“The Ride Majestic is yet another crown jewel. Ridiculously written, immaculately performed…”Decibel Magazine
“An epic, melodic blast of top-tier melodeath, sure to be an album of the year contender.”New Noise Magazine
“Dig the guitars, stay for the high octane brutality!”Loudwire.com
“…One of Sweden’s greatest contributors to the melodic death metal scene.”Metalsucks.net
Visionary Swedish musicians SOILWORK spent the last 5 years cementing their vast metal legacy. Most bands would be satisfied releasing one or two albums along with some touring but that is not SOILWORK. Their passion for the craft has led them to release a single and double album, a rarities collection, an exclusive EP for Asia, a live DVD and go on extensive world tours – no time to rest and boom! Their relentless commitment to their fans is what separates them from the rest of the metal community and is the reason they still continue to flourish even after 20 years.
2015 saw the release of their tenth studio album, The Ride Majestic. The album saw the addition of Markus Wibom‘s (ex-HEARTS ALIVE) as bass player as well as picked up where the band left off with their critically acclaimed double album The Living Infinite. Musically, it explored darker grounds than ever before. It also ”strayed away a bit from the “regular song structures” and have been a bit more spontaneous as well, giving in for the moment and not care too much of the consequences so to speak,“ as singer Björn ”Speed“ Strid puts it. The album kept true to the amazingly catchy choruses, melodies and powerful riffs and drum attacks that are so connected with the SOILWORK universe.
Lyrically the band dug deep into the principle of life and death. Something SOILWORK tragically had to experience all the way through the production process of The Ride Majestic as Strid explains: “Just about every member of the band had a death in the family while recording the album. On top of that, a good friend of ours in a very promising and young band called CHRONUS from Helsingborg, also passed away out of nowhere. 19 years old. Absolutely terrible. We came up with this title to remember what we’ve gone through together and make it a hymn to those we’ve lost and celebrate their lives. It’s also a reminder that this life we’re living is a majestic ride after all. Hopefully that ride will somehow continue once we pass away. The majestic ride is eternal. I think that happens when you lose somebody close – you want them to live on. This is our tribute.“
Just before the release, a two-part documentary was presented to the fans giving an inside look at the band’s musical history. On August 28th, the album which included guest vocal appearances by SONIC SYNDICATE’s Nathan James and Pascal Poulsen of ODIUM, was released!.
With the celebrated album in the hands of the masses, the band took to the road. The worldwide tour made its explosive start in the U.S. as direct support to SOULFLY. They continued to pave their way moving through Europe on a headlining run with HATESPHERE followed by stops to Australia and Japan. The Ride Majestic was in full steam with no stops in sight when they were faced with the departure of long-time drummer Dirk Verbeuren at the end of the second leg of the US tour. This marked a bittersweet moment as they were closing one chapter of the band’s story and welcoming a fresh face to the tour. Bastian Thusgaard was given the reins and stepped up to complete not only the summer festival season but the band’s long overdue first appearances in South America as well as the conclusion of the tour in Europe with ARCH ENEMY.
As the summer came to a close, the band looked onward to the release of a special collection of rarities titled Death Resonance. Unlike your average best-of output, it delivered two brand new tracks as well as rarely released songs of the past 11 years, going back until their opus magnum, Stabbing The Drama. Besides delivering more than 60 minutes of new and rare SOILWORK tunes, Death Resonance featured liner notes by the band as well as unreleased promo and live photos from the mentioned era.
Continuing in true SOILWORK form, they embarked on another quest across the US; this time headlining. This trek offered the band many special opportunities such as teaming up with New York Islanders for a Military appreciation day and ending a successful year. 2017 began on a high note, with the band touring with friends and labelmates KREATOR and SEPULTURA as well as selling out numerous shows along the way.
This year holds many possibilities for SOILWORK especially with the announcement of Bastian Thusgaard as a permanent member of the band. Bjorn commented, “He’s been touring with us for quite a while and has been nothing short of amazing to work with, both on a musical level and on a personal level. Taking over after Dirk must have been pretty hard, but he has proven, time and time again, through our tours through North America, South America and Europe, that he is the perfect man for the job.”
Bastian stated that, “I am truly honoured to be given the opportunity to continuously work with SOILWORK. A band that I grew up listening to and one of the key elements in my musical education. I feel 100% committed to SOILWORK and I’m looking forward to create music with my childhood heroes and to see what the future will bring.”
SOILWORK continues to strive toward excellence no matter the elements that are thrown at them. With the Summer festivals quickly approaching and fall just around the corner, fans will witness the new chapter of the band’s legacy.
Picture by Toni B. Gunner