Illdisposed – There is Light (But It’s Not for Me) (Massacre Records)

Sunday, 24th March 2013
Rating: 8/10

Going on two decades of existence, Illdisposed have been consistently putting out solid work since their inception. The band has certainly morphed since their early years of pounding death metal, becoming more melodic with each subsequent release. They’ve always had a melodic death tinge to their music, but never went down the Gothenburg route in style, maintaining more brutal death than melody throughout their career.

The most significant difference with their latest is the usage of keyboards. Not that this is new for the band, but the usage is more prevalent than ever before. Their use is almost completely done in a background atmospheric sense, with occasionally taking front center. This is far from a negative, as the more pronounced usage of keys adds more dynamic to the songs and overall enhances what the band is trying to accomplish.

The heavy use of keys is obvious straight away in the album opener “Your Own Best Companion.” But, as mentioned previous, it’s maintained in the background for the most part, with the furious guitars and singer Bo Summer’s raucous rasp being the focal point. “Our Worlds Portrayed” shows the band at their most groove-oriented, with the rhythms overflowing with infectiousness and the melody-filled leads adding a nice contrast. “As the Day Rottens” is another track where the groove overtakes the song, with some really head bangin’ moments driving it along. Changing it up a bit, “Reality to Fall” is an instrumental of which is a bit gothic-inspired with the keys, and heavy on the melodic leads. This turns out to actually be one of the best songs on the album, with some of the most intriguing guitar work on offer. “Step Into My Winter” is by far the most melodic death on the album, boasting sharp riffs smoothed over with the best lead guitar work on the disc.

Vocalist Bo Summer’s performance is a huge standout point, with his growl being of a very distinct variety. Gravely and defined, his vocal ability provides a rawness that delivers a necessary contrast to the otherwise sleek and shiny sound that Illdisposed is portraying. And the production here is very clear, indeed. Overall, a very polished sound is used here, which suits what the band is going for. Some may view it as a bit too polished, but it scores no negative points for this reviewer, simply because it suits the music. Would you want Scar Symmetry to sound as raw as classic Autopsy? Not a chance, as it doesn’t suit their music, and the same goes for what Illdisposed is outputting here.

All in all, There is Light (But it’s Not For Me) is an album that combines the better elements of groove-oriented death metal along with a healthy amount of keyboard-infused melodic death metal. If this sounds at all interesting, then chances are you’ll dig what Illdisposed are whipping up. For those not too privy to the usage of keyboards in death metal, than this may not be up your alley, as they’re laid on thick and often. That said, this is a very good album that has a lot of depth and varying soundscapes on offer. This guy certainly wouldn’t pass it up, and my bet is that neither should those who enjoy some dimension in their metal. Give it a go!

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