Occasionally in metal, the emphasis lies a bit too much on brutality or evilness than on thatwhich are commonly held as true qualities of brilliant music: well developed harmonies,memorable melodies, superior musicianship in execution and uniquely inspired structure. While Soilwork may not have delivered the most brutal or evil release to date, they havemore than quantified their penchant for poignant songwriting.Hot on the heals of the acclaimed A Predator’s Portrait comes the landmark Natural BornChaos. With their latest offering these Swedish masters do more than just raise the bar forthe melodic death metal scene, they challenge all those in the “rock” genre to match theircraft. Helped tremendously by the maniacal genius of producer extraodonaire DevinTownsend (S.Y.L), the sextet have more than demonstrated their poise.Going back to beyond Stealbath Suicide, Soilwork attempted to set themselves apart byutilizing a unique harmonic structure that paired the traditional dual lead guitar writingwith a keyboard and created a progressive overtone that managed to set a standard in itsown right. With NBC, however, they have found a better way to utilize the keyboard andtwin guitar onslaught to create atmosphere and push the melodies even further to theforefront.By the time one finally hits the title track, the aural assault has gone beyond haunting inthe development of the “hook.” Soilwork move like a leviathan, swiftly between grain andgrace, to create gargantuan choruses and hum along riffs that echo in the transient cornersof the mind for hours after the disc has ended while maintaining their death roots. Sweden may quickly become the entertainment industry’s next `Seattle’ scene with the riseof several of Soilwork’s contemporaries in the international arena, but with NBC the boysonce again set themselves apart from the “norm” by continuing to not only push theboundaries of their own genre but influence the execution of melodic output in its entirely. Just listen to the development of the closer “Song of the Damned” and understand thebeauty of a simply crafted melody under the guise of a “metal” effort. Soilwork havetranscended the stereotypes of metallic brutality to compose songs of melodic appealwhile maintaining their metallic sensibility.Next time you year for something more than shear evil aggression out of your music butare not willing to forego the adrenaline rush of pure metal mystique, dig into Soilwork’sNatural Born Chaos and find it is not as confusing as you once thought to sing along andpump your fist simultaneously.