Review Summary: Insanely heavy and full of great riffs, but also some mediocre ones, Illdisposed's début is an enjoyable but unessential death metal attack.
Illdisposed is probably still the largest band in the Danish extreme metal scene, which isn't too surprising; out of all the Danish death metal bands, Illdisposed has had the most consistent album quality and a creative peak with the accessible 1-800 Vindication
, which has helped them to keep ahead of fellows Konkhra
(who's creative output quickly went downhill after their decent debut), Dominus
(who couldn't stay on one style for too long until they decided to morph into the extremely successful Volbeat
), and Iniquity
(who couldn't hope to match their first album). Their relative stability, only really having shifted to a melodic death metal sound from their more groove oriented starting point, isn't their only strength though; their début, Four Depressive Seasons
is undoubtedly one of the heaviest albums around, and a lot of their following discography follows suit.
It's quite likely that most of the band's heaviness comes from the production; the guitars are thick and have tonnes of pick attack, leading to a massive feel to many of the bands groovier sections, while the drums are extremely punchy in the mix and consistently forceful in terms of the actual beats played. The bass is, well, somewhere, but the vocals too are a highlight, as they are perhaps some of the most guttural from the European death metal scene. Considering the raw production values as well, this album simply sounds massively heavy.
This would all be in vain if the songs themselves were lacking, and it's here that the album is something of a mixed bag. The riffs can most definitely be excellent; Forbidden Summer Poetry
, Weeping Souls Of Autumn Desires
, Life Equals Zero (A Love Song)
, and Inherit The Wind
all have stand-out riffs, but while there's a good variety of fast, melodic sections and doomy chords, sometimes the riffing can get stale, particularly considering that some of the riffs aren't that good, like in Reversed
. Additionally, some of the song lengths get a bit too hopeful giving the style of content presented; with an average song length of 5 minutes, the slightly tedious nature of some of the riffs can really make the songs drag in some cases. However, the stronger songs help to break some of the tedium, and the album doesn't really dip in quality too much at any point.
While unessential, most old school death metal listeners will probably find quite a lot to like in Illdisposed's debut. While some parts of their discography likely overshadow this, it's still an entertaining demonstration of how well groovy death metal can work when the riffs are there.
Wardance Of The Technocracy
Life Equals Zero (A Love Song)
Forbidden Summer Poetry
Weeping Souls Of Autumn Desires
Inherit The Wind