After a few years of hearing about Soilwork and picking up the excellent “Natural Born Chaos”, I had sort of lost track of this band, other than reading about lineup changes, some tinkering with their style, etc. After picking this up on a whim, I have definately decided that the band has changed, and although some have accused them of going mainstream, I certainly like the “new” sound, which basically just finds them developing and expressing their melodic tendencies to a greater degree.
“Sworn” is certainly not lacking in heaviness; some of the riffs of the title track are as heavy as anything Slayer has ever done. What sets this band apart is their skill and knack for melodic hooks, whether in vocals or guitar, and this acts as a sort of balance to their brutal riffs and rhythmic chugging. They also have a tendency in their new lineup to use the now stereotypical “metalcore” alternating death/clean melodic vocals, but they do it far, far more effectively than most. Perhaps not as progressive as “Natural Born Chaos”, this disc definately shreds, and I think just about any metal fan out there might like this album….if that’s going mainstream, then oh well….check it out!