Illdisposed – With the Lost Souls On Our Side (Massacre)Tuesday, 9th September 2014
Being a mid-tier European melodic death/thrash band has its advantages. Number one, the net result of simply doing the same thing over and over will keep the status quo in check. And secondly, there’s never a worry about stylistic shark jumping ala current In Flames, or Dark Tranquillity circa Projector, or The Haunted, the crappy Dolving years. Surely the fine gents in Denmark’s Illdisposed are aware of this, having carved out a respectable career since their 1991 inception. But therein lies the issue: At 23 years in the game, the band has yet to have its breakout and/or career-defining moment, something their new With the Lost Souls On Our Side figures not to change.
In relation to the band’s peers in Dew-Scented, Legion of the Damned, and even Hatesphere, Illdisposed has more of a death metal punch. Their riffs, while far less fluid than the previously-mentioned trio, have a blunt bottom-edge to them, which is quite noticeable once early album jams such as “Going Down” and “The Way We Choose” gain traction. Furthermore, the band proves to be adept at locking into a solid mid-tempo groove, enabling the cackled and spry death bellow of vocalist Bo Summer to be convincing, like on “On a Clouded Morning.”
The notion that these guys are a tried-and-true melodic death metal band has always befuddled DR. And while we introduced them as such in the beginning of this review, the jams found on With the Lost Souls On Our Side find a band quite happy reveling in the no-frills, meat and potatoes realm of conventional Euro death/thrash. All this does is make the band largely predictable, practically unmoving, and unfortunately, a non-player way across the pond. But remarkably, the band has their own “best-of,” 2012’s not-so-creatively titled The Best-Of Illdisposed 2004 – 2012. How did that come about?