THE LIVING INFINITE
To be perfectly honest, I REALLY thought that Soilwork was dead and buried. Sure, I knew they were still a band and were still making music, but their last couple of releases were some of the biggest disappointments of a band that I truly love that I can think of. I couldn't have hated STABBING THE DRAMA or SWORN TO A GREAT DIVIDE more if they were hand delivered to me by a pedophile that had just finished raping my children. When you consider what masterpieces A PREDATOR'S PORTRAIT and NATURAL BORN CHAOS were from this band, and then hearing them reach aimlessly for commercial success by changing their sound, it was very disheartening in very much the same way that a band like In Flames let so many down with their transition to a soft modern metal act. Thankfully though, Soilwork has come storming back. While it's not quite a full return, THE LIVING INFINITE is by far the best release from this band in a decade.
The theme here is BIG. The sound of THE LIVING INFINITE is so gigantic. It's such a nice return to form. Songs like "The Momentary Bliss" just jump out of the iPod and rip your ears apart with their intense, loud sound. The underlying riff of the song by new guitarist David Andersson and Sylvain Coudret is fun, and almost progressive metal-like. That's a big key to the new energy here. Andersson replaces original member Peter Wichers, and from listening to THE LIVING INFINITE, he's brought a LOT of new energy back to the band. A song like "Tongue" just fires on all cylinders. It's also cool to hear vocalist Bjorn "Speed" Strid putting a lot more of his guttural wailing back into the mix and using it more as the base with the clean vocals as the change-up, instead of the other way around that has plagued the last few albums. Strid is good, but it's the guitars which are so amazingly compelling on this release. Without question, THE LIVING INFINITE is the most musical effort this band has ever done.
PITRIFF RATING - 94/100 - A double disc release that doesn't get boring from start to finish, and a return to form for a band that had pretty much died on the vine, THE LIVING INFINITE is definitely a contender for metal release of the year in my eyes. Strong in all avenues, modern without the lame whining that plagues most of the new stuff, and yet powerful enough to entertain most fans of the more modern flavored extreme stuff, THE LIVING INFINITE is a winner.