Soilwork - Death Resonance (Nuclear Blast Records)

Death Resonance gathers together Soilwork's farthest-roaming and most-hidden masterpieces.
Release Date: 
19 Aug 2016 (All day)

With The Ride Majestic still hot off the press, I was surprised by the news of yet another number to be unleashed from Swedish melodic-death metal giants Soilwork. Then I listened to it…and I was treated to a 15-track aural journey that spans not only the last 10 years of Soilwork productivity, it is also a thundering hint to Soilwork’s future....

Yes, Death Resonance is a compilation album, yet it is not a ‘best of’ à la The Sledgehammer Files. Rather, it’s a collection of rare releases, primarily bonus tracks from Asian-only releases and limited editions of Soilwork albums spanning 2005-2015, with two brand new tracks to further entice curiosity.

There are some classics in this collection including the addictively diverse track My Nerves, Your Everyday Tool and When Sound Collides, one of the trophies of the melodic-death metal genre from the Japanese-exclusive 2013 EP Beyond the Infinite, which is reproduced in entirety for the Western world on Death Resonance. Sadistic Lullabye, with its signature soloing and anthem-style chorus, is another classic on this tracklist, an impressive full-bodied remix of the 2010 remastered bonus track from The Panic Broadcast. Originally released in 1998 and re-issued as a live bonus track in 2000 and again in 2008, Sadistic Lullabye is again reincarnated on Death Resonance heavier than its precedents.

Death Resonance moves chronologically backwards from 2015’s The End Begins Below the Surface, a bonus track from the Asian release of The Ride Majestic, through the Beyond the Infinite 2013 EP to some remixed catchy middle-school treasures from the 7” sleeve limited edition of Sworn to a Great Divide (2007), such as the slower-paced Martyr, and Overclocked along with the Japanese-release bonus track Sovereign, with their bouncy, energetic vibes.

Remixed bonus tracks from various editions of Stabbing the Drama (2005) bookend the earlier date of the compilation, including Wherever Thorns May Grow from the limited edition boxset and the epic final track Killed By Ignition, originally a bonus track from the Japanese edition. If you are unfamiliar with Killed By Ignition, get all around it – this song is tough as guts, technically jaw-dropping yet deliciously smooth with a solid groove at its core and I’m stoked to see it given profile on a more accessible release.

While some Soilwork-a-holics have already sniffed out these songs, the remixing of older tracks, along with the band’s linear notes and previously unreleased contemporary photos, do give an incentive to obtain this coherent bundle of rare material. The collection is granted unity through the updating of the mixes that avoids that patchwork ‘compilation’ texture. Basically, any collector’s suite of Soilwork material needs Death Resonance.

Death Resonance not only retrospective, the album opens with two new tracks, Helsinki and the title track. Death Resonance has been released at a curious time, with The Ride Majestic still being ruthlessly promoted with global touring until early next year, but if Helsinki and the track Death Resonance are a hint of what comes next, then Soilwork grow heavier, more versatile and stronger than ever.    

Soilwork have to be one of the most prolific bands active over the last two decades ongoing. Death Resonance is a captivating collection of songs in itself but if you have also felt the need to devise some kind of flowchart to trace Soilwork releases, then compilations like Death Resonance are a salve.