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SOILWORK LIVE – Croxton Bandroom Melbourne – Friday 4th November 2022

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With Supports Eye of the Enemy & In Malice’s Wake

I’m going to get one thing off my chest first before giving my rundown of the excellent set put on by Soilwork last week. In 2022 or any recent year for that matter there is NO EXCUSE for a major headlining band to have to put up with a terrible front of house sound or mix. NONE – PERIOD!

Once again, myself and a near packed house at Melbourne’s Croxton Bandroom were forced to endure a shocking 35 minute (minimum) amount of time where Soilwork’s desk sound was ordinary at best. Little to no guitars, lost in a mix of an atrocious drum mix with overly loud kick and snare drowning out everything and the sampled keyboards just overpowered every instrument including vocals which was disappointing to say the least.

Now…moving on. Evening openers Melbourne’s own Eye of the Enemy put on a cracking short set to warm up this evenings starter small crowd. Those of us present this early could hear these blokes crush our senses with the intent of a band rabid on making the most of a sensational opportunity to support one of the world’s best tech death bands plain and simple. Well done lads, a show to prove your worthiness of being on that stage tonight 🤘 

Next up, one of my fave Melbourne bands – In Malice’s Wake. These blokes fucking rule and command every stage they step onto. Having released their latest offering The Blindness of Faith in 2020 and not having the opportunity to see them since the lockdowns were lifted, I finally got to enjoy them live, another of this country’s finest metal bands demolishing a worthy attending punter’s eardrums. In Malice’s Wake are always on point and give a flawless performance every time that they play live, and tonight was no exception.  Also, not being given the opportunity to review their album for the mag, I just need to say that it fucking rules and that you should buy it here without delay!

Onto the magnificent Soilwork and to review their (apparently) 9th appearance in Australia since 2002 according to frontman Björn “Speed” Strid. In that time, or even for that matter their entire near 30yr career they have rarely released anything weak! Their latest offering Overgivenheten is fantastic, you can hear and read my recent interview for Heavymag with Bjorn here. It is a given that they would be featuring a significant amount of tracks the new album live, the title track plus four or five others got a guernsey plus two or three from Soilwork’s last release Verkligheten and not much from their earlier releases. My minor annoyances pushed away, a band of Soilwork’s caliber their setlist should not be dictated or planned for me. Tonight these Swedish legends proved why they are so revered and admired within the progressive tech/death genre. A band so tight and in tune with each other is obvious, admirable and necessary for such a demanding style of metal to play. Plus Björn’s vocals were just fucking on point and incredible to hear and we wouldn’t of expected anything less. No best of their career set for us this evening from Soilwork, just a band who never stray from the top of their game and give it their all every single time they step on the stage. To Soilwork from your adoring Aussie fans, thank you for not forgetting about us once again and putting on a stellar show.

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