Soilwork

The Panic Broadcast

01. Late For The Kill, Early For The Slaughter
02. Two Lives Worth Of Reckoning
03. The Thrill
04. Deliverance Is Mine
05. Night Comes Clean
06. King Of The Threshold
07. Let This River Flow
08. Epitome
09. The Akuma Afterglow
10. Enter Dog Of Pavlov

If you were a new listener of Soilwork and decided to pick two random albums out of their discography, they would sound extremely different. This is one of their best qualities: diversity and evolution. A spot in metal history should be reserved for these Swedish metallers. While not everyone has enjoyed all of their work (I being one of them) you would be hard-pressed to find bands who deserve the credit these guys do. It’s this quality that truly elevates them to another level. The Panic Broadcast, Soilwork‘s latest release, continues this trend.

By now you should know Soilwork has become more accessible to the masses. The Panic Broadcast is no different. Melody, aggressiveness and ultimately, catchy as fuck. Bjorn “Speed” Strid is as strong as ever, changing from screams to more of a powerful yell and his singing becoming much more passionate, light and refined. In the end, he delivers some of the catchiest things I’ve ever heard from him (“Night Comes Clean”, “Epitome”). With the return of Peter Wichers, Soilwork have improved in the guitar department tenfold. Strong, groovy, thrash-influenced riffs and well-constructed solos that are absolutely killer flood this album like torrential downpour. Dirk Verbeuren also makes another solid effort with his diversified portfolio of drumming styles.

There’s all-bullshit-aside, in-your-face tracks (“King of the Threshold”), there’s powerful, moving ballads (“Let This River Flow”) and there’s, well, a whole lot of the modern Soilwork. Except this time around it’s more eclectic and refined. Out of all the modernized Soilwork albums, this is the best by far. From the foot-tapping, familiar-yet-experimental “Enter Dog Of Pavlov” to the doom metal influenced chug-a-long “Epitome” there should be something here for all Soilwork fans.

The Panic Broadcast is, however, not without fault. The biggest issue here is the the song structure. Sure, there’s exponentially more technicality than the last few albums from a musical standpoint, but the songs rely heavily on the choruses. Multiple listens will diminish its impact. This is, unfortunately, a huge downfall for all genres of music that rely on choruses. Additionally, I find that the drums are pretty overproduced, lacking a little too much raw sound for my taste. Last but not least, I wish the keyboardist had been an integral part of the sound, or at the least, contributing to it. It’s there, but it’s buried way too low in the mix to matter. I’m just nitpicking at this point, though.

All in all, The Panic Broadcast is a fantastic album. While it may be at fault with its emphasis on catchy choruses, they’re so fucking catchy that it may be a while before you get them out of your head (again, see “Night Comes Clean“). The execution here is almost perfect. Soilwork fans will be extremely pleased with their latest effort if you can come to accept they’re not the same band who wrote A Predator’s Portrait.

Soilwork – The Panic Broadcast gets…

4/5

– MK

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