Sound — 10
Over time, Soilwork has refined their sound immensely, but The Chainheart Machine is one of the few albums released by the swedish quintet which seems to remain unadultered and completely natural. Much like their debut release, Steelbath Suicide, The Chainheart Machine combines elements of thrash and melodic death metal to create a legendary record. One aspect of this record which really impresses me are the many winding guitar solos which are followed up by speedy thrash licks. Additionally, keyboardist Carlos Del Olmo Holmberg adds very well-timed keyboards which are present in every song, but not overdone.
Lyrics — 9
From the first track of The Chainheart Machine, Bjorn Strid's vocals really stand out, meshing perfectly with the music behind him. Aside from Strid's spectacular vocal style, the lyrics are about average for a metal record. None of the lyrics really shine over the others, but my favorites would be those to Possessing the Angels and Machinegun Majesty. Although the lyrical content is only average, Bjorn Strid's vocal style and deliverance clearly makes up for his own lyrics. Not a perfect 10, but certainly close.
Overall Impression — 10
The Chainheart Machine is easily Soilwork's highest quality release, followed up by their debut, Steelbath Suicide. What sets this album apart from other recordings is the sheer catchyness of the songs and spectacular musicianship that almost seems to be lacking on other albums. What Soilwork displays with perfection on this album is their ability to seamlessly transition from thrash to melodic in a matter of seconds. You really cannot pick out a couple of standout songs from this record, but my personal favorites are Bulletbeast, Millionflame, and Spirits of the Future Sun. There is absolutely nothing to hate about this album. Not one part about it gets repetitive, and it keeps the listener on his feet. If you do not own this album, I urge you to go out and buy it, for if it were stolen from me I would go out and pick up another copy in an instant.