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Dew- Scented: Ill-Natured/Innoscent (reissue)

It's amazing how much growth can happen in just two short years. German thrash/death metal upstarts Dew- Scented released their debut Immortelle in 1996, a rough slab of extreme metal that hinted at better things to come, but was largely unsuccessful. Fast forward to 1998 and their sophomore release Innoscent, as well as 1999's third outing Ill-Natured, and you have basically a band that has finally found their footing, and turned themselves into one hell of a metal machine. Metal Mind Productions has reissued both albums on one CD (which Nuclear Blast also did back in 2003), complete with a new essay from lead singer Leif Jensen.

It's kind of odd that Ill-Natured appears first on the CD, as it's the third release, but honestly, it really matters not, as both albums are that good. Full of killer riffs, thunderous drums, and paint scraping vocals, each of these albums sees the band improving leaps and bounds in both their writing & instrumental abilities. There's a more technical aspect to their songs here, as they use elements from both thrash and death metal, and you can certainly hear the influence of the classic band Death throughout these grooves.Jensen especially has dropped much of the hardcore influence from the debut and taken on a throaty death metal bark that's not too different from the style of the late Chuck Schuldiner. Both of these albums have a very different sounding production, with Innoscent being mixed & mastered by Dan Swano, who gives it that early 90's death metal sound that he achieved with Opeth & Katatonia back in the day. Though it's an effective mix, the band sounds a tad claustrophobic, as opposed to the brighter, and more powerful mix of Markus Freiwald on Ill-Natured.

From a songwriting perspective, the band has improved greatly from their first album, evidenced by such killer cuts as "The Grace", "Apocalypse Inside", "Skybound", "Bereaved", and the grinding "Burn With Me". Guitarists Florian Muller & Ralf Klein (who shortly after left the band) deliver a non-stop barrage of crushing, often times technical riffs, that really help shape these songs into complete powerhouses. Of the two albums, Ill-Natured is easily the better, thanks to a tighter, crisper production, advanced musicality, and more variety in the songs. That's not to say that Innoscent is a slouch by any means, but you can easily see the progression in the band from album to album.

Metal Mind's reissue comes in a nice digipack, complete with lyrics, photos, and essay. It's well worth getting if you haven't discovered these two thrash/death metal gems previously.

Track Listing
1. Embraced By Sin 4:13
2. This Grace 4:07
3. Simplicity In Chaos 4:44
4. Apocalypse Inside 3:40
5. Defiance 6:43
6. Wounds Of Eternity 4:37
7. Idolized 3:30
8. Skybound 4:53
9. The Endless 2:53
10. Shattered Insanity 4:09
11. Bereaved 3:22
12. Burn With Me 4:44
13. Starspangled 3:53
14. The Sicker Things 3:01
15. Everred 4:00
16. The Grapes Of Wrath 2:42
17. Aentity 3:50
18. Underneath 2:53
19. Fatal If Swallowed (Overkill cover) 5:38

Added: December 21st 2010
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Band Website
Hits: 1850
Language: english

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