Maximum Metal Rating Legend
5 Excellent - Masterpiece. A classic.
4.5-4 Great - Almost perfect records but there's probably a lacking.
3.5 Good - Most of the record is good, but there may be some filler.
3 Average - Some good songs, some bad ones at about a half/half ratio.
2.5-2 Fair - Worth a listen, but best obtained by collectors.
1.5-1 Bad - Major problems with music, lyrics, production, etc.
0 Terrible - Waste of your life and time.

Note: Reviews are graded from 0-5, anything higher or not showing is from our old style. Scores, however, do not reveal the important features. The written review that accompanies the ratings is the best source of information regarding the music on our site. Reviewing is opinionated, not a qualitative science, so scores are personal to the reviewer and could reflect anything from being technically brilliant to gloriously cheesy fun.

Demos and independent releases get some slack since the bands are often spent broke supporting themselves and trying to improve. Major releases usually have big financial backing, so they may be judged by a heavier hand. All scores can be eventually adjusted up or down by comparison of subsequent releases by the same band. We attempt to keep biases out of reviews and be advocates of the consumer without the undo influence of any band, label, management, promoter, etc.

The best way to determine how much you may like certain music is to listen to it yourself.
Stabbing The Drama
Nuclear Blast
8/10/2005 - Review by: Ken Pierce
Soilwork - Stabbing The Drama - 2005 - Nuclear Blast Records

Track Listing
1. Stabbing The Drama
2.One With The Flies
3.Weapon Of Vanity
4.The Crest Fallen
8.Observation Slave
9.Fate In Motion
10.Blind Eye Halo
11.Wherever Thorns May Grow
It seems as though Sweden’s own Soilwork have achieved something special with the release of “Stabbing The Drama”. As the CD begins you are instantly kicked into a unique mix of metal and some heavy duty almost industrial riffs. The vocals are a combined clean and rough mix and this carries across the entire CD. As a whole this works very well and the end result is pretty much a kick you in the teeth metal CD that grows from similar bands like In Flames who pretty much kicked off the Gothenburg sound. The first tune which is also the title of the CD is unstoppable and it seems that I like it more and more on every listen. A true head banger in all senses of the word. Singer Speed mixes his styles and drummer Dirk Verbueren laying down among the smoothest drumming in metal that I have heard in some time. The guitar work of Peter Wichers also plays well along in the rhythm on this CD. I felt as though a strong emphasis was based on the bottom end of music first as there is so much groove on it that you either are raising a fist into the air, or jumping to the pit to bring it on. I was among the lucky ones to listen to this CD and interact with the label and a member of the group. The logic behind this record was to give fans a progression in their already existing work and generally just a heavy record. I feel they succeeded on all counts.

There are a number of standout tracks on the CD in addition to the title piece. Others that stood out for me were “One With The Flies” and then “Nerve”. In “Nerve” there is just a section that makes the whole piece. I give this high marks and feel as though Soilwork have succeeded in creating their most mature and signature piece with to date. “Stabbing The Drama” is a CD that both old and new fans of the band can find enjoyable. Do not pass up one of Nuclear Blast Records finest bands.

Rating: 8/10

-- Ken Pierce 08.10.05

3/17/2005 - Review by: Troy Cole
Soilwork - Stabbing The Drama - 2005 - Nuclear Blast

Track Listing

1. Stabbing The Drama
2. One With The Files
3. Weapon Of Vanity
4. The Crest Fallen
5. Nerve
6. Stalemate
7. Distance
8. Observation Slave
9. Fate In Motion
10. Blind Eye Halo
11. Wherever Thorns May Grow
There is almost nothing like awaiting a new SOILWORK CD. Every release seems to re-invent or re-establish Swedish metal. For years this group has done nothing but add to the melodic scene and keep their sound fresh without compromising too much of the original elements that make them such a dominant force. This Swedish sextet has returned to pioneer the metal scene once again in 2005 with ‘Stabbing The Drama’.

‘Stabbing The Drama’ finds “Speed” and the rest of the band continually improving upon their trademark style. More aggressive in parts than ‘Figure Number Five’ and more melodic than any release since their incarnation. The major separating factor from the rest of the bands catalogue is the featuring of clean vocals. They have always been known for backing vocals and choruses containing clean vocals giving songs that great melodic element they do so well. Here this it’s stepped up, some songs are inverted from the normal SOILWORK style (mainly clean vocals with the rough vocals in the chorus or background). Compared to other bands out there adding this element to their sound, “Speed” has a killer voice that sucks you in (Yes that is directed towards IN FLAMES). Upon your first listening you may find it odd or slightly disappointing, I did but not for long. With each additional listening you begin to really understand what they were striving for, the most compelling, riveting and addictive music you have ever heard. You end up immersed in each song, like a junkie, finding yourself wanting to listen over and over again.

The title track is typical SOILWORK with exhilarating riffs and drum work. The perfect pick to lead this “metalfest” off. ‘One With The Flies’ contains some odd similarities to KORN vocally but then it turns on you with a TESTAMENT ‘The Gathering’ feel. This TESTAMENT vibe can be felt in parts of many songs such as ‘Stalemate’ and the short but brutally sweet ‘Blind Eye Halo’. ‘Observation Slave’ and ‘Fate In Motion’ are probably the most noticeably different songs here, they follow the inverted SOILWORK formula. Both could be considered a very heavy alternative song (but it’s still very METAL!). The best performance from ‘Speed’ with clean vocals has to be ‘Nerve’. The song is comprised of a powerful intro and a captivating chorus. Right in this vein would be ‘Distance’ another stellar vocal performance from “Speed” and contagious guitar riffs including a sweet little solo.

Wichers and Frenning really out do themselves here. This has to be one of the best guitar tandems in metal today. They really make these songs have a groove that grabs onto you and won’t let go. Verbeuren lays it down heavy and straight forward, and the drum sound is remarkable on this album. This pummeling combined with the excellent riffs leads to some of the most exciting songs from SOILWORK ever heard. Production is clean and crisp but with the mass amount of layers in these songs you will hear something new each time.

In all, ‘Stabbing The Drama’ finds a more metalcore side to it than previous releases but also a more melodic side. Even with some experimentation and added use of clean vocals this disc will not disappoint. The compelling drum lines laced with addictive guitar riffs and memorable choruses will keep you spinning it for months to come.

NOTE: Promotional copy did not include ‘In Profile’ which is on the actual release instead it included the bonus track ‘Wherever Thorns May Grow’.

Bjorn "Speed" Strid – Vocals
Peter Wichers - Lead and Rhythm Guitar
Dirk Verbeuren – Drums
Ola Frenning - Lead and Rhythm Guitar
Sven Karlsson - Keyboards and Synth
Ola Flink - Bass

CD Length: 42.44

--1evil1 03.08.05

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