Released: 2015, Black Plague Records / Metallic Media
Reviewer: Metal-Rules.com UK Team
You can put any label on music but it doesn't change what it actually sounds like. But, in my case it does actually make me think about what that label might or should sound like. Labels give people certain expectations. Polish band Illness label themselves “schizophrenic black metal”, and to me black metal already sounds pretty schizophrenic so I'm expecting something even more erratic.
The album opens with a distorted piano melody, a rendition of Chopin's “Funeral March” which immediately creates a sense of eeriness. The first impression is that the album is going to be an atmospheric one, and the intro to Trvmna continues to suggest this, before it descends into some intense blasting. And that's pretty much the rest of track – nothing I haven't heard before.
The second track continues along the same lines, with the same intense blastbeat and shredding. The song is broken nicely in the middle, building tension with the addition of some spoken parts. There is some variation towards the end with the shredding and drumming which helps to make it more interesting.
So far the album is been nothing out of the ordinary, nothing any more schizophrenic than the usual black metal. That is up until “Grobowa Mgla” which is completely all over the place. It's very avant-garde and unconventional. It's erratic and full of dissonance. I can imagine the deterioration of somebody's thought process as they enter a state of dissociation where nothing makes sense.
The final track “Cranium” has a kind of manic feel about it. A psychotic circus sound, or a merry go round turned blender. There's a stronger metal presence in this song which is woven in with the more unusual elements. It seems as though things get gradually more disorderly as the song goes on, like a descent into chaos.
The first half of the album wasn't bad, but it was nothing special. The second half of the release was interestingly unconventional, living up to the band's “schizophrenic” label.
By Jacob Ovington