Despite it’s name, melodic death metal is rarely every very melodic, often relying on metalcore influenced chugging rather than actual consistent flow of melody. And ever when it does sound a bit melodic, it often more sounds like generic power metal with death vocals rather than anything resembling what one would assume melodic death metal should sound like. Soilwork is here to say “fuck what anyone else is doing, let’s do the genre right”. This isn’t the best album this year, but it’s probably the album I’ve been the happiest to hear. This really is some of the best melo death I’ve heard, though I do say that as someone who is not extremely experienced in the genre (mostly because I don’t like much of what the genre as to offer). This goes beyond stereotypical melo death by actually well, being melo death. The focus is completely on the melody, with the absence of any sort of distracting factors. However there is also a subtle complexity in the music, with occasional jazzy chords thrown in, and dynamic shifts that add appreciated some depth to the music. I wouldn’t call this progressive metal, but a musical equivalent of “just the tip” will do fine. Another tip The Ride Majestic dips itself in (or would it be onto?) is the metalcore world. The ever so slight amount of well done chugging and shift between clean and harsh vocals certainly brings that vibe, however it absolutely does not distract from the music in the slightest. If anything I feel like it softens up the record appropriately, as I feel that if this hit too hard, the melodic runs wouldn’t have as much of an impact. The title track is absolutely the pinnacle of this album, being an entire string of logical melodic contours, with nothing to distract the listener. It’s an amazing and pure example of melodic death metal, and it is honestly extremely refreshing to hear it now. The only flaw that I can really find in here is that it’s just amazing rather than being super amazing. I know that’s not going to win me any reviewing skills points but I really can’t put it any other way, it’s amazing but not the most amazing. Despite that, this is certainly one of the best records this year, and anyone who thinks traditional song structure in metal is dead needs to check this out.