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Reviewed by Niklas
City: Stockholm, Sweden
Venue: Klubben
Date: 11 Oct 2005
Construcdead set length: 25 minutes
Hatesphere set length: 40 minutes
Soilwork set length: 75 minutes

All pictures are © Michael Finnermark.
Please contact him and ask for permission before using any of the pictures.



These Stockholm-based thrashers actually opened for Soilwork on their last European tour, and here they are again, playing at Klubben as a warm-up. Surprising? Hardly. Since Soilwork took these guys under their wings, they've had a tight bond. They went on a Japan-based tour together, and Soilwork's vocalist Speed made a guest appearance on Construcdead's second album, which was produced by Soilwork's lead guitarist Peter Wichers.

Before the gig, one would have believed that the tactics were to recruit as many Soilwork-kidz as possible, which would definitely have been an easy task with the band's hit-packed and Soilwork-reminiscing second album Violadead. But instead they go almost entirely with the thrashy, new album The Grand Machinery. New vocalist Jens Broman is a good growler, but obviously can't sing very well, and as much as I love the new track "A Cog In The Machinery", it's very disappointing that Construcdead doesn't play any Violadead-songs. Otherwise, good effort.

6 chalices of 10



"This is actually the third time in six months that we play in Sweden!", declares Hatesphere's vocalist Jacob Bredahl during the show. There's no reason to disbelieve him, since the young audience seem to be well acquainted with the Danish brand of thrash/death. There are several mosh-pits going on in the venue, which is rather sensational considering that this isn't the main act. However, the music is still just moderately impressive. There is the odd catchy riff, but it all becomes rather dull halfway through the 40-minute set. To put it short; Hatesphere pales in comparison to Construcdead. For a more original Danish metal-band, check out Mercenary (who opened for Nevermore at the same venue just two days earlier).

4,5 chalices of 10



Soilwork has come a long way since February last year, when they were sharing their European tour with The Forsaken. They did an impressive gig in Stockholm, but Klubben wasn't exactly packed back then. One and a half year later, vocalist Speed Stridh and his colleagues enter the stage on the same venue, only this time it's sold out to the very last ticket. There's a lot of excitement in the air when the pulsating intro to the #1 Swedish metal-hit of the year, "Stabbing The Drama", opens the show.

Not just the owner of one of Sweden's most versatile throats, Speed is also a true entertainer. He chit-chats with the audience when the time is right, and also makes sure that everyone participate during the songs. Towards the end, a happy (?) fan is allowed to shave what's left of Speed's Mohican-haircut. To see Speed sitting on a chair with lots of lather on his bald head is truly a bizarre sight. In terms of the singing, he's improved a great deal compared to Soilwork's last visit to Stockholm. There are just during a few times that Speed's voice doesn't come all the way through, during the harmony-driven "Overload" for example, but it's still a vast improvement.

The set list resembles something of a wet dream, it's perfectly balanced between old masterpieces ("Chainheart Machine", "Needlefeast") and new favourites ("One With The Flies", "Blind Eye Halo"). The guitars are extremely heavy, unfortunately to heavy at times, especially when the vital keyboard-melody of the latest hit-single "Nerve" gets lost amid all the riffs. This is just about the only complaint there is, except for the ordinary whining of "missing" songs in the set list ("Like The Average Stalker", "The Aardvark Trail"). But Soilwork knows what they're doing, and 75 minutes is just about how long the energetic crowd manages to keep up with the band.

Prior to the Stockholm-gig, Soilwork did four shows in Finland. We're not sure if Speed and Co visited any saunas during their spare time, but if they did, they probably felt right at home at Klubben. All the 700 devoted fans must have sweated gallons, and we can only hope that no one collapsed from the heat. Afterwards, when the encores (consisting of the old thrash-gem "Sadistic Lullaby" and the Natural Born Chaos-regulars "As We Speak" and "Follow The Hollow") have passed, there is little doubt left; Soilwork have never been better. The best concert of the year? Yes, very much so.

9,5 chalices of 10


Stabbing The Drama
Figure Number Five
The Flameout
One With The Flies
Chainheart Machine
The Bringer
Bastard Chain
Rejection Role
Room No. 99
Blind Eye Halo
As We Speak
Sadistic Lullaby
Follow The Hollow

Read an interview with Soilwork's front man Björn Speed

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