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WEBCounter by GOWEB    

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   SOILWORK
Figure Number Five
2003
Nuclear Blast
http://www.soilwork.org


rating: 3/5

1. Rejection Role
2. Overload
3. Figure Number Five
4. Strangler
5. Light The Torch
6. Departure Plan
7. Cranking The Sirens
8. Brickwalker
9. The Mindmaker
10. Distortion Sleep
11. Downfall
Huh, first let me assure you that I liked the predecessor "Natural Born Chaos" a lot. But unfortunately with "Figure Number Five" I have the impression the Soilworkers used the material that was left from the "Natural Born Chaos" session. With that having said, at this point I could already end this review because everybody will know what to expect from this album. It's more or less part 2 of the successful last record. Not as good though (production left aside). But let me explain.

The opener "Rejection Role" is a good example for my "part 2"-theory. It resembles "The Bringer" from the predecessor which means it is a very pleasant track, carries a catchy chorus that you can actually sing along to after the first listen and as a whole it is a good way to start the album. No surprises there. But it doesn't necessarily get any better. The third song and titletrack is pretty noisy and thrashy compared to the other songs, doesn't represent the album at all and so I wonder why this ended up to be the titletrack. At least, it carries something that can be called a guitar solo. "Light The Torch" begins with an awful effect on the vocals which they luckily drop before a minute is over.
Did I say there aren't any surprises on "Figure Number Five"? I take it back then. "Departure Plan" could almost be entitled as a ballad with its mellow verses (acoustic guitars) if it wasn't for the heavy introduction with guitars and keys and the chorus. Towards the end of the album, with track 9, namely "Distortion Sleep" there we have another pretty good track. It does have a catchy chorus (of course!) but the chorus isn't as smooth and "nice" as some of the others, meaning there's at least some crunch (metal) left. The problem with a lot of the choruses is that they're often too simple, too clean and too soft. It's not unlikely you like a chorus at the first few listens but get bored or even annoyed with it later. I could imagine a lot of the songs getting airplay which would be a great thing but should give an idea of what "commercial" tunes we're talking about here at times. Generally the vocals have improved, Speed spans a range from clean singing to almost hardcore-ish shouting. On the other hand the guitar work appears to be way too uninspired and simple, interesting moments are few. I often find myself skipping a track.

The rest of the tracks I haven't explictally mentioned pretty much follow the familiar concept. All in all, "Figure Number Five" is not bad but it's far from being great also. I'm sorry to say that this album does nothing for me. I've had a hard time deciding whether to rate the album with 3 or 4. But comparing it to "Natural Born Chaos" this unfortunately is only average.

submitted by Cora 03.05.2003

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