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I remember back when I was 14 and still in 8th grade or so, when a friend of mine came up before ethics and handed me this really cool new CD he just bought the other day, praising the band and telling our clique about how really cool the singer was, that he used words such as "baby" and "yeah" mixed with the growling nature of the stuff we usually discovered at that time. Back then we used to listen to In Flames or Dimmu Borgir and think they were really really brutal! How times have changed...
Today, after almost five years and an almost unlimited supply of bands to chose from in my collection, 1-800-Vindication from Denmark's "finest" (as they like to call themselves) Illdisposed still rocks every time I put it on. This is one of those albums that can be melodic and harsh at the same time, depends which mood you are in, but actually works both ways. The interesting this is that you can pay attention to the softer parts or let's call them elements of each song, relaxing yourself, or you can nod your head to the rythmic motion of each song's progression. 1-800-Vindication is a further step in the evolution of this amazing band that has managed to stay true to its death metal roots, while achieving a very good quality presentation of post-00s heavy metal. Although the riffing is subject to a near-Gothenburg experience at times and the music itself resembles other Scandinavian acts from one sequence to the other (At the Gates come repeatedly to mind), the band manages its own unique style that can be described as a post-modern cowboy bullride.
"It's you against the world
Or you against yourself"
Like a bulldozer this album rolls on the rocks roads of groovy excellence, crushing anything that stands in its way. The song structure is very basic, but also very effective and almost every track is spiced up with some really cool gimmick, be it a very memorable solo, synthesizer effects or simply well put song "breaks" (not the lame breakdown stuff you normally get today, but sophisticated smashing parts that accentuate a certain part beauteously). The distinct guitar effects that are reoccurring build up a certain cold, mechanical-like atmosphere. The effects that are frequently used are what I like to call the "drain" effect, because it sounds like something is going down in a spiral manner very fast. The recording itself couldn't be clearer, and if it were, then it would sound like generic modern crap. Instead the drums are pounding, while the guitars (including bass) are very audible and have a very slashing tone to them. But the really exciting thing about Illdisposed is their sense of humor. If you've ever seen these guys like, you will know how important it is for a band to have a good vocalist that represents the band with a vengeance. This guy, who calls his part or instrument in the band a "subwoofer" is amazing. Not only that he has a very substantial and voluminous voice, but he also stays true to what metal is lacking more and more in vocals: balls. Not only that he can grunt extremely low, but he also delivers great screams and can even sing! Now I don't mean operatic or epic tunes, but a very decent and solid wail, which adds a little color to some songs, especially after he lets it be and starts pushing that air through his throat and resumes the low-pitched grunts. Amazing guy.
The lyrics are also very good, which is really important for an overall good rating. If you have something important to say, then say it poetically or not, but get to the point really fast. That is the exact thing these lyrics do. Especially when accompanied by the explosive nature of the music. The basic formula is there, the potential and energy for more great music is here. This album is a high recommendation for any metal fan.
(metal-observer.com on 6.11.09)