Manchester Academy 3
Those Swedes are a funny bunch aren’t they? What with all their Ikea and Volvos, any race that counts rotten fish as a delicacy has to be a bit weird. Still, all that rotten fish must be good for something as Sweden keep throwing out some of the best talent around in metal today and tonight, Academy 3 plays host to one of the much loved and much admired bands of the genre, Soilwork.
There is a sense of longing in the air as the fans have been waiting nigh on a year to see the group they so clearly adore after the bands unexpected no-show at this years Download festival, so it’s no wonder they are getting restless. Made up of mostly blokes, the decidedly hairy crowd raise their fists and with chants of “Soilwork, Soilwork” the opening bars of Stabbing The Drama blast through the room juggernaut style.
As Bjorn Stirds vocals kick in it’s obvious that the sound quality is as horrendous as the smell of sweat dripping off beards. It’s a problem which dogs the band all night, which is a bugger, because apart from this fact, Soilwork are on fire. No one really seems to care mind, and the crowd fill in where Stirds voice can’t be heard. It’s a gloriously fractured performance with tracks coming from Natural Born Chaos, Stabbing The Drama, Figure Number Five and Steel Bath Suicide to create a just about perfect setlist.
The band are immensely watchable and towards the tail end of their night, they steamroll into ‘As We Speak’ with a near-unbearable intensity which leaves revellers in awe. Wrapping it all up with a white hot rendition of ‘Follow The Hollow’ to near euphoric cheers, the wait seemed absolutely worth every minute. Amazing, all consuming stuff.