If this is the first time that you’ve heard of the Swedish melodic death metal band Soilwork, you may be surprised to find out that they have been going strong for over 20 years, since their formation in late 1995, and have recently released their 11th studio album titled Verkligheten.
During their fairly long musical journey, Soilwork have inevitably gone through multiple changes in style and aesthetic over the years, with the majority of their albums pushing their music forward. Verkligheten is certainly no exception in this respect, showing an even more melodic, creative and more light-hearted side to the band while possibly being one of their most accessible albums to date.
Verkligheten was promoted with three teaser tracks. The final teaser track, ‘Stalfagel’, was actually the first that I listen to in full and it instantly won me over with its epic rock anthem aesthetic and, ultimately, persuaded me enough to revisit a band that made up quite a large chunk of my early teen-hood. After listening to their classic albums such as 2013’s The Living Infinite and 2003’s Figure Number Five once more, I remembered just how underrated this band truly is. While I would admit that Soilwork’s discography as a whole is a very mixed bag, Verkligheten is certainly one of the band’s gems.
After enjoying ‘Stalfagel’, I listened to the two earlier teaser tracks, ‘Arrival’ and ‘Full Moon Shoals’, both of which became very appealing after taking the time to listen to them properly. ‘Full Moon Shoals’ especially has some gorgeous melodies and somehow feels musically similar to Mastodon’s 2017 album Emperor of Sand, which was another album that I thoroughly enjoyed.
My favourite tracks aside from the three teasers have to include ‘The Nurturing Glance’ with its exhilarating and epic riffs, the explosive ‘Witan’, which the band released a music video for on the day of Verkligheten’s launch and ‘The Ageless Whisper’ which feels like a musical lovechild of past Soilwork hits like ‘Parasite Blues’ and ‘Martyr’.
After the absolute masterpiece that was The Living Infinite, no Soilwork album since then has surpassed it. However, Verkligheten definitely comes close to doing so. It’s just an incredibly enjoyable and fun album to listen to in comparison to its predecessors and proved to me that the band still has what it takes to blow me away.