It could be considered both fortunate and unfortunate that the inspiration to create oftentimes comes from extreme emotionally charged events. Although the age old ponderings about life and mortality are mostly pushed to the back of our mind, it’s when something like the death of a loved one occurs that we’re confronted by the questions that don’t really have answers, and we need some kind of catharsis to deal with the emotional fallout.
And so it is with Soilwork and the current album they’re touring, The Ride Majestic. This 10th studio album has been marked by tragedy for most of the band members, and these occurrences have affected and changed the tone of the recording. So, on the final show of the Australian leg of the band’s tour, Melbourne got to hear what has been described by Bjorn ‘Speed’ Strid as an album through which they ‘channelled their emotions’.
Band members describe their music as melodic death metal, with the melodic component lying mainly with Speed’s vocals. Certainly there were melodic components to Speed’s delivery, but the death metal aspect dominated, along with slithers of thrash metal thrown in for good measure. At times the music sounded schizophrenic with a number of metal styles thrown into the short minutes of each song.
Loyal Soilwork fans kept the mosh going and made as much noise as they could, but the venue was by no means packed. Still, the band delivered a show that was truly worthy, ripping through a dozen songs in total; some from the new album, and some from their earlier works. There were many highlights but ‘The Ride Majestic’ and ‘Death In General’ stood out for many of those who knew the words and rode the waves of staccato, feeling-filled highs and lows.
And so we arrived at the five song encore feeling slightly unnerved, yet knowing there’s no ease in singing and playing an album that was fuelled by melancholy. This should be a well-received tour because of its sharpness and depth, but emotionally no one can sit on their laurels with this experience. Grief is never easy, but it can inspire people’s creative brilliance.