Don’t you sometimes wonder how some bands are able to keep finding the energy and creativity to go on and on and still craft great music? Yeah, yeah, I know that some bands die completely inside and that they keep doing it because it’s all they can do, but I’m talking about those bands who simply keep up the good work.
When I received the promo files for Illdisposed’s 14th full length and read in the accompanying promo letter that this album also marks the 25th anniversary for the Danish melodic death groove waltzers, I thought two things:
1. Thomas, this is it, you’re really old now – I feel as if their debut came out like, what, ten years ago?!
2. It’s amazing how Bo Summer and the rest of the Illdisposed crew keep the steam up after all these years, still churning out riffs that are to die for, and still remaining true to their unique sound.
Because Illdisposed are in many ways a unique band. When they first appeared on the Danish scene (ten, no, wait, 25 years ago), their style was like that of no one else in this wee country. They became known for their barrage of riffs and their almost-but-not-quite Swedish sound as well as their majestic and extremely headbanger-friendly groove. They simply waltzed like none other on these shores, and it remains true to this day. As a band, they spiced up things by being totally void of respect, even towards each other. The scandalo-metre peaked when three members of the band supposedly ‘made out’ on a couch after a concert in Australia in 2006. Whether that’s true or not, I can’t tell, and I honestly don’t care – what’s more important to me is that since the impressive debut, ‘Four Depressive Seasons’, was released in 1993, Illdisposed have consistently delivered the brutally grooving goods. Looking back, the highlights for me have been the before-mentioned debut album, as well as ‘Submit’ (1995), ‘1-800 Vindication’ (2004) and ‘Burn Me Wicked’ (2006). I have to say that ‘Grey Sky Over Black Town’ fits right into the group of Illdisposed’s strongest albums.
Relying for the most part on a fairly straight forward brutal groove as we know it from the early part of their career, Illdisposed have also included a few more (modern) black metal trademarks than we are used to, which, I have to say, isn’t a bad thing. Check out You’re an Angel of the Light’, which has that Emperor eeriness to it. From the Rain has some of the same feel.
That said, there’s also a piano (!) nestled into the intro for My Flesh is Sealed. Not sure, but I think that the piano is a first for Illdisposed. There are also lots of references to good old heavy metal and hard rock along the way, typically use to add an extra touch of melody and variation.
Unlike the use of the piano, it is not at all a first that Illdisposed deliver a crushing combination of brutal groove and melody, and praise the gods for that. This is another album Bo Summer, Jakob Batten and their merry fellows can be proud of. Horns up! Go listen as soon as you get the chance!
02. Your Darkest Son
03. In Light Of The Moon
04. I Tried To Live
05. The After All
06. My Flesh Is Sealed
07. You’re An Angel Of The Light
08. Setting Sail
09. I’m Not One
10. From The Rain
11. I’ve Been On My Own (Bonus track Digipak)
12. It’s Almost Night (Bonus track Digipak)
13. This Is The Ride (Bonus Track Digipak)
Playing time: 57 minutes (digipack version)
Release date: 27th of May, 2016