Alright, time to be brutally honest here. I haven’t been remotely excited about anything Soilwork related since the release of Natural Born Chaos back in 2002. I find Figure Number Five lacklustre at best, Stabbing The Drama barely acceptable and Sworn To A Great Divide is still collecting dust in some dark corner of my room. Hence my cynicism and scorn towards the latest album by Soilwork, entitled The Panic Broadcast.
I’ll be damned, because The Panic Broadcast is a fine album. In fact, it’s a very fine album and it’s arguably the best Soilwork album in almost a decade. The band managed to rekindle the old fire again, because I haven’t heard them this focussed and aggressive since, well, A Predator’s Portrait. The opening song Late For The Kill, Early For The Slaughter is a frantic scorcher and so is King Of The Threshold. Tracks like Two Lives Worth The Reckoning, Deliverance Is Mine and Epitome are killer midtempo stompers. Soilwork even gets experimental on Let This River Flow, The Akuma Afterglow and Enter Dog Of Pavlov.
The Panic Broadcast finally marks the return of some fine leadwork for which Soilwork was renowned back in the day, thanks to the return of Peter Wichers and newcomer Silvain Coudret (Scarve). Drummer Dirk Verbeuren gets all the room to show his considerable skills and he really shines on this album. Vocalist Bjorn Strid sounds pissed off as ever and gives this album a lot of additional power.
Isn’t there anything to complain about then? Frankly, no. This record is just fine in the format it is, though I wouldn’t mind to have some more aggressive and fast paced tracks on it, just like back on A Predator’s Portrait and The Chainheart Machine. Wishful thinking perhaps, but you never know.
In short, Soilwork are finally back on track and have delivered their finest effort since Natural Born Chaos. Welcome back gentlemen!
written by Raymond Westland