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Illnath: 4 Shades of Me

This album has been out for a couple of weeks, but it's not something that readers should overlook in the wave of new releases. Track for track, this is easily one of the most consistently strong death metal releases I've heard lately. For those of you who haven't heard the album yet, my claim may seem surprising. Illnath isn't necessarily known for having a really hard edge. To date, they've considered themselves a symphonic black metal band. Things change. Instead of using keyboards and symphonic components here, Illnath has turned all their energy into sheer aggressive force. The result is well worth a listen.

The band hasn't abandoned all melodic elements, but they are mostly used to add variety and beauty to the larger, darker, musical passages. For me, the best songs on this album come mostly from the first half. The first track "Blood Warrior" opens with a pounding, machine-gun style drum and guitar part that literally clears everything out of its way. It's like a war drum, calling everyone to battle. The lyrics, consistent with that same theme, are hard-driving and bloody. Another highlight for me was "King of Your Mind," a song that deals with the different layers of thought—sometimes sane, sometimes insane—that play out in human consciousness. To me, this was the best song on the album, a track that shouldn't be overlooked by interested listeners.

The rest of this album is just as strong, though none of them hit me in the same way. I was less impressed with "Captain of the Seven Seas" and "Unleashed," but things pick right up for the rest of the album, leading all the way to a strong conclusion. Listeners will definitely be surprised and excited by Illnath's darker and more aggressive sound. I'm looking forward to seeing what else this talented band will bring.

Track Listing:
1. Blood Warrior
2. Gallow Hill
3. King of your Mind
4. Pieces
5. No Salvation
6. Captain of the Seven Seas
7. Unleashed
8. Shade of Me
9. Not my God
10. It's on Me
11. Angelic Voices Calling (2012)

Added: April 11th 2013
Reviewer: Carl Sederholm
Related Link: Band Website
Hits: 1947
Language: english

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