Ill Remembered

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Ill Remembered - * * 1/2

Ill Remembered was a short lived Albany band formed from ranks of several other quality area bands. I'm not exactly sure what bands those were, but the most obvious point of reference here is Section 8, as the vocalist from that band is singing for Ill Remembered. That's unfortunate because Ill Remembred is sorely lacking in the raw fury and unpredictable nature of a band like Section 8. This safer and less abrasive alternative is based in a sound destined to disappoint the more unimaginative element of the hardcore audience by not launching into a mosh section in the first ten seconds of every song. Unfortunately they are also destined to bewilder alternative radio programmers by screaming over top of some very radio friendly guitar melodies. Not technically a metal or hardcore band, much more influence is taken from the big guitars and melodies of classic rock bands. Ill Remembered's melodies are largely written around these big guitar riffs and the cohesion of the band suffers as a result. Too often it falls to the guitar doing all the work and the rest of the band is just keeping up the pace. Occasionally their sound recalls the hard edged guitar rock of bands like Acid Bath, Clutch, and Corrosion of Conformity but fails to match the seamless blend of these styles that it took those bands years to perfect. The closest comparison I could probably make is Life Of Agony's Ugly album without the narrative cohesion and lyrical force. Too often mid tempo classic rock material like Oblivion and 1000 Points of Darkness is interrupted by a fit of manic screaming that feels like it was thrown in for good measure to keep the former bands' hardcore audience happy. This rarely works and the jarring transitions from one sound to another detracts from the potential of what is in essence some fairly good material. The band is true underground, not hard enough to be considered punk or metal, but with enough true hardcore elements to keep them off the radio. It's an interesting approach and one that undoubtedly contributed to the band's early demise. The dynamics work against the band on the other side of the spectrum as well. The straight ahead fast and furious punk rock of songs like Pawn and the Misfits influenced Shadow shows off the true dexterity of this band and how good they really are when all the elements are working together. Such moments are refreshing, but even these songs are occasionally weighed down by too many guitar parts or the occasional mandatory hardcore histrionic screaming fit. Ill Remembered just feels like a band trying to go in too many directions at once. Sometimes they work, but it is a largely unfocused effort that is not more than the sum of its parts and this is disappointing because there is so much genuine potential in the sound of this band.

* * 1/2

Reviewed: December, 2002

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