|Review: Soilwork - Natural Born Chaos|
|Natural Born Chaos|
Label: Nuclear Blast
Year released: 2002
Genre: Melodic Death Metal
Review online: December 18, 2002
Reviewed by: Brad Allis
for:Natural Born Chaos
Rated 3.5/5 (70%) (16 Votes)
With their newest album Soilwork has tread into dangerous ground for an underground metal band. Their emphasis on melody will make death metal fans scream, "sellout", while the presence of death growls will keep them from being accepted by the mainstream. What the Swedish band has done is create a brilliant album of Gothenberg-style melodic death metal.
Natural Born Chaos is an incredible mix of aggression and melody. The guitars shred, but the choruses are among the most catchy you'll hear anywhere. The band has taken what they began on their last record Predator's Portrait, and taken it to all new levels. Metal icon Devin Townsend produced the album and whether it was his influence or a further maturation of the band, there is no denying that NBC is one of 2002's best records.
Things start off with the ripping "Follow the Hollow" and don't let up. Vocalist Speed switches from clean to death vocals with a seamless transition. "As We Speak" finds a greater emphasis on keyboards before Speed rips into the verse, but it is the cleanly sung chorus that will stick with you well after you quit spinning the disc. It is here that Townsend's influence can first be heard.
"Flameout", "Bringer", "Black Star Deceiver" and "Mercury Shadow" don't stray very far from the same formula, but keep things interesting nonetheless. The band does a great job of mixing in other elements like acoustic guitar, vocal harmonies and interesting interludes. "Song of the Damned" is a great closer with a haunting chorus and interesting keyboard parts. Frankly the band does not miss on a single track. Not only are they all stellar songs, but the album has a cohesion a feel all the way through.
NBC is a great disc for anyone who likes melody with their aggression. Those wanting pure aggression may be let down with the "soft parts", but anyone who likes catchy choruses should be very happy. It is a great starter disc for those curious about heavier music, but have been turned off by cookie monster growls and gruesome imagery.
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