ILLNESS - PsychoPath (Deforma(r)t Records - CD 2013)
I guess not many of you will be familiar with band called Illness; personally I have also just found out about them recently… and it is maybe little bit weird, taking for consideration the fact that this Polish / Norwegian duo has been formed back in 2001 and through the past decade has released several materials, including four full length albums. “PsychoPath” is their latest CD, released by Russian Nihil Art Records and well, I must say that even though I am not familiar with any of the previous Illness’ seeds of hatred and misery then this new recording is quite impressive and I truly have enjoyed the music… if only the word “enjoy” could be used when dealing with such music; but I’ll let myself use it for the lack of anything better, but certainly what Illness creates is not a music for fun and entertainment, but more an expression of negativity and the feelings, which come together with it. And to describe the content of “PsychoPath” in one word I would probably use the word, which was a title of Illness’ second CD: “Necroterror”! Take black metal in some of its most vicious, furious, inhuman and misanthropic forms and you may have a small picture of what to expect from Illness.
And now I can hear some of you saying: “necroterror… phaw, what the fuck is this?”. You may not get the meaning of it, but that is only your problem. For me this is sort of audio terror attack, one which originates in the industrialized black metal originally performed by Mysticum and then carried on by such bands as Aborym, Blacklodge, Diabolicum and such. Illness may avoid using the techno beat, which some of these bands have used on their albums, but the sound of inhuman, emotionless drum machine, which Illness have is the first thing, which brings such comparison to my mind. I usually don’t like the use of drum machine in death or black metal, unless it is that type of industrial black metal, which I referred to above and in case of “PsychoPath” is also doesn’t bother me at all. Sure, if the tempo of snare drum fastens to the truly unimaginable speed, with the beat rate impossible to achieve by any human beings, then it may get a little annoying… but isn’t that actually a reason why one would use the drum machine – to achieve the speed, which is not possible to be played by a living drummer? But that’s not everything, as quite a large part of “PsychoPath” is taken over by songs, which are far from being pure and relentless black metal and offer some orchestral or ambient passages, some electronics, intros and other such things. Sometimes it almost sounds like a horror movie soundtrack, which is really nice I suppose. But I must say that I didn’t expect to hear anything like this on this CD, but once I have heard such tracks as “Buried Alive” then I realized that it actually works well and in the end they not only make the entire “PsychoPath” sound more varied and unique, but also more interesting than the typical from start to finish one dimensional black metal album.
In general the album seems to be divided into two parts; at least from the strictly musical point of view; from the style of music, which Illness created here. These ambiental or more experimental songs are in the second part, while the whole CD begins with few more traditional black metal songs. And speaking of the black metal side of “PsychoPath” I also liked it a lot. The title song for instance has some truly killer riffs and definitely belongs to my favourite parts of the CD. Then we have such “Death in the Name of Black Metal”, which is just fast, fast, fast (!) black metal song. Generally most of these songs are very solid and truly well performed and composed pieces of raw and relentless black metal; the riffing is simple, without any melodies or harmonies, just straight forward sort of classic black metal playing, which one would compare to Mysticum or even some Marduk. Illness has a lot of powerful, aggressive energy thrown within their music, what only works for the best, so I couldn’t find anything what I would like to change on “PsychoPath”. It truly is solid and worthy piece of underground black metal and even if it isn’t the most thrilling and groundbreaking black metal record, which I have listened to this year, it still is good enough to interest me and give it few listens once in a while. Well done, comrades.
Standout tracks: “PsychoPath”, “Deranged”
Final rate: 70/100