Soilwork live review – London, Underworld

Melodeath mavens Soilworl offer a call to arms live in London

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BRUTAI [7] are magnificently chuffed to be supporting Soilwork tonight but show no sign of nerves, playing a credible opening set that’s reminiscent of both Ihsahn and Xerath. While the sound is a tad muddy it’s a performance that pegs Brutai as ones to watch.

Meanwhile CYPHER16 [7], testament to their years on the road, execute a polished and charismatic tumult of thoroughbred metal. As one of Sweden’s seminal melodic death metal bands, SOILWORK’s [9] influence should never be underestimated and nor should their ability to write catchy-as-balls songs.

From the opening bars of The Ride Majestic, they take the room hostage with their chunky riffs and melodic grooves as Björn ‘Speed’ Strid’s imposing frame takes centre stage. The melodies are tight, even if he sometimes strains to get them 100% on point, and his style is a cool mix of best mate and playground bruiser. From here on in it’s full throttle, as the band lead everyone through a singalong of highlights including Let This River Flow and Tongue as solos fly off Sylvain Coudret and David Andersson’s guitars like flames off a bonfire. The floor erupts into a circlepit for Bastard Chain and during the heart-stopping encore of Stabbing The Drama Björn picks up a crowdsurfer in both arms and politely delivers her back to the indebted crowd, like an absolute boss.