Illdisposed - With the Lost Souls on Our Side
Massacre Records
Melodic Death Metal
12 songs (52' 28")
Release year: 2014
Massacre Records
Reviewed by Andy

Illdisposed, hailing from Denmark, has now been active for over 20 years, and putting albums out like clockwork, though they've never broken into the league of true heavy hitters in the melodeath genre. With the Lost Souls on Our Side is mostly a continuation of the albums of their recent past and is a straightforward, mostly guitar-driven album, though still with plenty of groove to the sound.

One of the nice things about Illdisposed is the closer relationship of their music to "real" death metal than that of other Scandinavian melodeath acts such as In Flames. The combination of Bo "Subwoofer" Sommer's deep, rotten-sounding vocals (Paul Speckmann comes to mind occasionally when hearing his singing) and the greater emphasis on heaviness in the riffs as opposed to making a melody (or sometimes even a good song) puts one in that frame of mind as soon as the first track starts up, and the following The Way We Choose, though faster and more like a melodeath song in terms of beat, again hammers the riffs into the listener instead of spending much time on a melody. There are still sample clips occasionally in intros and some synth elements are still there, but not many. But outside of the rhythm tracks and Sommer's vocals, there isn't really much going on. The guitar leads are basically forgettable, although A Dreaded Pursuer and On a Clouded Morning both have nicer solos than some of the other ones, and the songs easily blend into each other despite the heaviness of the rhythm guitar.

The two bonus tracks on the copy I have are somewhat better. Life Equals Zero has almost no melody, but is a mindless, lumbering tune full of chugging riffs like a train engine that can keep the listener happy with its sheer grunting power. Reversed is back to a more melodic sound, with a galloping beat and -- finally -- some melody that warrants the description of melodic death metal. This is probably one of the best on the album, just because a little more effort seems like it's been put into it. It's not an amazing song, but it does combine a melody with some bite, though as if to make up for this brief display of songwriting, it returns to some more mindless crunching after a silence at the end, like a hidden track.

My verdict on this album is that it's neither flesh nor fowl. It's a lot more like death metal than most melodeath albums, but it's too much like melodeath to have the brutality of death metal. There are a few good parts in it, but the songwriting difficulties that the band clearly suffers from are enough to make this an album that only fans will probably get excited about.

Killing Songs :
None that I'd call truly "killing"
Andy quoted 71 / 100
Other albums by Illdisposed that we have reviewed:
Illdisposed - For Those Who Walk Behind Us reviewed by Goat and quoted 60 / 100
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