A Bard’s Eye View: Riding the Majestic 1


Riding the Majestic

A look at Soilwork’s 10th Studio Album

SOILWORK

Before I begin, I need to preface this by saying that Soilwork is THE band responsible for opening up my perspective to European music and heavier music in general.  At 17-years-old. I was convinced that I had pretty much heard it all.  Soilwork changed that for me and subsequently sent me charging headfirst into an entire new style of music.  By the time I first heard them was in 2002 when their fourth album, “Natural Born Chaos” had been released relatively recently.  It wasn’t long before I had familiarized myself with their entire discography.

Soilwork began in 1998 as a speed metal band fused with melodic death metal.  Their music has always been guitar driven, with an in your face approach that I have always enjoyed.  As their career went on, Bjorn Strid’s vocals became deeper and he incorporated more and more clean vocals into the music.  Choruses became more clean vocal driven and accompanied the melody that the guitar fit with very well.

My only hangup was that their structure was very predictable starting in 2002.  The songs were very much identifiable by a verse-chorus progression that left little to the imagination.  On the previous album in 2013, they started to deviate from that a little bit in their songwriting process.   This year’s release, The Ride Majestic, is the first of theirs to be classified as a hybrid between melodic death metal and progressive metal.

The lead single was the title track and first track on the album.  Upon first hearing it, I enjoyed it but I wasn’t sure what the rest of the album was going to be like.  It’s a song that has grown on me since first hearing it and also catching the little nuances that the song had incorporated in addition to seeing how it fit with the rest of the album.  Alight in the Aftermath comes on strongly with a menacing riff and very aggressive vocals.  I was very surprised when it started.  This song has my favorite guitar solo on the album.  Death in General is my personal favorite as far as songs go.  It has this feel that starts off real mellow and kicks off a super sweet guitar riff.  For some reason, it makes me think about driving on a road when you have personal issues going on in your head.

The fourth song, Enemies in Fidelity is the second single off the album and has a very “heroic” guitar.  I could easily see this song being played over a war video.  I can definitely understand why each of these songs were chosen as lead singles.  Petrichor by Sulfur has some really interesting lyrics and a really cool part later on where the bass line and clean vocals are pieced together very well.  The Phantom is my second favorite song on the album.  It has a real operatic feel to it as well as a guitar tone that is really dark.

The Ride Majestic (Aspire Angelic) is another title track from the album.  I found it interesting that they used the title two times.  It has a pretty cool hook with the clean vocals as well as a very signature Soilwork style of guitarwork.  Whirl of Pain has a really intricate melody.  All Along Echoing Paths features a very stereotypical death metal guitar and drum style and definitely feels like some of their older music.  Shining Lights is probably the least memorable song on the record.  Not to say that this isn’t a good song, I just can’t remember it until it starts playing again.  The final song, Son and Father, Watching the World Go Down definitely feels like a final song for the album. It’s the longest song on the album at 5:40 and does strike me as a situation of the world ending.  It probably has the catchiest chorus on the album as well.

I’m hoping to make it to the Krisiun/Origin/Aeon show on the 19th of September.  If I do, expect a full report on that next week.  If not, I haven’t decided what I’ll be doing next but…as always, it’ll be interesting.  See you next week!

-Ryan


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