Much like the unpredictable characteristics of the Atlantic Ocean itself and a lot like the year 2020 has been, this EP sees the band trying something a little different. Guitarist David Andersson states that he has “always felt that SOILWORK was a bit underrated as a band and no-one really understood what we were able to do, so I’ve had this dream for a few years to write a really epic song and show off what this band is really capable of.” It isn’t straight in with the hard-hitting heavy blows of music that you might expect from SOILWORK and at first, you may well question why the longest song has been placed at the start but listen more and everything falls into place. It’s as though the band has sprouted Kraken-like tentacles to hook and sucker you in for half an hour.
Title track ‘A Whisp of the Atlantic’ begins with the sound of ocean waves, the tension builds slowly with piano, guitar, and strings until the drums and deep echoey vocals begin. This track tells a story in its harsh, hushed rasps. The riffs come in at just after 2 minutes and before long the whole band is present in your ears with the Death Metal vocals bringing the SOILWORK signature touch. What begins as a slow song, soon builds into organized chaos with meandering guitar melodies. There are riffs and growls, dark lyrics full of anger and despair, guitar solos and drums played at speeds that defy the laws of physics. There isn’t much that hasn’t been shoehorned into this song – including a trumpet – but standing at over a whopping 16 minutes long there is room for every instrument to add its details as the turbulent tale unfolds. It is a HUGE song to start an EP with. There are at least two moments where the song could end but instead, it picks right back up to introduce new aspects such as tandem guitar or Jazz elements. By the end, it is back to gentle waves and the sound of flowing water but you are well and truly submerged and ready for more. ‘Feverish’ dives in as a hot little song that warms you through with its heavier energy. With guitars mirroring the tune of the keyboard at different times, there’s a notable melody beneath the powerful driving force of the drums and mighty vocals.
The shortest track of the EP is the fast and forceful ‘Desperado’ which begins sounding intentionally rusty and sea-worn but soon shows off its sci-fi accessories. Riff laden guitars, drums, futuristic flying saucers, and severe vocals melt into a Power Metalcore. This is a strong song with many space-age noises. ‘Death Diviner’ is another solid and reliable track that sees the band in an unstoppable state of flow. There are higher parts to the vocals and the music itself seems to reach insane frequencies yet ends with calming violin and classical guitar to play out.
The final track ‘The Nothingness and the Devil’ has an interesting beat and a chunky weave of vocals and instruments, it’s as though you can feel the fight in your upper body with this one. Pounding like a final boss battle before rounding into floaty punch-drunk psychedelia of sounds that toy with your senses, this song keeps you wondering what’ll happen next?
Steeped in the essence of Progressive Death Metal and with one song measuring exactly 5:55 in length it feels somewhat like numerical Jungian synchronicity; Major change is afoot; be prepared; with the change, we evolve. Give this offering on the SOILWORK specials menu a sample and you’ll no doubt be positively surprised.