|Death Metal, Thrash Metal
Metal Mind Productions (2010), Nuclear Blast Records
September 20th, 2010 / November 17th, 2003
Release length: 1:17:57
As stated, for some reason this compilation starts off with the band’s third full-length, and not the second. This is something that will irritate anyone who wants to get to better know the band, though the information about the swap was more then likely available at the time of this release. Ill-Natured actually comes off very strong musically, being a much tighter production and performance compared to their debut, and comes with a somewhat energetic performance. There are times where the music being played will sound a little standard, and sometimes more like you are listening to a Melodic Death Metal release, though the faster Thrash performance will quickly have that theory debunct. The latter tracks from the Innoscent album sound about the same as far as the compositions go, and show a rather dramatic change in the musical approach since the band’s debut, which is kind of shocking given the time between the albums. These ten tracks have a more raw production quality, which sets them apart from the cleaner quality of the tracks from Ill-Natured. These tracks also feature some of the better guitar solos of the release, such as the one right from the start of that album on “Shattered Insanity”, which is faster then the actual song, but not enough that it hurts anything, rather complex and shows some great talent to play, going on for a much longer amount of time then most Thrash Metal guitar solos.
For those who do not have a “tin ear” and can pick out some slight issues in recordings, the song “Starspangled” may wind up irritating some listeners due to sudden shifts in volume brought on by certain cymbols being hit, which the song seems to have the audio temporarily podded up in volume at those moments. It happens twice on the song, and there’s seriously just no explanation for it. The drumming on the latter half of the release, on the Innoscent tracks, is phenomenal, but the quality on the bass kicks could be a little better. While they do give that clicking sound, they wind up being a little too far in the background of the song, so when the music becomes a little louder, or the kicks aren’t used too much, they can be drowned out. Aside those two issues on the Innoscent recording, there’s no real problems with the compilation. Unlike the band’s debut album, there aren’t that many slower paced tracks on here, leaving both albums to be compiled mostly of simply fast paced assaults on the listener, as well as strong, heavy mid-tempo tracks, except for random moments where the songs slow down, but even then the drumming remains the same speed most of the time through the double bass kicks, or it traditionally signifies the end of the song, a guitar solo, or a sudden dramatic shift in the music. The production on both releases, raw or not, still sounds great, though the more raw sound does benefit Dew-Scented, and seems to always have The only genuine slower paced track on this release is “Aentity”, which picks up a little as the song goes on, and features some very overmodulated gutteral vocals that just don’t fit the music due to how they are executed. Of course, “Underneath” doesn’t really make for a great track either, sadly, as it just comes off more as a filler song with less of an energetic performance.
Sadly, those aren’t the only two songs on here that aren’t that great. While the starting tracks from Ill-Natured really start this release off nicely, the song “Simplicity in Chaos” has a few timing changes in it, sometimes just sounding forced, and really aren’t all that inspiring as the slower moments really just come off rather generic and bland, losing the fire that the faster material on this release has. This track also just doesn’t really have the same kind of energetic performance to it, or at least it doesn’t really come off that way. Luckily, this is one of the very few poor songs from Ill-Natured, as the rest of the songs off this album are powerful, and generally faster and more intense. “Defiance” is one of these tracks that really stands out, especially being a track that pushes towards a seven minute time span, being a very fast song that just sounds brutal, taking more from the Thrash aspect of things then the Death Metal influence on the band, which works out great. Of course, not all the songs pack this same kind of intensity, though there are still a number of tracks on here that still heavy and stand out nicely on the release, such as the two cover songs “Apocalypse Inside” and “Fatal if Swallowed”, both of which sound great and similar to the originals, as well as “This Grace” and “The Sicker Things”, amongst others.
Ill-Natured & Innoscent is one of six Dew-Scented releases to be reissued in 2010 by Metal Mind Productions, and since this compilation, as well as the original two albums that create this compilation, has long been out of print, it makes for a nice piece for fans. There isn’t much changed fromt he original, though, as there really isn’t enough room to tack on any bonus material that might excist from this time period. The main difference is that this release comes in a Digipack, though I can’t shake the feeling that it would have looked a lot nicer if it were put in a similar sized digibook format to represent a more archival feel to this compilation, but that’s besides the point. The artwork utilized for the digipack is the same as well, except it has a greener tint to it, which looks nice and sets it apart from the original, though not by much.
Of course, like the others in this line of reissues, it is limited to strict pressing of two thousand copies, and the disc is the label’s standard gold disc, which leaves the quality sounding a little better then the original, even though it wasn’t remastered. However, much like Metal Mind’s reissue of Immortelle, this one features liner notes composed by the band, and they are quite extensive since they cover the time period for two albums, as well as this release. However, while these notes are new and exclusive to this edition, the band does go back and discuss some material that was already made available through liner notes that accompanied the original pressing of this, and even in the first sentence introducing this release, the band seems a little shocked that Metal Mind was reissuing a compilation that reissued two of their previous albums, and many would share that shocked sentiment and question why the original two albums themselves weren’t just reissued instead of a compilation, but, from a financial standpoint, this method is just as effective. Again, these notes sprawl behind the plastic holder for the CD itself, but is also expanded one digipack panel to the left where the booklet is stored.
It’s too bad that this version does not contain the hidden track, which is outlined in those liner notes as being a cover of the Discharge song “Hear Nothing See Nothing Say Nothing”, but it seems due to time restraints, it simply couldn’t fit as it originally appeared on the Ill-Natured album. However, for this reissue, had the song simply been edited out of the long time span so it would no longer be hidden, and recognized instead as just a bonus track, it would have. But, either way, this makes for a nice update for a reissue of a reissue, and will probably be much cheaper in the long run then looking for either of the previous three CDs affiliated with this 2010 reissue.
It’s great to have these two albums from Dew-Scented‘s early years available once more. While it lacks the hidden cover song at the end, fans of the band won’t have to break the band in order to track these two albums down again. The music is tight, and you can clearly hear an evolution (though it seems more as a slight desgredation due to the way the albums are sequenced on this compilation) within the band and it’s song writing abilities. If you happen upon this release and are a newer fan of Dew-Scented, then this release is well worth your time to experience, as it boasts plenty of hard hitting songs, and shows the evolution of the band a little better then just the two Nuclear Blast releases that came before this compilation. Of course, if you’re an older fan fo the band and own these two recordings, there’s no real point in owning this release. However, for the 2010 reissue, it is nice to have for a collector’s piece, as well as for the expanded liner notes.
01. Embraced By Sin – 4:14
02. This Grace – 4:10
03. Simplicity In Chaos – 4:45
04. Apocalypse Inside (Sacrifice Cover) – 3:41
05. Defiance – 6:43
06. Wounds Of Eternity – 4:39
07. Idolized – 3:31
08. Skybound – 4:53
09. The Endless – 2:52
10. Shattered Insanity – 4:10
11. Bereaved – 3:24
12. Burn With Me – 4:47
13. Starspangled – 3:54
14. The Sicker Things – 3:04
15. Everred – 4:02
16. The Grapes Of Wrath – 2:43
17. Aentity – 3:52
18. Underneath – 2:55
19. Fatal If Swallowed (Over Kill Cover)
|Original Pressing Score: 7/10
2010 Reissue Score: 7/10
Physical review copy of this release provided by Metal Mind Productions.