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Soilwork - "The Living Infinite" (CD)

Soilwork - "The Living Infinite" CD cover image

"The Living Infinite" track listing:

Disc 1:
1. Spectrum of Eternity
2. Memories Confined
3. This Momentary Bliss
4. Tongue
5. The Living Infinite I
6. Let the First Wave Rise
7. Vesta
8. Realm of the Wasted
9. The Windswept Mercy
10. Whispers and Lights

Disc 2:
1. Entering Aeons
2. Long Live the Misanthrope
3. Drowning With Silence
4. Antidotes in Passing
5. Leech
6. The Living Infinite II
7. Loyal Shadow
8. Rise Above the Sentiment
9. Parasite Blues
10. Owls Predict, Oracles Stand Guard

Reviewed by on March 11, 2013

"Overall, the album consists of extreme music, but presents it with a mainstream mentality...rather than being grim or relentlessly brutal, these are the sort of songs you’d actually have fun jumping around to during a live set."

Staple of the Swedish melodic death metal scene, Soilwork has been focusing more on the “melodic” aspects than the “death” side of things. That trend continues with “The Living Infinite,” but as a double album with a whopping 20 tracks, there’s more than enough of both modes going on to keep fans satisfied. From fast-paced shredding to melodic clean singing, this release hits a good balance with a little of everything.

“Spectrum of Eternity” opens the album on high note with strings and pianos giving an appropriately atmospheric introduction before barreling straight into blast beats and screams. The transition is incredibly smooth, despite the polar opposite sounds going on, as the guitars keep up the same melody from the preceding piano parts. The metal is out in full force, but it’s noticeably more of a lively and dynamic affair than a depressive or frightening one.

With the exception of a few milder tracks like “Antidotes in Passing,” most of “The Living Infinite” is characterized by melo-death that keeps up a high level of energy. Fans of Arch Enemy, Children of Bodom, and Dark Tranquillity won’t be disappointed, and will hear plenty of familiar sounds, along with a smattering of accessible clean vocals. There are some unexpected changes in musical delivery though, like a few Opeth-style proggy guitar parts in the background.

Overall, the album consists of extreme music, but presents it with a mainstream mentality. These tracks aren’t radio-friendly, but they do have a more bubbly “get up and go” type feel to them. Rather than being grim or relentlessly brutal, these are the sort of songs you’d actually have fun jumping around to during a live set. The clean vocals and metalcore-leaning aspects won’t work for all of the death metal crowd, but anyone who doesn’t mind a less abrasive listen should pick this one up immediately.

Highs: Melodic death metal with loads of energy and fun melody

Lows: The relentlessly bubbly and almost metalcore-leaning sound won't sit well with the brutality-demanding crowd.

Bottom line: "The Living Infinite" consists of constantly energetic melo-death with plenty of melodic clean singing.

Rated 4.0 out of 5 skulls
4.0 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)