Soilwork, Freedom Of Fear, Headbore @ Lion Arts Factory, Adelaide 2/11/2022

It was an impressive turn out for a mid-week show when Swedish melodic metal powerhouse Soilwork descended upon sleepy little Adelaide for the first time since they played The Gov back in in 2016. It wasn’t surprising considering the stacked line up with two of Adelaide’s finest supporting; veteran face-melters Headbore and local death metal favourites Freedom of Fear.

Headbore had the honour of “warming up” the crowd, which to be honest was more like flooring them with the steamroller they have busted back into the scene on. With a new drummer onboard and a shiny new track Digging my Grave, they got everyone well and truly pumped for what was ultimately a rager of a night. New drummer Rob has blended in seamlessly to an already tight sounding ensemble while vocalist Adam charmed everyone with his animated stage antics and awe-inspiring set of lungs. If you enjoy a good bangover these lads will not disappoint. The unsuspecting crowd were compulsively getting down with the filthy riffage and death growls- they simply could not resist it.

Freedom of Fear shifted the vibe from feet stomping carnage to some kind of demonic congregation, giving us a taste of their freshly released album Carpathia where vocalist Jade has now officially evolved herself to Devil Witch status. It’s hard to fathom this much talent on one stage but these guys meld together a mind-blowing set with impeccable skill. Jade writhes about boasting a vocal range that is possibly unhuman and definitely ungodly backed by the instrumental sophistication of some of the finest musicians to come out of Adelaide’s humble metal crowd. The guitar solos alone shared by Matt and Corey are bewildering and the band’s sound is so big it literally shook the room. Finishing with Zenith, Freedom of Fear went out with a bang leaving everyone sweaty and ready to join whatever religion it is they have started where we are not sure if we are going to be sacrificed or levitated (or both) and we are all very much ok with that.

Finally the big boys took the stage to a room of hyped up loyal fans ready to rock out. Soilwork wasted no time in getting things rowdy with their monstrous sound. Lead vocalist Bjorn flaunts a powerful stage presence, apart from the fact he’s six-foot-enormous and has the voice of a Titan, he draws you in and demands your undivided attention. For a band that are two long-time members down for this run (after the untimely death of guitarist Dave Andersson and Keyboardist Sven Karlsson’s surprise pre tour baby arrival) they did not skip a beat. Opening with the title track off their newest album Overgivenheten Soilwork weaved through a mix of new and “old school” tracks that boasted their diverse stylistic range from ethereal acoustics, blast beats, power ballads, gutturals and even blusey riffs in Death Diviner The energy was intense and the sweat soaked audience sang their hearts out while bopping to the continual onslaught of heavy bangers.

It was another successful and long overdue international act gracing our city and a delight to the senses with a fantastic atmosphere that left punters exhilarated and cheerful. I can imagine there is going to be some sore necks at work today- but it was totally worth it.

Live Review By Bec Scheucher

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