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Review: Soilwork - A Predator's Portrait
A Predator's Portrait

Label: Nuclear Blast Records
Year released: 2001
Duration: 45:50
Tracks: 10
Genre: Melodic Death Metal

Rating: 1.25/5

Review online: April 14, 2001
Reviewed by: Christcrusher
Readers Rating
A Predator's Portrait

Rated 3.05/5 (60.91%) (22 Votes)

Well where to start. The CD kicks in straight off with weakly crashing drum fill that quickly leads into a generically ripped off Naglfar riff. There's certainly nothing wrong with that by itself I suppose. Naglfar certainly kick ass and more bands should emulate their style. However, the enjoyment of this is rather ethereal, as at a mere 15 seconds into "Bastard Chain" we are introduced to the atrociously lame vocals of self-affirmed 'Verbal Terrorist' Bjorn "Speed" Strid. Terror? Ha well I admit, fags do scare me. In short…the vocalist is doing his damnedest to rip his nuts off with one hand while simultaneously fingering his ass with the other in order to achieve that throatier thrashy version of Dani ("fag")Filth's style.

There is nothing inherently wrong with this vocal approach. In fact Alexei Laiho has it perfected. However, it fits COB music, which is fueled by the distinct opposition of the vocals and the more melodic music. Here though, Soilwork's blend of In Flamers et al is weakened by it, because there is absolutely nothing distinct about it save for the blatant homosexual appeal.

Recently departed (praise Satan ! ) Carlos Del Olmo Holmberg introduces us to the overabundant keyboard wankering (more attempts to sound like Gothenburg mixed with COB) that will come to characterize the rest of the CD at the beginning of track 2, "NeedleFeast". This does however bring out the one truly redeeming feature of the CD, the highly derivative yet well performed clean vocal interludes between verses. They remind me most of Åkerfeldt. This is a decent way to make something worthwhile out of the overt butchering of proficient guitar work.

Normally I like to write reviews by focusing on each individual track. But the problem here is that the "Soilers" (as their legions of fans so affectionately dub their heroic butt-pirate sailors) continue to write basically the same track over and over again on this CD. They are almost all within 10% of the length of each other, and use the same bland structuring, tempo-ing, verse/chorus etc, etc. The riffs are distinct, I suppose that is a plus. I will credit guitarists Ola Frenning and Peter Wichers for at worst, being competent musicians. The production is traditional Gothenburg sound: hollow drums, high guitar mix drowning out the wall of sound bass lines etc.

In conclusion, I recommend that you avoid this CD unless you have an extra $15 to waste after getting everything else you need. You probably already have heard this CD in its better forms. Just go get out your favorite "Melodic Death Metal" CD instead. (Shudders…)

Other related information on the site
Review: A Predator's Portrait (reviewed by Christian Renner)
Review: Natural Born Chaos (reviewed by Brad Allis)
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