Illnatured - We Who Walk Behind the Rows
Self released
Death/Thrash Metal
5 songs (19'38")
Release year: 2006
Reviewed by Alex

Somebody from Sweden better explain to me one interesting phenomenon. How come this country spawns so many bands with members still in their teens? Do Swedish teenagers take a lot of music classes at school? If that is the case, it most likely isn’t metal they are studying, right? Is it completely uncool if you are a young Swede and you are not in a band? Sort of like it is back in native Ukraine in relation to soccer, or here in the US in relation to sports in general? Whoever is reading it and has an opinion, or knows the exact reason, please, feel free to comment.

Or maybe I should ask the members of Illnatured to comment themselves? After all they send their demo to me out of the blue, one day it just arrived to my work address. Seeing that the members are between the ages of 17 and 19, all of my questions above do pertain.

The case for metal wunderkinds would have been off if this 2006 demo We Who Walk Behind the Rows sucked. Luckily, that is not the case, as the lads deliver albeit a heard-before, but quality melodic death-thrash from the Swedish school. And that is entirely commendable, as at 17 it is hard to be pushing the limits of the genre. Unless, of course, you are Entombed and Dismember, the former signing their first label contracts as teens. Some members of Illnatured bear uncanny exterior visual resemblance to Entombed, in the way they are lined up in their band photo, in the way they strike their poses and wear their hair. I have no doubt that Illnatured also sampled a song or two from the mastodons of the Swedish death metal scene. In fact, when I heard the demo for the first time, riffs from Dead End Requiem and, especially, Your Eyes distinctly brought the Dismember comparisons, down to the melodic, but a touch odd sounding, solos.

Additonal listens, however, moved my opinion about Illnatured more towards the modern Swedish thrash school. Nailed to the Walls would have made Marco Tervonen (The Crown) and the Bjorler brothers (The Haunted) proud if they were Illnatured mentors. We Who Walk Behind the Rows has a lot of The Haunted modern thrash groove to it, alternating with the playful melodic parts. Young or not, the band understands the tempo variations, playing speedy riffs one moment only to hammer away during bass driven slowdown minutes later (Your Eyes). Going slower, and even more melodic, with a certain atmospheric touch, in the middle piece God of Vultures ensures the thrash beat would not be overused and become repetitive by the time Thus the Scars end.

Olle Nilson (guitars), who handled the vocals for the demo, goes with mid-range growl, not spoiled yet by smoking or massive quantities of alcohol. His voice has definite attitude, just witness the lyrics in Nailed to the Walls.

All in all We Who Walk Behind the Rows is something that definitely did not break new ground, but the material here does strike a positive note, especially given the energy and musical skills displayed on this demo. I don’t know if the labels will line up to sign Illnatured, like they did for Entombed, but the material presented here is definitely on par with what many other Swedish acts have been putting out as of late.

Killing Songs :
Dead End Requiem, Your Eyes
Alex quoted 70 / 100
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