Released: 2010, Century Media
Once the preserve of fanboi wet dreams and music hack hypotheses, it seems that these days you can barely pinch a quiet fart before stinging the nostrils of another heavy metal "supergroup". So bog-standard has the practice become that the usual media bluster you'd have come to expect when, say, Fear Factory's Burton C. Bell teams up with three quarters of Strapping Young Lad for City of Fire, only barely registers a pulse.
That hasn't quite been the case for Insidious Disease, although a cynic would point to this ragtag crew riding the coattails of its chief architect's primary musical concern (Dimmu Borgir) in a rather timely fashion. There's certainly no doubting the star power here either; Dimmu's goateed guitarist Silenoz notwithstanding, Insidious Disease also boasts the ample talents of Tony Laureano and every supergroup's favorite balding Brummie, Napalm Death's Shane Embury. Mercifully, it all adds up to a marked departure from the gothic fairy boy jive that Dimmu Borgir has been cooking up of late; instead delivering cold, unforgiving slabs of old school death metal. Tasteful songtitles like "Abortion Stew" suggest a wide-eyed obsession with Cannibal Corpse's blood-soaked antics, but the pervading flavor here is classic Sunlight Studios grinding. The urgency in Marc Grewe’s rasp is well suited to the band's blueprint, which really comes into its own on "Boundless" - a five minute feast of rollicking brutality occasionally underlined by a subtle punch of melody. On "Value In Flesh", they up the tempo and aggression - a fitting gear-change perhaps to build to the mammoth crescendo of "Abandonement” that closes us out.
Ultimately there's any number of cliches I could employ in closing out this article - chances are I've had to turn to them a fair few times in the past given the volume of similar releases I sniveled about earlier. The thing about Insidious Disease is that it works as a sojourn from Silenoz's day job, but it's much more than that. A dozen black-clad fourteen year olds will likely choke on their Rum and Ovalteen at my suggesting this but SHADOWCAST is a helluva lot more interesting than anything Dimmu Borgir have done in nearly a decade. That's a big shout certainly, but if nothing else I sincerely hope we haven't seen the last of Insidious Disease's power pairing.