Review by Wanda Hill
Photo by Amanda Brenchley
Soilwork launched their Australian tour in Brisbane last night at the HiFi bar in Westend. As you would expect, a sea of people clad in black were waiting to welcome this fine melodic death metal band from Sweden.
Soilwork are in Australia promoting their recent double album The Living Infinite. This high energy album has sold very well around the country and is a personal favourite of mine.
As the band entered the stage a roar went up in the crowd letting them know of the anticipation we all felt. The band looked very happy to back on our shores after a three year absence.
The show got underway revealing that these guys love performing and have awesome stage presence and connection with the audience. Everything looked great, the lighting, the artwork, the band members, but the sound was very disappointing. I was so excited about hearing songs from their new album live but was just devastated that the guitars were so soft in the mix and that everything but the drums seemed to get lost in the wall of noise. What was especially frustrating was that I could see the guitar solos being played with enthusiasm and style by Sylvain Coudret and David Andersson, but I just could not hear them.
The crowd took a while to get going but was totally pumping by about half way through the show. The overwhelming force and power of the music grabbing hold of everyone, even those looking with curiosity at the sound desk, wondering why the mix was so muddy.
There were plenty of those beautiful moments where everyone knew the words and sang along with vocalist Bjorn “Speed” Strid. Bjorn was very warm and connected with the crowd and mentioned that he was impressed by the lack of iPads and other tablets being used to record the show. His disappointment at previous audiences preferring to record the show rather, than actively participate in it was obvious.
Between songs, the audience chanted “Soilwork, Soilwork Soilwork” keeping the band amped and delivering a hard, fast paced, and epic show. For the last three songs of the night the sound engineers finally found the guitar channels and turned them UP. Yey!!! At last the guitar solos were audible. If only the whole show could have been like this. Hopefully the next four shows in Australia will have better sound. Soilwork really need to be mixed well in order to bring the intricacy of their music to life, and do their brilliant songs justice.
The set list was diverse, encompassing songs from as far back as 1998 and plenty from the new double album. The Brisbane audience gave Soilwork a great welcome to the country and showed them that the metal scene is alive and well here. Dedicated fans will be well satisfied with Soilwork’s offering to Australia and new fans will be created as the tour progresses.
Learn more about the band here: