(EP, Black Plague Records, 2015)
Of course and it isn’t breaking news when one realizes that a band has been off-his radar, even though it has been around for more than a decade. Yeah, new albums and new bands are coming from everywhere flirting with the danger of turning the music market into some sort of a fast-food chain: one listen and then off to the next one. Fortunately, there are other things able to draw your attention, and in the case of ILLNESS what caught my eye was the genre quoted in the “Trvmna” EP’s press release: 'Black Schizophrenic Metal'. And then seeing that the origins of ILLNESS come from Norway and Poland, you (should) understand why I was hooked.
The strange approach to Fryderyk Chopin’s “Funeral March” with samples and minimum keys is the perfect way to enter the ILLNESS realm and the EP’s title track. The sounds of someone gasping from air as the marching drums hint that something evil this way comes set up the Black Metal scenery and then let the blast-beats and chainsaw riff do the rest. This description may sound cliché but there is some old-school Black Metal beauty mixed with the characteristic Polish Death Metal aggression (think of early BEHEMOTH) that cannot go unnoticed. Sure, the bass drums sound too triggered but the aggressive riffs and the insane screaming are the perfect counterbalance for this. By the way, the screaming is not the inaudible, right-from-the-deepest-well type but rather lean towards to Death Metal without the ultra-distortion, and the awesome “Dødskyggen” is the perfect six-minute long example. The spoken parts and the scattered samples are there to keep the schizophrenic part of ILLNESS’s music intact and are also responsible for carrying the band’s distinct sound. ILLNESS take a stab at MYSTICUM’s “The Kingdom Comes” by adding more groove and a pinch of samples without deviating much from the original, although I found the calmer break and the keyboards/riffs that follow very interesting. With “Grobowa Mgla”, ILLNESS set the foundations of this type of Schizophrenic Metal mixing even stranger electronic sounds, creating a sonic chaos with the vocals and the bass-drum being the only two constants. In simpler words, ILLNESS will challenge your aesthetics with this one and they will disturb your senses with the even more chaotic “Cranium”. Man, those keyboards and screams will haunt your dreams and send shivers down your spine...
Whether you like it or not, Black Metal is the only bold music genre which tries different doors in search of ways to become more extreme and challenge all the inner demons everyone is hiding in the darkest parts of his brain (or should I say, soul?). ILLNESS are doing exactly this by drawing all the inspiration possible for the rich extreme Metal heritage of Norse and Polish origins. Check them out (if you dare)... listener discretion is advised...
04. The Kingdom Comes
05. Grobowa Mgla
Gulnar - Saws, Screams, Necropulse, Injections
Carrion - Bones, Injections
Aro (session) - Saws, Axe
Nerexo (session) - Death Hammers