on 30 June 2003
Let me begin by stating that I have never been a Soilwork fan until about 3 months ago. I bought this album on the strength of 1 song and my god am I glad I did. I have heard the previous album Natural Born Chaos but have not heard their earlier work such as Steelbath Suicide nor Predators Portrait, I'm lead to believe that they have become much more melodic.
Figure Number Five is a fantastic album in every respect, their talent for creating and maintaining killer melodies and riffs are blatently apparent on this from the word go, but don't let this fool you into thinking that Soilwork have gone soft, hell no, they may have a certain more developed melodic approach than previous efforts but their gut wrenching, ball crushing riffage and lead still remain. Pounding drums, clean guitar work and vocals as crisp as ever. No matter if Speed is screaming or singing they fit perfectly. Standout tracks are Departure Plan, Figure Number Five, Overload and the absolutely awesome Distortion Sleep. If you like Soilwork and loved the last album, this really will rock your world.
on 10 May 2006
The album before stabbing the drama. I can tell you, this is one stirling effort to better their previous efforts.
There are slightly more keyboards involved but the basic core heavy riffs are still present. Vocals are same as usual, growling, grinding verses with stirring melodic chorus'.
Drums are fast paced and technical, something as a drummer myself, would like to aspire too.
On a whole, this album is really well produced, and even though some say it marks the low point of the bands career, there isnt anything low about this album, it rocks just as hard as the others.
on 22 February 2004
If you listen to this CD back to back with Soilwork’s debut ‘Steelbath Suicide’ you’d swear it was two different bands, such is the transformation in sound they have undergone in just five years. That isn’t to say it isn’t excellent because it is, but some long term fans may be slightly disappointed by the apparent lack of intensity. However, it’s now pretty obvious that Soilwork are no longer a Melodic Death Metal band, despite being the finest band in that genre just a couple of years ago. The music is far less extreme than it was in the past with keyboards used more than ever, along with an increase in the ever-improving clean vocals courtesy of singer Bjorn ‘Speed’ Strid. The riffs are now more reminiscent of a traditional Heavy Metal band than the Thrash / Melo-Death of someone like At The Gates or Arch Enemy who they used to resemble, but despite all of this evolution and mellowing, the end results are still very fine indeed. The title track is one of the best songs the band have ever recorded, with a brilliant chorus tailor-made for headbanging, whilst the likes of opener ‘Rejection Role’ and ‘Brickwalker’ are all top songs in their own right. Whilst this isn’t the finest Soilwork album (that’s still got to be A Predator’s Portrait) it is very impressive, and would probably serve as a good introduction to the band for those into the less heavy and intense end of the musical spectrum.
on 21 May 2016
'Figure Number five' is one of Soilwork's best albums; landing it in at a time, which in my opinion, came at a peak for they're creative powers. This album was an immediate thorough work of genius at the time, and it is just as refreshing today. The music on offer here pushes forward the more melodic and unconventional commercial leanings that developed on "Natural Born Chaos" and cranks up the same tried and tested formula but with an emphasis on a tad more adventurism, experimentalism and melodic saturation that transcends multiple sub genres.
Overall, the majority of it still falls under melodic death metal:- but there are quite expansive areas that meld down into nu metal and other less extreme intensities. Never-the-less, this is an exceptional crop of tracks that still make any top 10 Soilwork or gothenburg best-of list. "Rejection Role, Overload, Figure Number Five and the unbelievably catchy Distortion Sleep" are the best cuts; but lets not forget about some of the other notable catapults such as "Cranking The Sirens, Brickwalker and the rather controversial Departure Plan".
Some of the influences may infuriate a more seasoned extreme metal fan or contain not enough emphasis of a particular genre to appeal to everybody. There is little doubt that "Figure Number Five" is an inspired and a largely well executed album with several stunners. Synths and memorable melodies and riffs are also used to great affect in upgrading what could otherwise rate as an excellent collection of songs. The real triumph here however, is that the songwriting is undeniably tight' and that for me is more than enough for this to secure a full number five from me.
on 6 September 2003
And the award for hardest working men in metal goes to Soilwork. This, incredibly, is the Swede's fifth album in five years - a prolific rate of work in this age of 'four month recordings, eight month mixings, one year's touring and one year off' schedules.
As if the fact that they release an album every year wasn't reason enough to love 'em, the fact that each one manages to be better than the last is staggering. Bringing Devin Townsend in in a knob-twiddling capacity on the predecessor to this was a master stroke and, whilst he didn't produce this album his signature sound is all over it - massive crunch in the guitars, lush keys in the background and the catchiest metal choruses known to man.
Soilwork have certainly found their niche in the metal world - more immeidately accessible than Dark Tranquillity due to their catchy hooks and choruses yet not losing any intensity because of it they seem destined to keep churning out fantastic albums seemingly until they get bored with it.
Bjorn Strid's vocals have improved again on this album. Unlike most metal singers, when he actually sings you don't cringe with embarrassmnet. The man can actually sing - of course there is probably a hefty amount of pro-tools on his voice and I'd be willing to bet good money that he can't pull the soaring vocals on the like of 'Overload', 'Rejection Role' and 'The Mindmaker' live - but still, it sounds damn good here so who's complaining!
Peter Wichers and Ola Frenning literally tear through some superb solos which never sound like the gratuitous fret-wankery that metal solos often are and the rhythm section sounds as tight as ever.
Another superb effort from Sweden't finest. Can't wait a year for the next one!