Under The Influence #52: Hilltops Are For Dreamers on “Figure Number Five” by Soilwork!

The fifth studio album in six years from Swedish Melodic Death Metal act Soilwork saw them following up the critically acclaimed “Natural Born Chaos” by introducing some Alternative Metal elements to their sound and broaden their horizons. While the previous album had the fingerprints of Devin Townsend upon it from the Producers chair, this one is all the Swedes own work but the intriguing thing is that while on the previous album guitarist duo Peter Wichers and Ola Frenning were credited with the songwriting, keyboard player Sven Karlsson wrote 6 of 11 on this. Soilwork and In Flames have always been quick to play down any animosity between the bands, the early work of both being considered as creating the Gothenburg sound and making light of that In Flames appeared in the music video for “Rejection Role” holding “Sellout” signs before Soilwork appeared in In Flames video for “Trigger” as some naysayers has suggested the bands were at this point interchangeable.

Vasileios Papageorgakopoulos from Hilltops Are For Dreamers comments: “This is definitely an album that changed my perception for metal music. Soilwork delivered a solid combination of modern heavy riffing (clearly influenced by the US scene) and melody that could stick in your head for years. Easy to follow song crafting and catchy choruses coexist with a flavour of Scandinavian melancholy. This album (and some In Flames ones) played a key role on the birth of the so called NWOAHM-later metalcore sound. In Hilltops Are For Dreamers music, you may find elements of Soilwork, for example when listening to ‘Show Me The Path’ intro riff and then the one straight after the chorus. ‘Figure Number Five’ is a must have. The song ‘Distortion Sleep’ is my personal favourite. Great guitar intro, smart use of keyboards and an amazing chorus. In this album, Soilwork stayed slightly away from the melodic death metal sound of their past and reached the next level, mixing together not only aggression and anthemic choruses but also a unique ‘music for all approach’ that really helped them to become what they are today. Hats off.

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