Soilwork - A Predator's Portrait Nuclear Blast - 2001 By Rodrigo /images/covers/Soilwork.jpg So I basically bought this album as a blind purchase. I had heard immense buzz on this band and especially on this new album. So I was really looking forward to it and hoping that it would not disappoint. Lets just say that A Predators Portrait emphatically rocks!! Soilwork could be characterized in the melodic death metal genre but A Predators Portrait is an extremely heavy album, which contains many elements of both death and trash metal. There are virtually no negatives to talk about, only positives starting with the outstanding twin-guitar attack of Peter Wichers and Ola Frenning. Not only does their style contain the trash and death elements that I already mentioned but they also provide excellent melodies, leads and solos. Just listen to "Bastard Chain" and marvel at the intensity and diversity of the guitars. "Like the Average Stalker" features more intense driving riffs and then switching to more melodic playing. The chorus features both clean and rough vocals and excellent tight drumming by Henry Ranta. The majority of the album features passages of clean vocals by Björn Strid and instead of being annoying they are well sung and add to the overall feel of the music. It reminds me of the way Mikael Åkerfeldt switches from death to clean in the Opeth albums. Ironically, Mikael adds his clean vocals to A Predators Portrait. Another strong aspect of Soilwork is the atmospheric keyboards of Carlos Holmberg (who has since left the band) that stay in the background but fitting perfectly with the music. "Final Fatal Force" is one of the songs that feature the best keyboard work. The chorus of this song is incredibly aggressive. "Grand Failure Anthem" is my favorite song from A Predators Portrait. The riffing is heavy and aggressive, it features excellent solos, the band is incredibly tight and I simply just love the part when Björn screams "Failed, Failed, Failed". Another highlight that I will talk about is the incredible bass playing of Ola Flinkin the title track, especially in the chorus. This song starts at a mid-tempo pace but picks up aggressively in the verse. This is another outstanding 2001 release (we are only 1/3 of the way through and 2001 is already shaping up to be an excellent year for metal). Dont worry if you feel that the clean vocals and melodies take away from the heaviness, it doesnt! A Predators Portrait shows no mercy and there is plenty of head banging action to cause serious damage to your neck. With this release, Soilwork has firmly place themselves at the head of the class and bands like In Flames should take notice and hopefully release something as strong as this because the bar has been raised with A Predators Portrait. This album is an essential buy, go and get it right now!