How can people call this a sell-out album? Just because a few songs on this album were shown on TV doesn’t mean the band have become any more accessible than they were in their hectic At-the-Gates-esque days of “Steelbath Suicide”. Bands progress over time, and I believe that “Natural Born Chaos” is Soilwork’s apex. They proved themselves as not being another generic cookie-cutter Swedish DM band, especially with the elaborate harmonies and the dashes of sublime industrial synths. Though, I must say, this isn’t a total DM album. If you want death metal, don’t check this out, instead I would reccommend bands like Obituary, Morbid Angel, Cannibal Corpse, Deicide, etc… but if you want some all around good metal, check this out at all costs.
Soilwork seem to have a much more “catchy” sound to their formula this time around. Speed uses his clean vocals more than ever on this release, but his screams are just as gutteral and throaty than ever. His voice is smooth on the choruses of “As We Speak”, “The Flameout”, and “Soilworker’s Song of the Damned”. The guitars are surperb, perfectly finding a balance between crunchy thrash/death metal, tumbling and ripping solos, and elaborate melodies backed by the keyboards. The drumming is just as good! The drummer has a lot of good grooves, and you can tell he knows the kit like the back of his hand. Smashing double bass, impeccable and tight fills, and solid grooves. Top performance here. The band as a whole are extremely tight and have their fair share of technical moments, which are perfectly executed, leading to bruising passages.
1. Follow the Hollow- Amazing guitars, solid rhythms, and a fist-pumping chorus. A nice opening track. 5/5
2. As We Speak- One of the best on the album. Speed’s clean vocals shine thorough on the chorus, accented by the trade-off solos and lightning-quick double bass. The synths do a good job of adding to the atmosphere here as well. 5/5
3. The Flameout- One of my personal favorites. Features all of the album’s best traits, including the head-banging DM coupled with a soaring chorus. 5/5
4. Natural Born Chaos- one of the heavier tracks here. Features a strong rhythm with crunchy guitars. Sums up the album the best. A truly fist-pumping song. 4/5
5. Mindfields- A typical song, I’d say. Follows in the pattern of previous songs, but has a more accessible song structure with extra synths added in. Pretty good, but not great. 3/5
6. The Bringer- Great opening here. The sound is more melodic, but still has a pummeling rhythm. A strong track, stands out a but more than others. 5/5
7. Black Star Deceiver- Amazing chorus here, and some wicked technical guitar work. Again, a typical song, but it has some good merits to it. 4/5
8. Mercury Shadow- Meh… Seems like a filler track, if you ask me… Typical song structure, and nothing really exciting… 2/5
9. No More Angels- Here we go! Back to the ferocity! A blistering song, another one of my favorites on the album. Great drums, furious vocals… Raise the horns! 5/5
10. Soilworker’s Somg of the Damned- A superb closing track. Awesome guitar work, and a VERY addicting chorus. Definitely worth checking out. 5/5
Despite some of the filler tracks and repetitive parts of this album, it’s still a great album from one of Sweden’s best melodic DM bands. Reccommended to fans of metal in general!