"some music was meant to stay underground..."

Soilwork - "Death Resonance" (CD)

Soilwork - "Death Resonance" CD cover image

"Death Resonance" track listing:

1. Helsinki
2. Death Resonance
3. The End Begins Below The Surface
4. My Nerves, Your Everyday Tool
5. These Absent Eyes
6. Resisting The Current
7. When Sound Collides
8. Forever Lost In Vain
9. Sweet Demise
10. Sadistic Lullabye
11. Overclocked
12. Martyr
13. Sovereign
14. Wherever Thorns May Grow
15. Killed By Ignition

Reviewed by on September 19, 2016

"...it leaves the heavy implication that these were songs not good enough to make the final cut for full-length albums the first time around."

Usually when a band releases an album, there's always an extra track or two added in for Japan, whether they're remixes, demos, live tracks or most tantalizingly, songs from the recording sessions that weren't picked for Western releases. Nowadays, it's fairly easy to find these tracks in the West thanks to the internet, but they often find their way to us via b-sides and downloads, or for the sake of tidiness, a compilation album, which is what we have here.

Soilwork's latest release, "Death Resonance" is almost completely comprised of tracks released in Japan, save for the first two songs. So let's start with them shall we? In all honesty, there isn't much to say about the new tracks. Opener, "Helsinki" has a great melodic bridge but ironically, actually sounds like a demo when it begins. It's pretty standard all in all, as is the title track, "Death Resonance," which has a decent chorus but sounds like an average support group, not quite what one would expect from a band like Soilwork that has spent the last 21 years developing a respectable name for themselves.

The melodies displayed throughout this collection are mostly very good, often being the highlight of each song they appear on, with "These Absent Eyes" and "When Sounds Collide" being particularly noteworthy, while "Forever Lost In Vain" features an excellent use of guitars in the intro. "Sweet Demise" is another song that stands out, mostly for it's lush passages, reminiscent of some of Soulfly's instrumental title tracks.

Of course, there's an obvious problem here, which is that all these songs were used as bonus tracks and b-sides in the past. This in itself isn't necessarily bad, but it leaves the heavy implication that these were songs not good enough to make the final cut for full-length albums the first time around, thus resulting in a string of songs which don't totally flow together and ultimately, make for a pretty standard release. 15 tracks is also quite long for such a compilation and newcomers will be put off by the final product, which doesn't appear to offer much of interest.

All in all, this is definitely a release for existing fans only. While newcomers will find things to like, there isn't a song which really stands out, though there are bits and pieces which come across well. If you're a fan of melodic death metal / metalcore, you'll probably enjoy it, but it comes across as a product rather than an album, with nothing on display that really needed to be heard by anyone other than collectors and ardent fans.

Highs: "Sweet Demise," "These Absent Eyes" and "When Sounds Collide." Excellent melodic work

Lows: Outstays its welcome, offers nothing new and becomes boring after a while.

Bottom line: It's an album strictly for fans of the band and the genre and there's nothing much else to say.

Rated 3 out of 5 skulls
3 out of 5 skulls


Key
Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)