Soilwork - Stabbing the DramaWith Stabbing the Drama, Soilwork’s stellar 2005 release, the Helsingborg, (gasp – not Gothenburg!) Sweden-based band found success in the American market in a big way. Thanks to the consistently excellent songwriting and a great case of “the right place at the right time,” Soilwork found themselves poised to take advantage of metalcore’s burgeoning popularity in the States by showing less-in-the-know metalheads where that sound came from in the first place. This landed them a slot on the second stage of Ozzfest 2005, and they continued touring in support of Stabbing the Drama with a 200+ show world tour.

“Stabbing the Drama,” the title track, and “Nerve” are the obvious headbanging highlights, mixing the band’s trademark downtuned chugging with soaring (but not corny) choruses. Vocalist Bjorn “Speed” Strid demonstrates his versaility, alternating between one of the most clearly understandable growls in all of death metal and an atmospheric clean sung voice that shows surprising range and accuracy. “One with the Flies” is Soilwork’s take on American thrash and it totally works, with keyboards and samples interspersed throughout. “Stalemate” does the same but mixes in as epic a chorus as any, and “Distance” follows with another high octane blast. Even the filler tracks on this album deliver excellent riffery. My only qualms with this album are the use of triggered drum sounds and the fact that guitarists Peter Wichers and Ola Frenning take less guitar solos than ever before, but these are minor complaints considering the songwriting is consistently so good.


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