» Soilwork 2009 02 12  
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Reviewed by JuuKun
Headliner: Soilwork
Support: Darkane, Warbringer, Swallow the Sun
City: Worcester, Massachusetts
Venue: The Palladium
Date: 12 Feb 2009

Swallow The Sun

Finland's Swallow the Sun kicked the night off with their particularly melancholic, doom-infused form of Melodic Death Metal, which may have been just a little out of place among the more aggressive bands of the night. Out of place or not, though, the band fared just fine, with a set of supporters in front of the stage cheering them on even while the rest of the crowd was still settling into the show. This show was crammed into the Upstairs stage of the venue, which is a fairly small room with a stage off to the side that holds a few hundred people at the most, which makes for a great atmosphere for music like this. Way too brief of a set to win many fans over, Swallow the Sun did manage to deliver to all of those already in attendance as fans. The only complaint would have to be the vocals, or more properly the lack thereof - the vocals were completely lost in the mix during their set, though you could hear just about everything else fine.

7 chalices of 10


Swallow (Horror, Part 1)
Don't Fall Asleep (Horror, Part 2)
The Ship
Plague of Butterflies


In all honesty, I wasn't very interested in Warbringer by the time they came on. I hadn't heard much by them before the show, and I was far too excited for Darkane to take the stage, so when these five Thrash Metallers from California hit the stage I was only mildly interested because I knew I'd be seeing them two more times this year, with Kreator and then with Obituary. It didn't take long to win me over, though, and around three songs in I was banging my head and shouting with the rest of the slowly developing crowd. At the beginning of their set, their sound suffered the same lack of vocals as Swallow the Sun, though this was thankfully solved a few songs in. They played a few songs off their upcoming album, which, when compared to the other songs they played in their set, sounds like standard fare for these guys. A nice first impression, to say the least.

6 chalices of 10

(sorry, no setlist)


The biggest reason I had attended this show was for this Swedish powerhouse. I've wanted to see Darkane since I first heard about them sometime in 2006, and haven't had much of a chance to do it until now. It was well worth every minute of the wait. Finally, most of the crowd was down in the front of the stage waiting for the two stars of the night, both from Helsingborg, Sweden. In my opinion, Darkane stole the show. They just erupted with energy, interacting with every member of the crowd that they could, and new vocalist Jens Broman fits in perfectly with the other members of the band. Like Swallow the Sun, though, Darkane could not escape vocal problems, which were even worse during their set than they had been all night. The highlight of their set was definitely Chaos vs. Order, which is so obviously a song meant for the live environment. The crowd greeted these guys warmly for a support band, though it was obvious who almost everyone had come to see.

9 chalices of 10

Setlist: (may be slightly inaccurate)

Leaving Existence
Fading Dimensions
Chaos vs. Order
Execution 44
Secondary Effects
Innocence Gone


Soilwork are one of those many bands these days that fans seem to either love or hate. Many have disowned them after their change from their Melodic Death roots to their more accessible style they play today. Personally, I like what they're doing now for what it is, even if it can't hold a candle to the older material. After Darkane left the stage, I considered leaving, but the Soilwork setlist had largely been determined by fan voting so I decided to stay and check it out. I moved up to the merch area to watch Soilwork from above, away from the majority of the crowd, and enjoy them - a stark contrast to seeing them last year from the front of the stage where they played mostly new material. I relaxed in the back and waited, and when they finally took the stage they did not disappoint. My heart was not into the set, so I cannot say I enjoyed them as much as I could have, but they can definitely get a crowd going.

It was nice to see songs like Needlefeast and Shadowchild in the set, and judging by the crowd reaction I really have to wonder why they don't play them more often - it's not like In Flames, where apparently a lot of people just stand there during the old material. When Soilwork plays an old song, the crowd welcomes it and goes nuts. It's a shame they don't play more of the old material. More bands should adopt the idea of letting fans vote for their setlists, because the results I've seen are always good. After serving a mix of old material and new, the band left the stage after Stabbing the Drama, only to come back out for a 3 song encore, which included The Pittsburgh Syndrome (renamed for the night as The Worcester Syndrome). Definitely a better setlist and performance than when I saw them last year, and I'll see them again the next time they come through.

8 chalices of 10


Follow the Hollow
Like the Average Stalker
Rejection Role
Black Star Deceiver
20 More Miles
Soilworker's Song of the Damned
The Chainheart Machine
Light the Torch
Sworn to a Great Divide
Distortion Sleep
Stabbing the Drama
As We Speak
The Pittsburgh Syndrome

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