Ultimhate Records (2011)
This is by-the-numbers melodeath, the Gothenburg variety, every song layered with multiple melodies. You know the drill; short, convoluted but simple string of riffs for the verse, melodic bridge or no bridge at all and huge melodic chorus to make you weep. At the Gates, In Flames, and especially Dark Tranquillity popularized, if not downright invented, this rendition of, what up to that point, was a brutal, dark, and predominantly satanic genre, by adding melodicism straight out of Iron Maiden book.
This album is nothing BUT that, although I must admit that it is superior to the latest productions of Dark Tranquillity or In Flames. Particularly "We Are The Void" stacked up against it sounds like Dark Tranquillity covering... Dark Tranquillity where Disease Illusion simply beats Michael Stanne and Co. at their own game. Frankly, "Backworlds" is the best Dark Tranquillity album since "Damage Done".
By their own admission, Disease Illusion does not present anything groundbreaking. "Eyes of Medusa", for example, my favorite and probably the best track on the record, could easily be sandwitched somewhere between the second and the third song of "Fiction", the track highly reminiscent of "Lesser Faith" while the simple, computerized riffing of the subsequent "Predator" sounds like a knock off from "Where Death Is Most Alive" creation sessions.
All this is very catchy, melodic and those melodies, in an of themselves are, indeed, very unique. But it reminds me of Laments of Silence: great stuff with not an ounce of identity. And the inclusion of catchy but blatantly unoriginal Killswitch Engage circa 2006 riff in the middle of "One Last Breath" only reinforces the initial impression that despite being majorly melodeath, Disease Illusion also pulls abundantly from the metalcore bag of Killswitch Engage /As I Lay Dying/HSB variety.
While the album is fun and professionally executed, bolstered by outstanding musicianship and decently produced all of which is worthy of 5/6, it loses a half a point not merely to that lack of identity - most songs are so similar they appear like parts of the same giant composition, a grave offense in this style.
All in all, "Backworld" is just another great but generic release from a genre way past its prime. It must be said, though, that for a debut, this is a very impressive record. Hopefully, these supremely talented musicians and songwriters will develop their own identity on the next album.
Rating: 4.5 / 6
Composed by Dethster4life