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This is another album that I got for $6 that's one of the best $6 I've ever spent in my life. 'There's Something Rotten In The State Of Denmark' is easily in the top five melodic death metal albums I've ever heard, because, like with most melodic death metal worth listening to, it never forgets the last two words in the genre descriptor: 'DEATH METAL'. Illdisposed is the Gothenburg antidote. 'There's Something Rotten In The State Of Denmark' is forty minutes of chugging and grooving and melody-ing riffs plus a bunch of fantastically '80s solos and if you don't like it you're stupid.
Admittedly, this is essentially Pantera playing melodic death metal. I don't consider that a bad thing, but a lot of people will, and those people are gay. There's a definite emphasis on attitude being used to cover up the more mediocre songwriting moments, but unlike most other bands, it actually works here. One of the important elements to this is vocalist Bo Summer, who has that delightfully silly and seemingly joking growl that a lot of Danish death metal bands have. Every word (of the alternatingly brilliant and completely retarded lyrics) is spewed with the most bombastic and sneering mid-range growl ever, like every stanza is coming between shots of whiskey and random-person-punching. The guitars carry the rest, and they have precisely two types of riffs: chug/groove ones, and melodic ones. They're both great. 'Psychic Cyclus I-III' is impossible not to love on the strength of its stupid groove riffs alone, and combined with the vocals, it just gets that much more ridiculous and delightful. Yes, delightful.
'Near The Gates' has what is officially the best melodic death metal riff of all time opening it up, rivaled only by the infamous main riff on Vehemence's 'We Are All Dying' when it comes to melodeath perfection. Actually, the whole song might be the best melodic death metal song ever made. Every note of it is pretty much perfect. The groove riffs are brilliant, the melodic riffs are brilliant, and the solos (more on those later) are brilliant also. So those two opening tracks wreck the opening two tracks of just about any other album ever made. Granted, the rest of the album isn't nearly as good, so as a result I often end up just listening to the first two on loop for nine hours while clutching a revolver and weeping. That being said, the rest of the songs are still painfully good, they just don't make me want to masturbate out of pure metal joy like the first two do.
So there are solos, a LOT of solos, generally about two per song, and they're really good ones as well. They're uniformly ultra-melodic (no Kerry King scribbling) and totally '80s. I'm not a particularly solo-focused person myself, but even I have to admit that they're pretty damned great here, particularly when accentuating the groove-oriented nature of the rest of the album. When you get down to it, all the riffing is super predictable, with mercilessly overused chord progressions that you've heard in every melodeath song ever, but they're just SO DAMNED GOOD that you can't help but love them. On another note, the lyrics are borderline incoherent with a lot of cool stanzas which have no relation to each other at all. But then again, it just adds to the attitude, as if the entire band just walked into a bar without pants and you're afraid to point it out because you'll be struck repeatedly.
'There's Something Rotten In The State Of Denmark' is an essentially endless progression of awesome riffs and awesome solos and awesome vocals and awesome lyrics coming together to make awesome songs. I personally don't understand how someone could actually not like this album unless Enbilulugugal is the most accessible thing they'll allow themselves to listen to. Even when it sucks, it rules. This album will be played in its entirety at my funeral, not because it has the appropriate themes or sound, but because I hope my death is as awesome as this album is.
Clearly, this band deserves more attention.
Illdisposed is not one of those super-technical bands. They have their own sound. Imagine a group of superb death metal musicians playing pop-rock with super heavy guitars, and a vocalist that probably is picked up by seismic scanners. Maybe like that.
There's "Something Rotten..." is infectious. It's a riff-tastic death metal album with amazing leads and solos. The riffs remind me of Bolt Thrower and Obituary, but with more of a groovy element. The disc has a nice old school sound, but with excellent production. Need to move some furniture? Just put this CD on, and turn up the volume!
Occasionally, they get pretty fast, but many of their songs have a mid-paced, almost danceable groove to them. No, not a hardcore or nu-metal groove, but an almost Celtic Frost groove. The kind that makes you smile and turn up the volume.
Leads and solos are just amazing. They remind me of some of the great 80's metal solos that are rarely heard these days.
Bass is deep, and blends with the guitars to create a warm, thick sound.
Drums are excellent. Not overly technical, but straight forward and pounding. There is some good double-base work to be found, and some great fills here.
The vocals are Suffocationish, but catchy, and growlier. "Ooh yeah!"
The band knows how to be heavy, and they know how to write good songs. They also have a since of humor, and don't take themselves too seriously. The little electronic drum solo at the end proves that!
Lyrically, they are truly unique. They cover a wide range of ideas, and even have a few love songs that are rather surprising.
This is a masterpiece of melodic death metal. Not the Gothenburg style, but an old-school style. There's even a humorous Megadeth cover. Fans of Carcass (Necroticism and Heartwork era), Obituary, Bolt Thrower, Entombed, Pestilence and Celtic Frost just need to check this out. It’s the kind of album to play to your nu-metal friends, to show the right way to groove!