Out on January 11th 2019 via Nuclear Blast, Verkligheten (English: Reality) is the eleventh studio album by Swedish melodic metal band Soilwork. The follow up to 2015’s The Ride Majestic it sees Bastian Thusgaard take up the drums as the replacement of longtime member Dirk Verbeuren.
We’re fans of the melodic death metal that Soilwork play and the previously released singles from this album have gone down well in our camp. You can read our review of Arrival here and Full Moon Shoals here. As part of the bigger metal picture though they sound even better and Verkligheten sets the bar for 2019 already.
An instrumental opening that doesn’t feel pointless as it bleeds into Arrival heralds the start of Soilwork’s ferocious style of metal. Energetic riffing, fiery drums and a great mix of clean and dirty vocals. Soilwork certainly have arrived!
Bleeder Despoiler then ups the groove and throws in some drumming that almost sounds industrial in delivery. Here the clean chorus against the sharp guitar groove is what really stands out.
When Soilwork focus on their more melodic side it’s often where Verkligheten stands out and the likes of Full Moon Shoals and Stålfågel show this. They still have their heavy moments but it’s far less generic sounding. Although they certainly aren’t lacking when it comes to delivering crushing death metal.
The Nurturing Glance is a high point personally as the guitar groove, deep bass cuts and wickedly catchy vocals just hits nicely.
A twelve track album, it’s nice to see that there is little in the way of filler here. It’s only The Wolves Are Back in Town that fails to really ignite but that is corrected almost immediately by the pacey metal rhythm of Witan, another contender for the best track on the album.
This is a very strong release and never feels like it drags, proven by the excellent final double header of Needles and Kin and You Aquiver.
The bar has been set.
Soilwork – Verkligheten Full Track Listing:
1. Verkligheten (Instrumental)
3. Bleeder Despoiler
4. Full Moon Shoals
5. The Nurturing Glance
6. When the Universe Spoke
8. The Wolves Are Back in Town
10. The Ageless Whisper
11. Needles and Kin (Featuring Tomi Joutsen)
12. You Aquiver (Featuring Dave Sheldon)
Verkligheten will available via all major digital and streaming services. You can order physical copies and merchandise via Nuclear Blast here.
Soilwork – Verkligheten (Nuclear Blast)
The Final Score - 8.5/10