Review Summary: Soilwork's lil' squirt outdoes daddy.
Despite In Flames
best efforts to kill off the monster they created with some truly horrifyingly bad craftsmanship, the three-legged tardsloth known as melodic death continues to churn out good-to-great acts like Insomnium
and Disarmonia Mundi
, the latter is sometimes known as "Soilwork Jr.", "Bjorn's Toilet", or other such names I just made up.
The Italian stallions in Disarmonia
have really gotten an unfair shake in the metal world due to the exact same reason they probably gained notoriety: Bjorn Strid of Soilwork
fame shares vocal duties with these guys, and Bjorn is the kind of man people tend to obsess over or hate. Some have even claimed he is of poorer vocal quality than Anders "Jon Davis Jr." Friden from In Flames
, to which I reply is complete ridiculitude.
(I'm coining that word. Dibs!)
Anyway, with the obvious kinship noted above, I'm not saying Disarmonia Mundi
may be a Soilwork
ripoff, but when the drama
they may have felt it, if you know what I mean. The Isolation Game
swaps up from bouncy thrash riffs to weaving, bootstomp grooves and soaring choruses, as well as some pretty choice epic soloing.
The first five songs off this album are some corkers, and I've got very few complaints about the rapid-fire mosh numbers that they open with here... but right at the title track they drop an egg that stinks up the joint for another five tracks. It isn't until "Same Old Nails for a New Messiah" that the album manages to unfumble its balls and deliver the damn goods. It's not as if the slower songs are that slow or light, they do try to be heavy, but unlike "A Taste of Collapse" from their 2006 album Mind Tricks
, there's just no real meat to be had on these tracks, and they don't take advantage of the slower format quite like that piece of epicocity manged to. And while "Blacklight Rush" is placed smack-dab in the middle of this albums dregs, it too suffers from some poor writing, at least compared to the rest of the album.
(Coinin' that ***, too!)
So why a 3.5? Because when The Isolation Game
puts its best foot forward ("Structural Wound", "Perdition Haze"), it's a serious un***withable juggernaut of sound. It's better than even the "return to form" album that Soilwork
released, The Panic Broadcast
, and not by a very narrow margin.
If you enjoy some head-stomping good times with a hooky, catchy chorus, this album should be on your "Check their Myspace" list.