Quick Review: SOILWORK Death Resonance
For a band as storied as Soilwork, even a B-sides and rarities collection features enough solid material to stand against the rest of the band's discography. Death Resonance features songs that can be traced back to the Stabbing the Drama days, and as such, a couple of tracks were written in part by founding Soilwork guitarist Peter Wichers, which is great to hear. That's not to discount the job that current Soilwork guitarists Sylvain Coudret and David Andersson have done, of course; if the band's last two albums without Wichers are any indication, they're doing a killer job of carrying the torch for Soilwork and cranking out some of the best melodeath that metal has to offer.
Though many of the tracks on Death Resonance have appeared on the Japanese version of Soilwork's past five albums, the first two songs, "Helsinki" and "Death Resonance" were recorded exclusively for this release. They're a bit bittersweet to listen to, knowing that they could potentially be the last two songs that drummer extraordinaire Dirk Verbeuren performs on, but in true Soilwork fashion, they deliver and are a natural continuation of what was found on The Ride Majestic. Verbeuren gives an inhuman performance behind the kit, and as always Björn "Speed" Strid continues his streak as one of modern metal's best vocalists.
Other highlights include the epic melodies of "My Nerves, Your Everyday Tool," which originally appeared on the Beyond the Infinite EP, and "Sweet Demise," which was a bonus track from The Panic Broadcast. Also worth noting is the re-recorded version of "Sadistic Lullabye," which longtime Soilwork fans will know as the ripping opening track from their 1998 debut, Steelbath Suicide. Even though collections such as Death Resonance are often cast aside and typically not recognized as part of a band's traditional discography, it's speaks volumes that even songs not deemed good enough for Soilwork's studio albums are of this quality. Any fan of Soilwork or melodeath in general should be able to find something to appreciate here.