The truth is, “Sworn to a Great Divide” is more or less what you’d expect. The band was quick to describe this album as being a heavy return to form. And yes, there does seem to be some effort to make this album slightly heavier than its predecessor, “Stabbing the Drama”. There are a few more death growls and a few more pounding riffs, but at the end of the day, it just sounds like modern day Soilwork.
Now, I don’t mean to say that’s necessarily a bad thing. This album is laced with catchy, powerful choruses, something Soilwork has never failed at, and there are several pit-worthy songs here that get the blood pumping. But too much of this album has no soul or vibe, and is way too formulaic for my tastes. The growling verse-singing chorus-growling verse-singing chorus formula tires very quickly, and makes the album disappointingly predictable. There are a select few songs that deviate from this pattern, but it almost feels like those songs are more of an afterthought than anything, a feeble attempt to break up the monotony.
But I guess it’s a matter of perception. The songs on display here are by no means bad. All in all, it’s a fairly enjoyable listen, but don’t expect to remember much after the album stops playing.