Soilwork Sworn to A Great Divide

Soilwork Sworn to A Great Divide
Metal fans are a fickle bunch, as the public reaction to Soilwork’s gradual shift towards accessibility has shown. Sworn to A Great Divide cements their return to the glory days of A Predator’s Portrait and Natural Born Chaos while retaining the hook-based, polished tone of more recent efforts. With vocal production from Devin Townsend and an increased keyboard presence, there’s still plenty of layered harmonies and melody; it’s simply supported with classic Gothenburg thrash this time around, as opposed to their recent affinity for mid-tempo bounce riffs. Bjorn Strid’s clean singing continues to impress, keeping even the hardest tracks emotive and dynamic, while ex-Scarve drummer Dirk Verbeuren delivers a performance not to be fucked with, one teeming with creative patterns and tempo variation. The departure of long-time lead guitarist Peter Wichers has many fans up in arms but Sworn reaffirms the group’s position as the most relevant of the remaining Swedish greats. (Nuclear Blast)