The Ride Majestic
28th August 2015 – Nuclear Blast Records
01. The Ride Majestic
02. Alight In The Aftermath
03. Death In General
04. Enemies In Fidelity
05. Petrichor By Sulphur
06. The Phantom ft. Pascal Poulsen
07. The Ride Majestic (Aspire Angellic)
08. Whirl Of Pain
09. All Along Echoing Paths
10. Shining Lights
11. Father And Son Watching The World Go Down
Swedish melodeath stars Soilwork have, over their fifteen years released some of the greatest examples of their genre. They’ve also released some less than favourable works. Their ninth full length The Living Infinite was a massive return to form, and with it being a massive twenty one track double album it was most certainly was a case of go hard or go home. So with that begs the question, does release tenth album The Ride Majestic make the grade?
The opener (and title track) is a polished slice of pure melodeath, sweeping along at breakneck pace with surgically sharp riffs and a mass injection of melody. It’s followed directly by “Alight In The Aftermath“, a real stand-out that infuses benchmark Soilwork with prog sensibilities, becoming something more notable than its predecessor.
This proggy meandering continues throughout “Death In General” and “Enemies In Fidelity“; a pair of tracks tracks both tangible and respectable in their sensitivity. The latter of the two feels almost Scar Symmetry-like, with its sugary, clean production. It’s unmistakably Jens Bogren at his best, and whilst the drums don’t stand out as much as they should, this is more than made up with by the shimmering, and at times spidery guitar lines.
“Petrichor By Sulphur” is both anthemic and explosive: many a neck will likely be ruined when this enters the live setlist; the razor sharp riffs are powerful and the vocal hooks are potent, with Björn Strid’s vocals as on point as ever.
Unfortunately, The Ride Majestic isn’t without its low points – and “All Along The Echoing Paths” happens to be the lowest. Its unabashed heaviness almost feels like a band all out of ideas for melodies, which becomes somewhat frustrating.
By the time you get to the finale of “Father And Son Watching The World Go Down” however – which is both majestic and powerful – a vortex of melody and riffs descend into the abyss, and with the longest run time on the album it had to be something special…but let’s face it; a story about the end of the world is pretty damn special.
The Ride Majestic is a decent follow up to what is probably the band’s magnum opus, The Living Infinite, and with that comes a certain responsibility to make the following output as strong as it could be. Arguably the band have achieved that – if a more condensed version with added progressive input – however it has at the same time become a victim of superfluousness, with one or two tracks weakening the experience as a whole. There is no doubt that this is a good example of perfectly polished melodic death metal, but it is just that: good.