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A bit too inconsistent down the stretch... - 77%

Dark_Mewtwo1, July 2nd, 2005

I loved this album when I first picked it up. It was my first Soilwork album and I loved the use of Speed Strid's cool vocals, which remain one of my all time favorites. But then it hit me: This album fails toward the end.

The album starts off with Bastard Chain, a decent opening song with a strange sounding chorus. It's one of those songs that most people think its ok. Like the Average Stalker fixes the small gaff of the first song with just being one of the best Soilwork songs ever made. Everything is great in this song! The good run continues with the next song, Needlefeast, with what is one of my favorite vocal effects, that of Strid doing the pre-chorus over his long growl. It sounds so fucking cool! Neurotica Rampage slows the album down a bit much like Bastard Chain, but it is still a good track. The Analyst, the halfway mark, picks it up with what I think is the best outro verse I've heard in a song. It's very well written and well delivered by Strid.

Here's where it gets sketchy. I like Grand Failure Anthem, it's an anthem song obviously, and it's done fairly well, but the rest of the songs on the album are very boring. Structure Divine and Final Fatal Force stand out to me in the wrong way, they just don't catch my attention like the other songs do. The title track/album closer does bring you back, but a bit too late. The album's track order never capitalizes on any sort of catchy run of music.

The sound is pretty well produced, notably Henry Ranta's drumming, which I think is excellent, and it's a shame he's no longer their drummer. My main complaint is the keyboards. Me being a keyboard fan doesn't help, and I hate the fact that they did such a horrible job implementing Carlos Del Olmo's work into songs. They only used him for a background ambience. What the hell man! Later albums (especially FNF) use keys a whole lot more, why couldn't they do it earlier? Damn them! The rhythm string section sounds good as well, although with many other albums/bands, the bass is very hard to hear. Still, overall the sounds of the album are ok.

APP is generally lumped with Steelbath and Chainheart as their classic albums. IMO, this is their weakest, but it is still a good listen and very good listen for first time listeners of Soilwork.