SOILWORK scored a major home run last time with "Natural Born Chaos" and with that I think the stakes were raised really high. So, the question is...does this band sink or swim? The guys pass with flying colours. Those who are into "Chainheart Machine" and "Steelbath Suicide" should look elsewhere. The band looks to continue with the formula of "Natural" and broaden their horizons from there. Speed's vocals have really come into their own as his singing capabilities have matured by leaps and bounds. He still has the raspy grit, but his clean vocals have really shined as well.
"Overload" has some driving chug riffs that compliment Speed's anger. This song is different because it has some odd atmospheres layered over the melodies which is provided by Sven Karlsson one time member of EVERGREY. "Rejection Role" shows Speed going back and forth with his clean and dirty voice which sounds smooth. The title track is heavy Thrash in the vein of old which should make the old school fans of the band hot and bothered. The duelling guitar work by Peter and Ola Frenning is just as bad ass as ever. These guys know how to play off of one another and make the fans drool over their fret work frenzy. However, in my opinion, the one man who will always be the shining star is Henry Ranta with his tight as hell drum playing. He is always on target and gets complex when you least expect it. His playing is effortless and smooth as ice.
I think that by having Devin Townsend produce the last album he has given the necessary advice to the band to carry on without him long after the completion of "Natural". While "Figure Number Five" picks up where "Natural" left off, the band take the ball and run far with it. Another finely produced album that can be put on the top ten list of 2003. The real question here will be if the next album will be a lemon or fly high into the stratosphere? (Online July 11, 2003)