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Soilwork - A Predator's Portrait (9,5/10) - Sweden - 2001

Genre: Death Metal
Label: Nuclear Blast Records
Playing time: 45:50
Band homepage: Soilwork

Tracklist:

  1. Bastard Chain
  2. Like The Average Stalker
  3. Needlefast
  4. Neurotica Rampage
  5. The Analyst
  6. Grand Failure Anthem
  7. Structure Divine
  8. Shadowchild
  9. Final Fatal Forge
  10. A Predator's Portrait
Soilwork - A Predator's Portrait
Phew! Let's take a deeeep breath!

This album really is a killer! The info praises "A Predator's Portrait" with the high-flying words "for sure the best out of the melodic Thrash/Death Metal for years." Folks, believe those words, because I couldn't have put it any better, what these six Swedes have created here is incredible!

The foundation still is Death with Thrash Metal, like on the two other albums "Steelbath Suicide" and "The Chainheart Machine", but this goes farther, much farther... I admit that the first two albums haven't really caught my attention, but with this one SOILWORK are one of the hottest bands of the whole Metal-scene.

Atmospheric keyboards, which never push into the foreground or weaken the solid steel, are mixed into their heavy Death/Thrash, here and there you will find a Heavy Metal-riff and for the first time also clean vocals by Björn Strid, which are more than just an experiment.

Basically an album without any mentionable weakness, but still I want to pick out a few songs that still stand out. "Like The Average Stalker" alternates between straight, driving rhythm and atmospheric passages with melodic guitars, to culminate in a chorus with rough, but clean vocals. On "Needlefeast" the Gentlemen Wichers and Frenning excel on the guitars, staccato-bridge stands in stark contrast to the very melodic chorus and its clear voice. "The Analyst" starts out with an irresistible Heavy Metal-riff, which is a great kick in the ass for this song, to live off the clean vox and the keyboards in the chorus, great! And "Shadowchild" is a bastard of thundering Death/Thrash and very melodic parts, in which the guitar-lines invite you to shake your head in disbelief.

Now don't make the mistake of thinking that all those melodic and cleanly sung passages might water the heaviness of "A Predator's Portrait", because this album is a killer from the beginning to the end, going straight for your throat!

So who is even remotely interested in the mentioned styles, count your money and place it somewhere, where you will be able to grab it on release-date, because this is an essential buy!

Alexander Melzer



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