"A Predator's Portrait" was a hefty kick in the ass of the slowly lamer-turning Gothenborg-Melodic Death-scene and with this one of the most welcomed albums of the past year. So many, many people waited for "Natural Born Chaos" and what should I say? It was more than worth it!
Style-wise the guys around singer Björn "Speed" Striid haven't really changed a lot, but what is obvious is that every track sees the use of the clean vocals now, mostly on the choruses. The choruses are the outstanding fact of "Natural Born Chaos" anyway, because it's truly amazing what the Swedes have created with them. All the choruses have turned out to be very catchy and gripping, you just can't elude their grasp.
Just take the fast opening cracker "Follow The Hollow", here the whole SOILWORK-sound is presented in compact 4 minutes. Driving rhythm, strong guitars, very varied vocals, great melodies, just a damn good track! And this impression is furthered by the rest of the album.
Fast crackers and more mid-paced killers are balancing, "The Flameout", e.g., is thundering through, but, as we are used to by SOILWORK by now, not in one straight onslaught, but with a very melodic chorus, and once more Henri Ranta proves his whole class.
Everything is packed into a really brilliant production, responsible for it a certain Devin Townsend, who gives every song just the sound that it needs, clear, powerful, just as it should be! Fans of the first two albums, who haven't liked "A Predator's Portrait" already, don't even have to try out "Natural Born Chaos", but be honest, who would have expected a step back from SOILWORK?
The band has undoubtedly further refined its sound with "Natural Born Chaos" and especially found their own, which should finally bring them the break-through into commercial regions like the genre-greats of DARK TRANQUILLITY and IN FLAMES. After the end of AT THE GATES Gothenburg has a troika on its upper echelons!