Live In The Heart of Helsinki (Nuclear Blast)
By Mike Delano
This first-ever live DVD/Blu-Ray from Soilwork, arriving right around the two-year anniversary of the band’s excellent 2013 double album The Living Infinite, is a straightforward but effective time capsule of these melodeath giants circa 2014. Right off the bat, they get the setlist right. Many bands, when they release what they consider a “big” artistic work (like a concept or double album), feel the need in concert to either a) play the album in its entirety or b) cram the setlist from beginning to end with new stuff, pausing only briefly to dig up some old songs. Soilwork knows how to pace a live show and the rhythm required for a successful one, so they put together a great selection of songs from many albums, leading off with an impressively raging set of opening salvos like “This Momentary Bliss” and “Like The Average Stalker.” The Living Infinite gets plenty of play and the songs fit into the set naturally; the band is even courteous enough to pair cuddlier new material like “Let This River Flow” with bludgeoning older cuts like “Bastard Chain.” There’s nothing particularly standout to mention about the set design or camerawork, but the creators of this DVD did pick a great crowd and venue size for filming (The Circus in Helsinki). The energy really shines through in these close quarters, and the excitement and give-and-take between the band and crowd recall the In Flames performance at Sticky Fingers on their Used & Abused…In Live We Trust DVD. Live In The Heart of Helsinki captures a big-sounding band at what is likely the biggest-sounding period of their career, so this concert is a great way to cap off this period of Soilwork history and speculate and to where they are heading in 2015 and beyond.