Sunday, May 1

Illdisposed - There Is Light (But It's Not For Me)

There Is Light (But It's Not For Me)


Oldschool melodic death metal bands incorporating electronic influences into later releases is definitely nothing new. Dark Tranquillity, Amorphis and In Flames all come to mind, and Danish legends Illdisposed are no exception, celebrating There Is Light (But It's Not For Me) as their 11th release in 20 years. It's a step up from two lackluster releases, and after a revolving door of musicians, it seems miraculous that the band's sound has remained in tact. Here, their brand of synth-tinged groove-death creates a paradox between a heavy-ass death metal low with an industrial and Gothenburg-influence high. The question is whether they can be united.

When considering the mid-tempo explosion of “Your Own Best Companion” that greets the listener, the answer is a definite yes. Strong and punchy, the synths are used in an orchestral fashion, dancing around the moshpit of headbanging riffs in the center. More like Septic Flesh's Revolution DNA than In Flames' Soundtrack To Your Escape, although the band certainly haven't lost their own personal touch, as can be seen in the slow groove section of “Our Words Betrayed”. The bass, hidden behind guitars, is still powerful in both fast and slow sections, and the guitars go from stomping riff to Gothenburg solo with ease, one of the better ones being on my favorite track “As The Day Rottens”. The drums, however, could have been boosted by producer Tue Madsen, as the cymbals are messy and the skins lack the required oomph.

Now we come to the only remaining founding member, Bo “Subwoofer” Summers. I commend his ability to write lyrics that suit his voice, a mixture of incredibly low barks and high-pitched shrieks. However, despite most of the lyrics being in good English, they descend into the nonsensical for the first half of the album: Teach me, plant the flowers/Embed the dream of you and I/Shower me for hours/Lead me on my way. The lyrics are claimed as hateful, but personally they don't grab me. This is why I advise giving the whole album a try: the better lyrics come in the second half: “And when we laugh – we laugh at you/Other minds are black, shining through”. They even keep their tradition of using movie samples such as on “Rape”, and a Titanic reference on closer track “We”.

So, fans and skeptics alike should try this album. The synths certainly do not detract from the powerful death-groove metal on offer, and even enhance it on occasion. This is a return to form, even if the olden days of pure death-groove are gone; a successful anniversary gift.

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Angel's rating: 3.75/5

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