The tenth full-length studio album by Swedish Metalcore/Groove/Melodic Death Metal band.
The rise and fall and recent resurrection of Soilwork has been one of the most surprising stories in Metal. It’s no secret that an increased desire to push melody and Alternative Metal styles into the band’s sound were a sonic hindrance and resulted in a series of flawed but fine albums. It seemed like Soilwork was doomed to repeat the errors of fellow countrymen In Flames. All that changed with 2013’s excellent (and out of nowhere) "The Living Infinite".
After the departure of Peter Wichers, one could have been forgiven if he assumed that meant the end of Soilwork; however, "The Living Infinite" was heavy, like actually, seriously heavy, and chock full of some of the band’s best material to date. Notice, “to date”. If "The Living Infinite" was a surprising revelation, the band’s tenth album, "The Ride Majestic", is definitely Soilwork’s best album!
What’s most interesting about "The Ride Majestic" is how it suggests an Alternate universe, where Soilwork took the best parts of "Natural Born Chaos" and expanded upon them. It’s almost as if the middling Alt Metal years never existed. This latest release acts like an extension of Soilwork’s two best works: "Natural Born Chaos" and "The Living Infinite". Everything about the band’s tenth album is huge. The choruses are gloriously massive yet mostly cheese-free. Hell, all of "The Ride Majestic" is a wonderful showcase for Bjorn Strid, who has developed into arguably the best MeloDeath vocalist around. His melodies are excellent, yet his harsh vocals have also gotten better with age, which is a rarity.
Notably, the songwriting on "The Ride Majestic" is a tad more straightforward than in the Progressive "The Living Infinite", but one listen to the album will assuage any doubts. Soilwork has seemingly, unexpectedly found some witch doctor to bless them, as there is no other way to explain how a band who never reached these heights is able to do so on its tenth release. "The Ride Majestic" is both extremely familiar yet exciting and fresh. It expands upon the things the band’s two previous best albums ("The Living Infinite" and "Natural Born Chaos") did well, all while sounding heavier and more melodic than anything Soilwork has done.
What’s more: it gets better with each listen. Because of the emphasis on melody (not just vocally), "The Ride Majestic" is a joy to listen to, full of propulsive drum-work, the band’s best guitar-work to date, and a masterful vocal performance! It’s Soilwork’s finest hour!!
It is the last album to feature long time drummer Dirk Verbeuren, who left the band in July 2016 to join Megadeth.
Gatefold double vinyl includes two bonus tracks.
Nuclear Blast Records, 2015 (NB 3490-1). Made in Germany. First press.
1. The Ride Majestic 4:09
2. Alight In The Aftermath 3:47
3. Death In General 4:59
1. Enemies In Fidelity 4:16
2. Petrichor By Sulphur 5:11
3. The Phantom 3:57
1. The Ride Majestic (Aspire Angelic) 4:46
2. Whirl Of Pain 5:01
3. All Along Echoing Paths 4:21
4. Shining Lights 3:43
1. Father And Son, Watching The World Go Down 5:40
2. Of Hollow Dreams 4:08
3. Ghosts And Thunder 5:17
Total playing time: 59:16 min.