Stabbing The Drama
Review by Alexi on February 13, 2005.
Since the release of Natural Born Chaos, Soilwork has taken a new path as a band. Prior to 2002, Soilwork was classified as one of the leaders of the melodic death metal movement. Releases such as Steelbath Suicide and The Chainheart Machine displayed not only the bands brutality, but the finesse in their abilities with their instruments. Natural Born Chaos proved to be a turning point as the band turned to a more diluted sound which was more pallid then complex. Similar to their Swedish contemporaries, In Flames, Soilwork’s new sound is the antithesis of what the band once prided itself on. Whether this is good or bad is up to the listener.
Stabbing The Drama, Soilwork’s sixth release in the last seven years, is a remarkable feat in itself. However, just because the band has released so many records in a small amount of time does not speak to the quality of its music. I feel that one of the reasons Soilwork’s music has progressed in such a manner is purely because the band spent very little time crafting their music. They appear to have thrown it together. Stabbing the Drama is the first record Soilwork has released in a long time that contains complex structures and guitar solos that appear to have been thought out and meticulously planned. The result is a record that is lot tighter than Figure Number Five or Natural Born Chaos.
Musically, Stabbing The Drama is a combination of Figure Number Five and The Chainheart Machine. The use of the keyboards as a background instrument rather then as a lead will provide any Soilwork fan with nostalgia. The guitar solos such as the one heard on “Blind Eye Halo” might have been taken right from any older Soilwork record. Unfortunately, the rhythms are more like vanilla ice cream, as they have very little substance and sustain to them. There are no memorable guitar riffs on this album. Even after listening to the record over ten times, I could find no backing guitar parts which stand out, or that are memorable.
Over the past few Soilwork records, the vocals of Speed have matched the some progression of the guitars, although they get progressively weaker as the albums keep getting pumped out. Stabbing The Drama proves to be Speed’s worst effort. His screams are not at all unique and can be compared to those of the most generic metal singers, such as Patrick Lachman (Damageplan). His clean vocals are also at best ghastly. Soilwork should never include clean vocals in their songs ever again due to Speed’s lack of vocal ability. It is clear that Speed has become the weakest link in the band. It would be in the best interest of Speed to stick with Disarmonia Mundi.
If you like the older Soilwork records and nearly vomited out of disgust after hearing Natural Born Chaos and Figure Number Five, avoid this album like the plague. If you enjoy the new Soilwork records, then Stabbing The Drama will make a nice addition to your collection.
Categorical Rating Breakdown
Rating: 4.6 out of 10