SOILWORK - It Worked.
By Martin Popoff

Well, judging from the reviews (including my 9 rating), Soilwork have pulled five rabbits out of their pork pie hats and made a more than credible follow-up to Natural Born Chaos, which of course, won Brave Words & Bloody Knuckles' Record of The Year for 2002. Figure Number Five is its name, and mesmerizing, vocalizing, keyboard-aggrandizing Swedish thrash of a most polished sheen is its game, the band having no problem self-producing to the high bar set by Devin Townsend's job last time out, so many short months ago.

Guitarist Peter Wichers agrees that the bulged grab bag of keyboard and vocal tones is what sets Figure Number Five apart. "Yes, the vocals and the keyboards, I think. That's something that's different on this one. When I listen to the album, that is what I think really separates this one from Natural Born Chaos. The keyboards are a little more modern or fresh, although we're using Moog keyboards and Hammond organs and shit like that. And I know that you guys and Brave Words, I know you guys loved that album and I loved Natural Born Chaos as well, but there was no point us doing the same thing on the vocals for this one. So we tried a little bit of 'less is more.' I think Bjorn seems more relaxed on this one than on Natural Born Chaos. He just proves to me every time that there are no limits to what he can sing. When you're in the studio and you start recording and he says, 'Well, it's a little bit too clean. Can I try something else? Should I try with this voice?' You just order what you want and he delivers it. I think he's learned a lot from using Devin as well and I think he felt a lot more relaxed this time."

I asked Peter what interesting technological feats the band might have learned from Devin, the Strapping Young madman himself.

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