This bill echoes one of Tom Green's most brilliant tossed-off lines: "Swedish! Sweeed-ish!" -- as in the new wave of Swedish death metal and its American bastard sons. With a full-time keyboardist and two guitarists who hit humming harmonies, Soilwork has been shredding since '95 (an early lineup adopted the Soilwork name in '97). In that time the band's prolific output has steadily shifted from groovy death metal to powerful melodic metal. The band turned heads at last year's Ozzfest, paving the way for this headlining tour with its stateside offspring.
Victory Records' Darkest Hour teamed with Soilwork producer Devin Townsend (the Strapping Young Lad mastermind-producer who helped Lamb of God hit its stride) for 2005's Undoing Ruin, a breakneck reenactment of the Gothenburg sound. The disc's weakest moments exhibit residual emo damage -- the chorus of "Convalescence" features "Nothing scares me/Nothing thrills me," followed by some blathering about contempt, time, and wrongdoings -- but the screaming-lead war march "This Will Outlive Us" thunders as powerfully as anything you'll find in most straight-up metal.