Various Artists - Illud Divinum Insanus - The Remixes
Season Of Mist
Electro/Death Metal
Disc 1: 16 songs (01:17:20) Disc 2: 15 songs (01:15:44)
Release year: 2012
Season Of Mist
Reviewed by Charles
Illud Divinum Insanus was the sound of a death metal institution that had long harboured fantasies of making electronic music demonstrating that they weren’t actually very good at doing so. For such a great band, they had always done a remarkably crappy job with the ambient synth interludes that pepper their earlier records (and indeed the one that opens Illud itself. It’s ironic that given the reception given to the newer elements on that album, the worst track is the traditional tacky haunted house first track). Despite this, I found a lot to enjoy in the album. The worst part was the reaction from some people- “I’ve listened to Morbid Angel in the past, therefore they owe it to me as a consumer to produce an unadulterated death metal album”, seems to sum up the more reactionary currents of opinion. The record itself, for all its flaws, is nothing if not a laugh. It’s goofy enough, catchy to almost work. Almost.

So what better way to honour that goofy catchiness, and perhaps produce something convincing, than releasing three hours of Illud... remixes by electro acts? What could be more logical than to draft in a barrowload of knob-twiddlers who actually know what they are doing with this kind of thing as a means of reworking it? The resulting project seems to really draw out the knuckleheaded absurdity of Illud… and ramp it up to extremes (To Extremes!, right guys?!), and to some degree (and given the right type of slightly perverse mindset) that is actually quite an appealing prospect. 12 different versions of I Am Morbid? Er… why not?! (If your reaction to this idea is less enthusiastic, then for god’s sake run for your life…)Take Laibach’s for a start: they turn it into a piece of baroque chamber music, for some reason, which makes for a thoroughly leftfield album opener. Sometimes nuggets of genuine invention and surprise can be found here- for example The Toxic Avenger’s’s version of 10 More Dead, which starts life as a blissful haze of synths, and shifts into a sort of buzzing, futuristic pulsation. Or Mulk’s last word to the compilation- a mauling of Existo Vulgore which seems to consist of speeding it up to so that it fits into one minute, and replacing the drums with a computer generated jackhammer.

Looking at this more soberly, it is over three hours long (factoring in the bonus dropcard- without that it’s a pathetic two). That prospect alone will fill many (most?) people with dread. Not all of this is as wacky as the above examples, and there’s only so much electro one can take whilst remaining on the edge of one’s seat (speaking personally). A lot of it isn’t especially distinguishable, and doesn’t seem to do that much more than put a drum machine behind some of Morbid Angel’s crappier ideas. Despite Mondkopf’s best efforts, for example, Radikult is never going to sound good. Fixhead fill their version of it with so many of those bleeps and swooshy noises that electronic bands like so much that’s it’s barely recognisable except for David Vincent’s classic vocal line. All said, it is hard to see who is going to buy this, but it’s certainly entertaining, within reason.

Killing Songs :
Contribtions by Toxic Avenger, Laibach, Mulk
Charles quoted no quote
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Various Artists - A Light in the Black : A Tribute to Ronnie James Dio reviewed by Alex and quoted no quote
Various Artists - Re-Machined: A Tribute to Deep Purple's Machine Head reviewed by Stefan and quoted No Quote
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