Every now and then, a band releases an album that is not only captivating, but can inspire awe on all levels. Even more rarely, a band releases a double album that captivates your entire attention. Soilwork knocked this one out of the park when they released “The Living Infinite” on March 5, 2013. To my knowledge, this is a first for a melodic death metal band, releasing a double-album.
Soilwork had a lot on their plate last year before the writing and recording of this album. Peter Wichers left the band again, which appeared to leave a giant hole. Regardless, they soldiered on with David Andersson on guitar, replacing Wichers.
“The Living Infinite” opens with an absolutely exquisite piano intro that segues into a crushing, no-holds-barred song titled “Spectrum of Eternity“. Opening the album with such a deceptively heavy song barely gives you an idea of what the album holds in store for the listener. “Leech“, “This Momentary Bliss” and “Long Live the Misanthrope” are guttural and brutal songs that also showcase layered beauty.
“Loyal Shadow” is an unexpected instrumental that doesn’t just drone on as a heavy number. You may catch yourself even humming the melody that blends it’s way throughout. Although it’s rather short, once the song cuts into “Rise Above the Sentiment“, you don’t even realize it.
Something that may throw off their fanbase, although in a good way, is how they include some slower tempo songs. This gives drummer Dirk Verbeuren some time to really shine. Instead of just beating the daylights out of the drums, he’s allowed to showcase his talent. A great example of this is on “The Living Infinite II“.
Musically speaking, The Living Infinite is not just a continuation of the sound that they created on The Panic Broadcast, but a continuing expansion upon it. The album sounds absolutely natural and organic. Not once does it sound forced. My biggest fear for this album was that with the loss of Peter Wichers, I was afraid the sound would regress to a similar sound as the only other album that did not include Wichers, Sworn to A Great Divide. Thankfully, this was not the case.
With strong material and an expansion to the Soilwork sound the fans know and love, they rise above the fold and set the bar even higher than before. The struggles that they had to overcome and the obstacles they had come up against, have led to an incredible record. This 20 song double album is not only proof that they can push forward, but that they can overcome ANYTHING thrown at them.
Unsung Melody Score: 9/10