Illdisposed – Grey Sky Over Black Town (Massacre)

Thursday, 30th June 2016
Rating: 6.5/10

There are 14 studio albums to Illdisposed’s name. Unfortunately on these shores, not a whole lot of punters can name a single one, although this scribe shall never forget 1-800 Vindication. There’s a memorable title for ya. But it’s emblematic of a deeper issue with the Danes: they’re in whatever bucket is below the Dew-Scenteds, Hatespheres, and The Haunteds of the metal world. Euro thrash is by no means a bankable force (nor as it ever been), but it is a test of endurance requiring its bands to make gradual sonic alterations over time, something that comes into play on Grey Sky Over Black Town. (Did we mention this is their 14th album?)

Vocalist Bo Summer (the only standing member left from the band’s 1991 formation) and gang have made a concerted shift away from the melodic hues and angles found elsewhere in the discography. In turn, these cuts are much blunter than normal, giving way to a lack of dynamics in favor of utterly brutal jaunts such as “Your Darkest Son” and “My Flesh is Sealed.” Such moves almost predicate the idea Illdisposed are more death metal than they lead on, as the bulldozing summit here hovers around the simplistic DM territory employed by a lot of veteran acts.

So really, not a tremendous amount to get hyped about with Grey Sky Over Black Town. It’s on schedule (the Danes follow the bi-annual release schedule to the letter) and dutiful, but far from the visceral and engaging works that Hatesphere and The Haunted have pumped out of late. When you have 14 albums to your credit, creating probably starts to feel routine, which is exactly how Grey Sky Over Black Town sounds.

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