Soilwork – Övergivenheten Review

There once was a boy that hated everything… ah, fuck it. Welcome to this year’s episode of “Soilwork Just Won’t Quit.” Jokes aside, it’s amazing that this band comes out with anything considering the other busy projects involving many of its members. But seeing that no one would touch a Soilwork review, here I am. Spending hours of my time listening to another formulaic release that’s far too long. A trait that seems to be the norm for the band these days. But, In Living Definite spoke to me, so I can’t bash the band too much—even if that was a double album. If you know the band, you already know what to expect from Övergivenheten. If you love Soilwork, you’ll love this new record. If you hate them, well, you know what to do.

Clocking in at sixty-five minutes and filled to the brim with fourteen melodeath tracks, the band must have figured the more, the merrier following 2019’s Verkligheten. And, per usual, each song follows the typical format: intro, verse, pre-chorus, chorus, verse, pre-chorus, chorus, mid-song transition, solo, pre-chorus, chorus, and sometimes a pointless, meandering ending. I get it, it’s comfortable, and the predictable architecture makes for easy listening. You can sit back, absorb those majestic melodies, and breathe in Björn’s gorgeous voice. And, Övergivenheten will let you do just that.

As it’s been for the last couple of releases, Övergivenheten opens with the title track. It’s a slow, melodic introduction of acoustic guitars and wispy atmospheres that give way to distortion. With all Soilwork output, the chorus is the shining star, and everything builds up to and around it. As expected, the opener’s chorus (and most throughout the album) and big slabs of melocheese beauty. Before you know it, the hooking chorus of “Electric Again” will be stuck in your head like a bad pop song, and the chorus of “Vultures” will bring tears to your eyes. But it’s the chorus of closer, “On the Wings of A Goddess Through Flaming Sheets of Rain,”1 is the biggest and most powerful.

To mix things up, we have various aggressive pieces (“Golgata” and “The Godless Universe”) and rock-oriented numbers (“Harvest Spine” and “Death, I Hear You Calling”). The gnarlier tracks have loads of death riffs and vicious vocals. “The Godless Universe” stands out for its outro, which involves keys soaring to the stratosphere as the drums pound in 100 acres of posts. “Golgata” stands out differently—specifically, that final, eyebrow-raising high note in the chorus. As for the rocking ditties, with a little adjustment in tone, “Harvest Spine” could be a Volbeat song with Trivium’s Matt Heafy singing the chorus. Elsewhere, “Death, I Hear You Calling” uses a stomping rock riff to punch you in the throat and give you the ability to sing along to its gruffy chorus.

Though it’s not wholly disappointing, some moments truly piss me off. For example, the pointless instrumental, “Morgongåva / Stormfågel.” The sappy piano and crying guitars make it sound like a cheesy Dream Theater ballad. The same piano approach drags the outro to “Vultures” out as much as possible. While “The Everlasting Flame” is the outro to “Dreams of Nowhere,” but is a separate, one-minute piece. Why? But, the final moments of the untouchable closer2 are the worst. After climbing and falling to a perfect ending, the fucking song decides to restart and push on for another minute, completely killing the mood it worked so hard to achieve.

All in all, Övergivenheten is yet another solid release from Soilwork. Nothing new or exciting, but it’s catchy enough and sticks to the roof of your mouth. Minus the few stupid decisions made by the band that either ruin songs or drag the album out an extra ten minutes, it’ll be enjoyable for any fan. For the most part, the good outweighs the bad. Though we get a typical crushed mix, many tracks (specifically the instrumentals) are quite dynamic. If only Nuclear Blast would send us higher-quality mp3s.


Rating: 2.5/5.0
DR: 6 | Format Reviewed: 192 kb/s mp3
Label: Nuclear Blast Records
Websites: soilwork.org | facebook.com/soilwork
Releases Worldwide: August 19th, 2022

Show 2 footnotes

  1. Well, I’ve already met my max word count.
  2. I’m not typing that again.”
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