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Soilwork is a Swedishmarker melodic death metal band from Helsingborgmarker. They are currently signed to Nuclear Blast. Formed in late 1995 by Björn Strid and Peter Wichers, originally under the name Inferior Breed, the band changed their name in late 1996 to Soilwork (meaning "working from the ground up").

Their sound is a fusion of the classic Gothenburgmarker metal sound with power-groove riffs of late 1970s, early 1980s Britishmarker, and European metal. However, in their most recent albums Soilwork have also introduced elements from other genres and adopted a more melodic sound. Their most recent work has more singing and lighter melodies than their earlier work, as well as a more polished production. Due to their more recent changes in sound, they have been likened to their label mates In Flames, labeled metalcore in some instances, and even faced scrutiny by fans for their progressive sound.

Background

Formative years

Formed in late 1995, originally under the name Inferior Breed. Their sound, as explained by "Speed" was influenced by such bands as Pantera, Meshuggah, and Carcass. Upon changing their band name in late 1996 to Soilwork they began to make more melodic music. Soilwork began work on a demo entitled In Dreams We Fall into the Eternal Lake. Before the recording ever took place, bassist Carl-Gustav Döös left the group, leaving guitarist Peter Wichers to handle the bass tracks on the demo. In a chance encounter, Soilwork met Michael Amott of Arch Enemy fame, who owned a record store in Helsingborg, and gave him a copy of their demo. This ultimately led to the band signing with Listenable Records. In 1998, Soilwork added keyboardist Carlos Holmberg and bassist Ola Flink. The band recorded and released their debut album Steelbath Suicide in May of that year. Soon after, guitarist Ludvig Svartz and drummer Jimmy Persson left, citing "different musical opinions." Persson (now guitar and vocals in Faithful Darkness) was replaced by Henry Ranta, while Svartz was replaced by Peter Wichers' uncle, Ola Frenning. The band toured throughout Europe in support of the album with bands such as Darkane, Naglfar, and Krisiun. In 2000, Soilwork recorded their second full length LP, The Chainheart Machine. The album received critical acclaim and eventually landed them a recording contract with major label Nuclear Blast, allowing the band to tour with acts such as Defleshed, Cannibal Corpse, and even, briefly, with fellow melodic death metallers Dark Tranquillity.

Breakthrough

In 2000, after exhausting themselves with touring, Soilwork returned to the studio to record their third full-length album, A Predator's Portrait. The release was well received and brought Soilwork to the forefront of the melodic death metal scene, alongside label mates In Flames. The band played at Wacken Open Air Festivalmarker that year, and toured extensively with Annihilator and Nevermore. Following up on their success, Soilwork entered the studio again in late 2001 to record the follow-up to A Predator's Portrait with Devin Townsend (Strapping Young Lad, Bleeding Through) and Fredrik Nordstrom. Natural Born Chaos was released in early 2002, to much acclaim as well. Soilwork toured throughout Europe to support the album, and, for the first time, throughout the United Statesmarker, first with bands Hypocrisy, Scar Culture, and Killswitch Engage during the summer, then alongside label mates In Flames during the fall. After touring, started writing and recording their fifth album.

Figure Number Five

In December 2002, Soilwork entered the studio to begin recording their fifth album. After recording, the band began a European tour with Children of Bodom and Shadows Fall throughout April and May. That same month, Figure Number Five was released. In early June, drummer Henry Ranta left the band, to focus more on his personal life, and was replaced a week later by Richard Evensand. The band then embarked on another North American tour with In Flames, Chimaira, and Unearth. In September, Soilwork toured Japanmarker with Children of Bodom Merely days after a short mini-trek tour through Japan, Soilwork also toured Australia briefly. Later that year, they again toured North America with Chimaira, As I Lay Dying and Bleeding Through. After the tour Richard Evensand left the band to replace drummer Andols Herrick who had recently left Chimaira. Soilwork initially announced his "temporary" replacement as Dirk Verbeuren of Scarve; Verbeuren would later become the full time replacement. In early 2004, singer Björn "Speed" Strid laid down tracks with Italian melodic death metal band Disarmonia Mundi. During April, the band announced that it had extended its contract with record label Nuclear Blast Records. That same month the band again toured Australia alongside Anthrax, Embodiment, and Killswitch Engage. In mid 2004, Soilwork toured Japan for a second time alongside Dark Tranquillity. In September, Soilwork entered the studio to record their sixth album, Stabbing the Drama.

Stabbing the Drama

Soilwork entered Dug Out Studios on September 14th to begin recording their sixth full length album. A week later the band changed venues and recorded at Fascination Street Studios. Stabbing the Drama was released in early March 2005. The album entered the Finnishmarker charts at number 19, and in Sweden at number 14. The band also began to gain minor commercial success in the United Statesmarker. Stabbing the Drama reached #12 and #21 on the Billboard Heatseeker and Independent album charts, respectively. The band partook in the 2005 Ozzfest, performing on the second stage. In November the band toured stateside with Fear Factory. In late 2005, guitarist Peter Wichers left the band due to tour exhaustion and other personal issues. The same month, Bjorn announced he was working on a second album with Disarmomia Mundi. In May 2006, Daniel Antonsson was announced as the replacement for Peter Wichers. Soilwork spent the summer appearing at festivals throughout Europe. In September they toured throughout the UKmarker and Turkeymarker. The band later pulled out of the Turkish dates, due to terrorist attacks and bombings that had recently occurred to tourists there. In October the band trekked North America, this time with Darkest Hour, Mnemic and Threat Signal. In March 2007, Soilwork began work on their seventh album.

Sworn to a Great Divide

In early March, Soilwork began laying down the tracks for their seventh album, Sworn to a Great Divide Late in June, Ola Frenning announced that the album was finished. Soilwork will tour in the fall alongside Caliban, Sonic Syndicate, and Dark Tranquillity in a tour dubbed, 'Eastpak Antidote' tour. The album was released on October 19, 2007 through Nuclear Blast. The album sports a sound closer to thrash than their previous albums, though still backed by their trademark synth elements.

The band took part on an American tour with co-headliners Lamb of God and Killswitch Engage, as well as DevilDriver. The tour began on November 28, 2007 at the Tsongas Arena in Lowell, Massachusetts, and ended at the Santa Ana Star Center in Albuquerque, New Mexico on December 17, 2007. The tour, dubbed The Clash of the Titans Tour 2007, appeared in Grand Prairie, TX at the Nokia Live Theatre on December 8, 2007 to play for the entire Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex. On February 12, 2008, an official statement was posted on Soilwork's official website that Ola Frenning and Soilwork had decided to part ways, his replacement came in the form of Sylvain Coudret. In another statement on September 18, 2008, it was revealed that guitarist Daniel Antonsson would be replaced with the return of former guitarist and founding member Peter Wichers and also that Sylvain Coudret from the band Scarve who has been doing session work as second guitarist during 2008 Summer festivals became permanent guitar player for the band.

The future

Once the current tour is over, the band plans to return to the studio in late 2009 / early 2010 to write and record their eighth album. In a March 2009 interview, Peter Wichers vowed that there would be no more line-up changes. Soilwork will enter the studio in January to begin recording their new album with guitarist Peter Wichers handling the production duties, while Jens Bogren (Opeth, Katatonia) will oversee the mixing. The band plan to track the drums for the outing at Echo Mountain in Asheville, NC, while the rest of the sessions will take place in Tampa, FL. The as-yet untitled effort will mark the return of guitarist Peter Wichers to the band, as well as the studio debut of guitarist Sylvain Coudret of Scarve fame, who joined the group last year.

Band members



Discography

Studio albums

Date of Release Title Label Billboard 200 Heatseekers Sales
May 20, 1998 Steelbath Suicide Listenable

Century Media
- - -
February 8, 2000 The Chainheart Machine - - -
February 20, 2001 A Predator's Portrait Nuclear Blast - - -
March 25, 2002 Natural Born Chaos - - -
May 6, 2003 Figure Number Five - 43
March 8, 2005 Stabbing the Drama - 12 13,000+
October 19, 2007 Sworn to a Great Divide 148 2 5,100+


Demos/EPs



Singles

  • "As We Speak" (2002)
  • "Light the Torch" (2003)
  • "Rejection Role" (2003)
  • "Stabbing the Drama" (2005)
  • "Nerve" (2005)
  • "Exile" (2007)
  • "Sworn To A Great Divide" (2008)
  • "20 More Miles" (2008)


References

External links




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