Release DetailsLABEL Crash Music
RELEASED ON 2/22/2005
posted on 4/2005 By:
The Swedish melodic death band Dispatched has quite an odd history. They got together in 1991, but didn’t record a full-length album until 1999. They got signed to Music for Nations and entered Studio Fredman to record Terrorizer in 2001 with Anders Friden behind the knobs. For whatever reason, the album was not released, and the band members went their own way until Rising Realm Records of Finland decided to resurrect it and release the album in 2004. So for a label to dig up a three-year-old album, it must be great, right? “Great” isn’t exactly the word, although this is yet another fine Swedish melodic death album.
The remastering job is not the stuff of legend, even though Dispatched has worked with Friden and Peter Tagtgren in studios past. Their sound is a bit bottom-loaded, meaning that the bass guitar and bass drums merge together to result in a perpetual rumbling/fuzzy sound that isn’t very distinct or crisp, but it does sound loud. Complementing this sound are the vocals of Fredrik Karlsson, whose vocal delivery is like that of Alexi Laiho of Children of Bodom. It is rather high-pitched, fast, and garbled…and it works. Their riffs range from happily melodic, to folky (like Suidakra), to hard and fast.
The opening track, also the title track, is a great example of what’s in store. It opens up with an acoustic intro, in the Gothenburg tradition, then launches into synth-laced blasting, evocative of the Finns of Norther and Skyfire. The beginning of “Rebellion” is pierced by the wretched squeals of a ten dollar alarm clock, tarnishing a song that is otherwise a lesson in fine lead guitar work, and one of the few appropriate uses of a Celtic flute (I’m probably wrong here). “Mechanical” is more interesting, because the song flows in many directions. The opening keys sound like Bodom’s “Mask of Sanity”, while later in the song, an acoustic bit alludes to the great Dark Tranquillity.
My main conclusion on Dispatched is that they appear to be a band that can write a good tune, and then rewrite it repeatedly. The bulk of the songs on Terrorizer follow the same pattern of a loud and intense beginning and end, with a soft middle, usually where the folk elements come into play. There are a couple of exceptions (“Mechanical”, “Cyber”, the outro instrumental “Under the Ice”), but for the most part this is true. On the other hand, they like to let it rip, just jamming for long stretches of a song, something I always compliment Kalmah for doing. For an enjoyable second-tier melodic death album that leans more towards Finland than Sweden, Dispatched will serve you well.
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