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Nice asshole. - 83%

enigmatech, November 21st, 2020
Written based on this version: 1995, CD, Progress Records (First press)

Here we've got Submit, the second album (third, if you count the preceding mini-LP) from the almighty Danish death-dealers Illdisposed. This album shows the band's first major lineup change, with Rolf Rognvard-Hansen replacing Michael Enevoldsen on the drums - alongside Morten Gilsted who debuted on the previous minI-LP (also the primary songwriter on this disc). While Enevoldsen was no slouch, the addition of Rognvard was arguably something of a watershed moment in the band's catalog as he had a different approach to drums, a bit more creative and if you ask me, his style added a lot and helped cement the direction the band was going in around this time.

On this album, the guys begin to make some slight shifts in their sound...while they were always talented purveyors on the "groovy" side of death metal, taking after the masters themselves (namely Bolt Thrower and Obituary), here we see the band get with the times a bit. The grooves "bounce" a bit more (look at "A Frame of Mind"), no doubt influenced by Obituary's 1994 genre-defining masterpiece World Demise, and while some will be turned off by that due to it's closer proximity to more questionable mid-90s metal cliches - I think Illdisposed (like Obituary before them) does it better than most of their peers and it ends up adding another layer to the band's sound. There's a hint of melody in the riffing, implying these guys weren't unaware of what was happening over in Gothenburg, around these times...most prevalent in tracks like "The Hidden Ache". However, through it all the band has still managed to keep intact the core sound of powerful, uncompromising old school death metal full of catchy, powerful riffs. I mean, just listen to "Vesuvie" and "Flogging a Dead Horse", two extremely brutal tracks chock full of fast, quasi-technical riffing and blast beats. While not the best tracks here, they add a sense of variety to the disc and kick up a lot of dust after the typically slower other tracks.

In terms of vocals, Bo Summer performs a great mix of powerful, guttural death growls along with higher-ranged, John Tardy-esque growls - often implementing a slew of vocal effects (the infamous "subwoofer"). There are even clean vocals in a couple songs (the chorus in the title track, and some choirs in epic closer "Die Kingdom"), though it's not clear who performed them as no clean vocalist is credited in the CD booklet. Lyrically, things have taken a turn as there is more of the band's trademark, bizarre humor ("Take a look at the horizon/Tell me what you see/The sun may never rise/Should have got a tan") mixed in with the dark musings on religion and anti-Christian themes, though it feels a bit more personal and grounded in reality this time around.

Speaking of the humor...as with most Illdisposed albums, this one features a lot of the same stuff - weird intros/outros in Danish, and messages in the liner notes, etc...but the band took it a step (or ten) further on this album. Simply put...in the CD booklet there's (among many other goofy things) a photo of all the band members' bearing their assholes for the camera (and also another one of the guys playing live totally naked). Not sure why they felt the need to include it but hey, it's death metal...

If I can think of any problems with this one, it's just the production, which is a bit shoddy in my opinion and doesn't quite feel as heavy or professional as it could. While not as good as the preceding (or succeeding) albums, Submit is a great record which can't be overlooked if you don't mind a little groove in your classic, old school death metal.