Soilwork - The Living InfiniteSoilwork

The Living Infinite

01. Spectrum Of Eternity
02. Memories Confined
03. This Momentary Bliss
04. Tongue
05. The Living Infinite I
06. Let The First Wave Rise
07. Vesta
08. Realm Of The Wasted
09. The Windswept Mercy
10. Whispers And Lights
11. Entering Aeons
12. Long Live The Misanthrope
13. Drowning With Silence
14. Antidotes In Passing
15. Leech
16. The Living Infinite II
17. Loyal Shadow
18. Rise Above The Sentiment
19. Parasite Blues
20. Owls Predict, Oracles Stand Guard

[02/27/13]
[Nuclear Blast]

The prospect of any band releasing a double album should immediately worry fans; that’s one hell of a lot of material that needs to be interesting, or else there goes the whole album.  Fortunately, not only did Soilwork realize this, but took three years to work on twenty downright classic songs that take up 84 minutes of disc space. Approximately zero of that time is filler or less-than-memorable.

The first disc of The Living Infinite shines with its immense diversity, but never breaks the coherent experience of the record. Opening up with a mysterious looming orchestral melody turned lightening-fast metal of ‘Spectrum of Eternity’ is a feat in and of itself, but keeping up that raging, gigantic sound throughout the song is damn near legendary. ‘Spectrum of Eternity’ is a great example of what’s to come on the first disc; a lot of very different songs than you’d expect from a Soilwork album, but they work. Songs like ‘The Windswept Mercy’ and ‘Memories Confined’ take the speed down a notch, bump up the chordal work, and let vocalist Björn “Speed” Strid go to town on ingraining melodies too catchy for their own good in your head. Then there are songs that feel like a throwback to some old Soilwork, namely ‘Realm of the Wasted,’ which could have passed as a B-side from the Natural Born Chaos era of the band.

The second disc takes a slightly darker turn, if not a little bit heavier. With songs to showcase like the single ‘Rise Above the Sentiment,’ you’ve already got yourself one solid song in the bank! The track that stands out above the rest on the second disc is ‘Parasite Blues,’ which is a straightforward metal tune that strongly demands a little bit of wind milling at the very least.  Then there are straight up death metal-speed songs like ‘Leech’ with a great, atmospheric half-timed chorus, and even the acoustic, slightly-spacey jams of ‘Antidotes in Passing.’ It’s difficult to say which disc is better, and truthfully there really isn’t an answer to it; they’re both different in their own unique ways that essentially forces you to listen through the album as a whole.

That’s right. When it comes right down to it, Soilwork have written a coherent double album that kills it from start to finish.

While the music itself on the record is worth whatever the charge be for it (and yes, newly added guitarist David Andersson fits right in with the band with maniacal and catchy riffing), the real star here is Björn “Speed” Strid. Every single song has at least one memorable moment or lyric that’s going to stick with you for a little bit, even if it’s screamed rather than sung. Speed is belting out his lines with such conviction and clarity that you’d think he’s been perfecting his craft over the course of two decades… mainly because he has.

The Living Infinite is going to end up as one of the best records from 2013 on many lists this year, and it deserves to be. Take everything you know about Soilwork’s melodic death metal-type sound and amplify it by a thousand. Got that? Now take some acoustic guitars, a little ambiance, a few orchestral backdrops, new keyboard sounds, and the whole lot of everything metal encompasses in terms of genre. Cram all of that into your metaphorical blender, and voila! The Living Infinite.

Soilwork – The Living Infinite gets…

4.5/5

– GK

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