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Swedish metal sextet Soilwork formed in early 1997, fusing the country's signature ultra-heavy death metal sound with the power-groove riffs of late-'70s, early-'80s British and European metal. Vocalist Bjorn "Speed" Strid, guitarists Peter Wichers and Ola Frenning, and drummer Henry Ranta were all veterans of the Swedish scene by the time they recorded their first demo, In Dreams We Fall into the Eternal, in 1997; bassist Ola Flink became a permanent member afterward, as did keyboardist Carlos Del Olmo Holmberg. Their official debut album, Steelbath Suicide, was released in 1998 and wound up landing Soilwork a U.S. deal with Century Media. The follow-up, The Chainheart Machine, appeared in 1999, followed in 2000 by Predator's Portrait, their first outing for Nuclear Blast. Recorded with Devin Townsend and Fredrik Nordstrom, Natural Born Chaos arrived in 2002, followed by the band's first U.S. tour. Ever prolific, the group issued its fifth album Figure Number Five in 2003, Stabbing the Drama in 2005, and Sworn to the Great Divide in 2007. The year 2010 saw the release of the band's first ever compilation, the Avalon Marquee-issued The Sledgehammer Files: The Best of Soilwork 1998–2008, as well as their eighth studio long-player, The Panic Broadcast. The Living Infinite, Soilwork's first double album, arrived in 2013, followed in 2015 by The Ride Majestic. ~ Steve Huey
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