Feb 27

Soilwork – The Living Infinite (2013)


Soilwork - The Living Infinite - Artwork
Recording a double album is an ambitious endeavor, no matter how long you’ve been around. The almighty Judas Priest took a shot at it with 2008’s Nostradamus, which was generally met with lukewarm reviews. The latest band to take the plunge is Soilwork, who offer us their newest creation, The Living Infinite. One of the main songwriters, Peter Wichers, is once again out of the band, so fans may wonder if they can pull off such a hefty feat. Clocking in at about an hour and 20 minutes, this is certainly a monolithic effort, especially considering the band’s melo-death roots and that none of their previous albums were longer than 50 minutes.

The Living Infinite starts out with the first single released, “Spectrum of Eternity,” which starts out with a nice cello and violin introduction, then bursts through your speakers and blasts your face off. Not only was this track a perfect single to release, but it was also the perfect way to kick off the album. It’s fast, replete with soaring choruses, and really hooks you in from the beginning. The next track, “Memories Confined,” is a solid follow-up, bringing the energy back just a bit, only to have it shot right back up with the second released single, “This Momentary Bliss.” The title track is broken up into two parts, one on each half of the album, and compliment each other nicely. The first part is fast and heavy, while the second is still heavy, but much more mid-paced. Each track is interestingly also the midpoint on both albums. The rest of the first album, is solid throughout with the exception of “The Windswept Mercy,” which is probably the weakest track on the album. It’s not a terrible song, but it simply doesn’t seem to fit into the album like the other tracks.

The second album starts out with “Entering Aeons,” a creeping, brooding instrumental which nicely sets up the back half of The Living Infinite. The second disc certainly holds up and carries on from the first, but it does slow down a bit in terms of speed and intensity. However, that’s not to say it’s completely devoid of firepower. Outside of the chorus, “Leech” may be one of the most intense tracks on the entire album. After “The Living Infinite II,” “Loyal Shadow” provides a nice instrumental break and allows drummer Dirk Verbeuren and guitarist Sylvain Coudret to showcase just a bit. It’s perfectly placed, as it lets you relax for a moment as the album pulls into the final stretch. The third single off the album, “Rise Above the Sentiment,” follows and has one of those soaring, trademark Soilwork choruses that you will undoubtedly hear crowds singing for quite some time. After about 70 minutes, you would think that the album would lose the steam that carried it to this point. However, it ends surprisingly strong with “Parasite Blues” and “Owls Predict Oracles Stand Guard.” The last track is a fitting conclusion to the album. It’s a beefy, rumbling, plodding track that brings you back to Earth and wraps up the whole thing.

Initially, the idea of Soilwork recording a double album was met with some skepticism. There are plenty of heavy bands that, on paper, could be seen as more than capable of pulling it off, but Soilwork isn’t one of them. Having said that, The Living Infinite is far and away a great success. The band didn’t try to get too fancy and stray greatly from what got them to this point. It is also apparent that they weren’t struggling for ideas, they just had a lot of material to write. There are 20 tracks on this album and while there naturally a couple that probably could have been left off, they don’t detract from some of the really fantastic things to be found on here. The Living Infinite is a mammoth effort and it’s great to see a band like Soilwork, with their melo-death metal roots, have the balls to churn out something this ambitious. Thankfully, it works.



CD 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

CD 2:
11. Entering Aeons
12. Long Live The Misanthrope
13. Drowning With Silence
14. Antidotes In Passing
15. Leech
16. The Living Infinite II
17. Loyal Shadow
18. Rise Above The Sentiment
19. Parasite Blues
20. Owls Predict, Oracles Stand Guard

Genre: Melodic Death Metal

Record Label: Nuclear Blast

Playing Time: 84 minutes




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