Rob’s Recommendation Roundup: Volume 7

For my seventh recommendation column, there’s some music here that will challenge the term “prog” and yes I acknowledge that Soilwork is not a prog metal band. I do think many fans of prog metal and extreme metal like or would like Soilwork. Since I love them, I decided they belonged on my site.

Soilwork_Verkhligheten_cover_artAfter their last album “The Ride Majestic” was a disappointment for me, I was wondering if they would reverse course or not. The two albums before that, “The Panic Broadcast” and “The Living Infinite” were my two favorite Soilwork albums. I liked the B-sides compilation from 2016, Death Resonance but I really was concerned for the next album. Add in that longtime bassist Ola Flink AND drummer Dirk Verbeuren had left the band!

Finally after four years, Soilwork is back with “Verkligheten.” And wow, are they back! “Verkligheten” is easily one of their best albums and considering all the change the band has gone through, it’s nothing short of amazing. The music is both heavy and yet incredibly catchy too. “Full Moon Shoals” was the first track I heard before getting the promo so I knew the album had hooks but every song has hooks, including the brief title track instrumental.

“When the Universe Spoke” and “Stålfågel” are probably my favorites but that will change I am sure since, the whole album is great. New drummer Bastian Thusgaard kicks the band in the ass and seems to give them new life as well. And of course Speed is one of my favorite singers on the planet. The guy has a great harsh vocal and an incredible clean vocal that is instantly recognizable. All in all, “Verkligheten” which means “Reality” is an amazing way to kick off 2019!

Label: Nuclear Blast
Release Date: 11 January 2019

nailedtoobscurity-blackfrost-cover-smallAlso coming out on Nuclear Blast is “Black Frost” by German progressive doom metallers Nailed to Obscurity. They remind me a bit of bands like old Opeth, November Doom and Paradise Lost. Since I love all of those bands, it was easy enough to get into “Black Frost.” Only downside for some people might be the somwhat atonal harsh vocals of Raimund Ennenga. I do wish he made more use of his clean vocal.

But I think that’s quite minor really. All 7 tracks are epic as fuck and yes PROGRESSIVE. Tons of atmosphere plus dynamics. It’s an outstanding album by a band that hopefully won’t be nailed to obscurity for much longer. Yes I know that was terrible but I couldn’t resist!

Label: Nuclear Blast
Release Date: 11 January 2019

EvergreyFinally, an album that I am completely SHOCKED by. I’ve tried over the years to love Evergrey and for every album that I like, there’s another that I am very disappointed in. I even offered their new album “The Atlantic” to one of my contributors, Matt for review. He is going to do a review but I couldn’t pass up adding this album to this column. IT IS THAT GOOD!

My problem tends to be that Evergrey isn’t quite proggy or heavy enough and frontman Tom S. Englund often sounds quite whiny when he sings. The good news here is that all of that is resolved on “The Atlantic.” PLUS, all of the songs are great. Even the quieter tracks aren’t overwrought and still have a heaviness to them.

I have quite openly called Evergrey overrated. But this album changes that. “The Atlantic” is easily my favorite album by them and ranks with their best work like “Recreation Day” or “Torn.” It has made me also give another listen to the albums that I didn’t care for, which tells you how good “The Atlantic” is. I won’t go into it much more since Matt loves it as well. Check out his review soon!

Label: AFM Records GmbH
Release Date: 25 January 2019

About Rob

I have been a fan of progressive metal and progressive rock for most of my life. My music collection is insanely large. My passion for life is music!
This entry was posted in atmospheric metal, black metal, death metal, extreme metal, melodic death metal, progressive metal and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Rob’s Recommendation Roundup: Volume 7

  1. Russ says:

    Glad to read that you thought“The Ride Majestic” was a disappointment. That was my first and–until now–last exposure to Soilwork since I did not care for it. I will definitely check out the new one.

    Liked by 1 person

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