i might look at this album differently from most Soilwork listeners. I would say _Stabbing the Drama_ is a big improvement over _Natural Born Chaos_ and _Figure Number Five_, and it's sort of a medium between the two. Just for reference, _A Predator's Portrait_ is one of my all time favorite metal discs, simply perfect. _Steelbath Suicide_ and _Chainheart Machine_ are also fantastic. all three of those are brutal and furious. That said, I even liked FNF for the most part, because of the vocals and catchy songs, but the guitars and drums and METALNESS of it seemed more half-hearted IMO, a downgrade from _Natural Born Chaos_ but that album had its own shortcomings like sounding pretty homogeneous.
_Stabbing the Drama_ has the same catchy aspect as these previous albums (NBC/FNF) but the writing on the whole seems stronger. Heck, this band's songwriting is downright outstanding in my opinion, they write GREAT catchy metal songs, their melodic acumen is outstanding and Speed is an extremely empathetic vocalist. The album shows a tremendous refinement of the band's main direction for the last while, and if you take the last three albums as a class, this is the most well-rounded and best-written accomplishment of those. but here the songs have more variety and better quality from beginning to end (i haven't heard the newest one, _Sworn to a Great Divide_)
I would honestly think of this has heavy pop music, which to me isn't a bad thing although such a description is probably a major turn-off to most people. like pop music, the main focus is the vocals and the hooks. The general form of structure and arrangement is pretty straightforward, and by now Speed's approach to vocals is pretty predictable. Speed's voice is amazing though, whether the harsh voice or clean voice, and he's gotten much better with each album. That said, the music is much more... i dunno, fleshed out than the last few. Fat, chunky-choppy riffs and absolutely AMAZING drumming (forget Ranta, the new drummer is a fiend, did i mention that?), and very tasteful synths all drive the hooks home with amazing force behind the vocalist in the spotlight. pop music, even really good pop music, doesn't really show this kind of deadly chops.
I'd say if you really _disliked_ everything since APP, STD won't change your mind -- BUT if you liked the general approach of the previous two albums but thought they could be a little better SOMEHOW, then you should pick this up if you haven't because it rules, although i wager the fan likes or would like NBC more than this one. I think this is just as addictive as those, but more well written so it has much better lasting power. i personally have deep regrets about not getting it until very recently.