Well, we saw this one coming. Soilwork’s new album, “The Living Infinite”, definitely lived up to its expectations and even managed to exceed them. After releasing 8 critically acclaimed albums, the Swedish melodic death metal heavyweights have now released their 9th as a double album. “The Living Infinite” has turned out to be a magical, monolithic masterpiece of the genre. It’s an ambitious and glorious project. Both intelligent and refined. There are no specific differences between the two CDs so I would like to present the beautiful gems of this album one by one.

The first CD is opened by the powerful blast beats of the first single “Spectrum of Eternity” followed by a slower “Memories Confined” and the amazing second single “This Momentary Bliss”, which is already known for its amazing melodic flair. “Tongue” leaves an impression with its memorable chorus and guitar solo, while “Let the First Wave Rise” strikes as one of the faster and more aggressive songs of the album’s first half. “Vesta” is another remarkable track with its groovy and furious riffage split up by an amazing chorus. You can find some heaviness in “Realm Of The Wasted” and a softer approach in both “The Windswept Mercy” and “Whispers and Light”, which work together to close out the first CD.

The first half of “The Living Infinite” is a fucking blast! I actually needed a break after experiencing such an amazing 40 minutes. Just WOW. Every single song from the first CD has its own unique characteristics and charm. It’s packed with unbelievebly awesome instrumentation, flawless vocals, immense melodies, and a multitude of furious sound. 

An instrumental song, “Entering Aeons”, introduces us to the second 40 minutes of kick assery. This half of the album really spreads its wings to take flight with the second track “Long Live Misanthrope”, the latest single presented by the band. It indicates that the magnificence of the first CD might endure in the second part. And surprise, surprise… it actually does! You’ll find some melodic songs like “Drowning With Silence” and “Antidoters In Passing” as well as faster and more ferocious ones like “Leech” and “Parasite Blues”. Your ears will also come across a small instrumental song, “Loyal Shadow”, with some amazing guitar solos as well as the beautiful single “Rise Above The Sentiment”. The album is closed by “Owls Predict, Oracles Stand Guard”, a dark and dramatic song. It’s slow in the beginning but fast and groovy in the second half, serving as a worthy end to this huge album.

Both CDs also feature a song called “The Living Infinite”. Both of which are introduced by acoustic guitar only to explode in the typical Soilwork fashion. With a lethal riffage, memorable melodies, and amazing guitar solos, they both stand out. I also have to say the first one features some really nice synth work towards the beginning.

Bjorn “Speed” Strid’s vocals, both clean and harsh, are just plain flawless. Dirk Verbeuren’s drumming is stunning to say the least. David Andersson and Sylvain Coudret teamed up to deliver bright and creative guitar work. All in all, just brilliant. This album makes for a damn near perfect melodic death metal statement one can’t help but love.

If I really had to find a defect in the album, I’d have to say that some of the tracks (especially the two instrumental pieces of the second half) seem to have been written just to fill the tracklist and reach 20 songs. But since they still happen to be very good, I think we can ignore this tiny flaw and fully approve this amazing work of art. With such an amazing album, an 18 year long career under their belts, and In Flames slowly drifting through a softer rock-oriented sound, it seems Soilwork are now standing as the world’s leading melodic death metal band.


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