Dispatched - Terrorizer - Crash Music
10 Songs
Running Time: 48:52

Five years after 2000's exercise in beat-your-head-against-the-wall boredom, Motherwar, Sweden's Dispatched return to lure us out of our boredom and into a state of coma with Terrorizer.

Sure, things begin normally enough, but midway through the title track - when the gerbil-chatter of dual keyboardists takes off - it's all over but the cringing. I don't understand what would make Dispatched think that the term originality is synonymous with piling every sub-genre of metal (except doom, thank Candlemass) into every song, and praying something stands out. Well, in this case, the only thing to survive amid the rubble of mediocrity is a sense of nausea. On the rare occasions when drummer Dennis Nilsson slows to below warp speed, you can tell he's just biding his time, waiting to assault the rest of the song with his chopsticks-on-a-cereal box tone. 'Rebellion' has sporadic moments of nonblandness, but soon we enter the section of the song I'll call "Dance Of The Seven Faggot Lawn Gnomes And One Forest Elf". Dispatched are raging in their own forgettable way (playing dress-up as early In Flames for all they're worth) when suddenly, "Seamus" - actually guest musician Par Fura - skips through the studio, flute in hand and ready to do some folk-metal damage. And damage he does, though I can't imagine what else could be done to this out of control musical trainwreck. For those of you in love with the vocal pattern used in the verses of 'Rebellion', worry not. It pops up again in 'Beneath The World Of Chaos', and damned if the keyboards don't at one point (1:19-1:30) completely rip off the chorus of Einherjer's 'A New Earth'. "Seamus" finds some Swedish bagpipes laying about the forest glade near the end of 'Beneath...', and isn't afraid to use them. I'm sure Dispatched has a bass player, but it's awfully hard to hear him amid the treble-heavy mix, and maybe it's for the best. Unneeded cymbal crashes override most of 'Override'. As much as it pains me to say, this is the only song where Dispatched manage to almost hit the mark, sticking with a pagan folk theme, rendering even the flute of "Seamus" listenable. Not to say that all these folk touches (flute/Swedish bagpipes, etc.,) are badly played. Oftentimes, though, they're inserted into musical passages where they have no business being. Flirtations with a more futuristic style abound in 'Mechanical' and 'Cyber', the latter beginning with a faux-rap vocal that I'm sure was meant to sound robotic in its delivery. The keyboard work throughout Terrorizer never manages to do anything but remind me of my dad's Mannheim Steamroller albums or the drivel birthed by Windham Hill in the late 80s New Age Music craze. 'Under The Ice' brings this album to its end, which in my humble opinion could've happened much sooner.

I guess I shouldn't be surprised by the band that covered 'The Final Countdown' (on Motherwar) and seemed to take it seriously. Avoid.


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