS

To comment on a BLABBERMOUTH.NET story or review, you must be logged in to an active personal account on Facebook. Once you're logged in, you will be able to comment. User comments or postings do not reflect the viewpoint of BLABBERMOUTH.NET and BLABBERMOUTH.NET does not endorse, or guarantee the accuracy of, any user comment. BLABBERMOUTH.NET reserves the right to "hide" comments that may be considered offensive, illegal or inappropriate and to "ban" users that violate the site's Terms Of Service. Hidden comments will still appear to the user and to the user's Facebook friends. If a new comment is published from a "banned" user or contains a blacklisted word, this comment will automatically have limited visibility (the "banned" user's comments will only be visible to the user and the user's Facebook friends). To report any abusive, obscene, defamatory, racist, homophobic or threatening comments, or anything that may violate any applicable laws, please send an e-mail to blabbermouthinbox(@)gmail.com with pertinent details.