Beyond The Infinite review by Soilwork

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  • Released: Sep 24, 2014
  • Sound: 7
  • Lyrics: 6
  • Overall Impression: 7
  • Reviewer's score: 6.7 Neat
  • Users' score: 8.9 (16 votes)
Soilwork: Beyond The Infinite

Sound — 7
Soilwork is a Swedish melodic death metal band that released its first album in 1998. Each of the band members have had varying years of service in the band; vocalist Björn "Speed" Strid is the only founding member. The "Beyond the Infinite" EP follows the release of their album "The Living Infinite" in 2013. 

Now that the introduction if out of the way, I can honestly say that I had never heard of Soilwork before I was given this EP. The first thing that immediately struck me was to read that Soilwork is considered a melodic death metal band. While my depth of experience with that genre is not immense, I could quickly tell that Soilwork was not exclusively death metal.

What I hear on this album is more of a melodic hardcore type of band. The riffs could definitely fall into the death metal category. The guitar solos are pretty tame; there is a little bit of DragonForce shredding on "When Sound Collides" but that's all. The punishing double kick drum that I have come to expect from death metal bands is there, but not punishing. It is mixed in such a way that the listener knows it's there, but is at the same time not getting punched in the gut every sixteenth note. 

The best part of the sound is the chord progressions. The riffs are not altogether novel, though the bass riff at the 2:22 mark of "Forever Lost in Vain" is an amazing exception; it had my skin jumping the entire time. The guitar solos, while not annoying, are not creative. I feel like I've heard the exact phrases that David Andersson and Sylvain Coudret play before from many other bands. At some point in I would think any listener's time, those Eddie Van Halen tapping phrases and the simple minor scale arpeggios get boring. Being new to Soilwork, I am not sure how much presence keyboards have had on their previous albums, but on this EP they are almost non-existent. It seems that more prevalent use of the keyboards could balance out the EP's rough side and make a more complete sound.

Lyrics — 6
The vocals are what put this album into the hardcore genre. There are contrasting scream and clean vocals, but there are no guttural growls, nothing that would the average musician would find unintelligible. The lyrics aren't violent either. There are death metal bands who sing about relatively normal (compared to Cannibal Corpse or Dying Fetus) topics, but the way that Björn Strid sings, he seems to be in the hardcore, -core, or maybe even emo category.

Of course, categorizing music or musicians is not what really matters; it matters how good they are. In Strid's case, at least with this EP, I think he is a little below average. The lyrics are fine but his delivery has no staying power. Even on a five song EP, it is easy to get bored with his voice, even though his voice is fairly good to begin with.

Overall Impression — 7
Overall, this EP plays like an album teaser. Every couple of sections, there is a glimpse of the talent Soilwork possesses, but this level of musicianship is rarely sustained. The album sounds good, it is easy to mosh to, it isn't overly annoying, but at the same time, it is not unique in the slightest. This facet is what, unfortunately, will confine the EP to the realm of obscurity.

6 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Soilwork is one of my all time favorite bands, I thoroughly enjoy every one of their nine LP's. I'll have to listen to this EP, but Forever Lost in Vain sounds really solid! Damn, The Living Infinite is so good! Double album with 75 minutes of music and there is only one song that I think is slightly weak (Owls Predict, Oracles Stand Guard). My favorites are Natural Born Chaos, A Predator's Portrait, and The Living Infinite, but I can never say which one is my absolute favorite, just depends on what I'm in the mood for.
    A majority of their work without Peter Wichers is a generic yawnfest. Check out "A Predator's Portrait" "Natural Born Chaos" & "The Panic Broadcast", all great records.
    Gonna have to disagree with you on this one, because The Living Infinite is a great album.
    That's cool, each to their own. Like I said, I liked a few songs off of the album but I was personally disappointed with it.
    To my negative votes I say: Sworn To a Great Divide. Of course it is also simply my own opinion. I offered my opinion in this manner in hopes the reviewer would notice it, as I found the 3 albums I mentioned to have a very unique sound, I thought maybe the reviewer would feel similarly, and like the reviewer I found this ep in no way unique; it, along with The Living Infinite, doesn't excite me in any way, bar 2 or 3 songs off of The Living Infinite. Soilwork are also one of my most listened and all time favourite bands but there's just albums I can't really get in to and these albums also seem to be albums Peter Wichers had no involvement in, which is more coincidence than any sort of bias. I see why a lot of people love The Living Infinite but it just sounds, for lack of a better word, generic to me. Predictable maybe? I don't know, I just feel like I've heard it a thousand times before.
    this is the worst and least accurate album review ive ever read. Strid's vocals are not at all in the realm of hardcore or emo (seriously???). there isn't one thing about Strid that could be described as below average. his live delivery, the intensity behind every lyric, the falsetto at the end of "let the first wave rise" (not on this EP i know). this reviewer quickly forgot a very important detail that they did mention early on. MELODIC death metal. not to be confused with death metal like napalm death, cannibal corpse, etc. I don't get whats so unimpressive about the leads. they don't remotely remind me of EVH's style and its not like they're making an attempt to rip off his licks to begin with. sounds like this reviewer needs to get an idea of what melodic death metal is and then return and try again. while they aren't necessarily the purest embodiment of what most would define as melodic death metal, if you're expecting a weird cannibal corpse/EVH mixture, you're going to be a bit disappointed.