INSIDIOUS DISEASE – Shadowcast

The debut of this supergroup has been in the talks for a few years now, and has finally come to fruition with Shadowcast. It also marks the return for old school vocalist Marc Grewe (MORGOTH) to the metal fold once again. Some heavy talent is abound with the guitar attack of Silenoz (DIMMU BORGIR) and Jardar (ex-OLD MAN’S CHILD), low end and grind extraordinaire Shane Embury, and the insane drumming of Tony Laureano. On paper, this project looks very promising, and INSIDIOUS DISEASE sounds nothing like the work of any of the bands the members are involved in, but the end result is a mixed bag of average death metal.

The downtuned and dirty guitar work in “Nuclear Salvation” sounds like the album will be one furious slab of death metal. Grewe’s vocals sound like a combination of Martin Van Drunen and John Tardy, and no doubt Shane Embury’s NAPALM DEATH influence is quite prominent in these songs. Laureano blasts away as he normally does, but unfortunately, he’s limited to the basic death metal staples – double bass, a few blasts, and never has the chance to breathe and come up with his own fills and flair like he did with NILE or ANGELCORPSE. When the band is blasting with aggression, things are on the up and up, but when they try hard to slow it down on tracks like “Boundless” and “Abortion Stew,” the songs hit a wall and become dull rather quickly.

The Essence of Neglect” has glimpses of promise, but almost everything sounds like recycled riffs of death metal past, and other bands have done it better. “Rituals of Bloodshed” gives way to a few catchy riffs, and “Facemask” definitely keeps the album afloat, but the rest of the album falls flat. The bland instrumental outro, “Abandonment,” does nothing to wash the disappointed taste out of your mouth, and for an album that lasts 40 minutes, the songs feel a lot longer than they really are.

While LOCK UP and BLOODBATH are excellent supergroups, not all supergroups are created equal. The members of INSIDIOUS DISEASE are all amazing in their respective real bands, but this creative outlet is just hype for their record label to sell albums. (Century Media Records)