Finally returning after 5 years since the band’s last full-length release “Second Skin of Harlequin”, today we have Denmark’s Illnath and their characteristic Melodic Black Metal. With several lineup changes, “Third Act in the Theatre of Madness” showcases the band’s new female growler Mona Beck and session drummer Reno Killerich. Now signed to Pitch Black Records, the band shows that they are back stronger than ever and with the ten tracks presented in this release, they mean serious business.
“Third Act” opens the album in a very traditional manner, with some keyboards, a pounding bass guitar line and tight drumming. The first surprise comes when Mona starts singing since she does not sound like your typical female growler. As a regular reader of Infernal Masquerade you might be aware that we are tired of this gimmick, but for Illnath, the female growler works perfectly. Just like a more aggressive version Angela Gossow, Mona brings a new level of brutality to the band’s sound.
The killer guitar work of “Scarecrow” is probably the best of the band so far, and the solo in this track is clear evidence of it. The melody of the music is nicely contrasted by the super heavy drumming that brings some resemblance to Hellhammer’s brutal work with Mayhem and similar bands. The same applies for the epic song “Lead the Way”, featuring some more riffing magic and stellar melodic sections.
Our favorite track of this release is the super catchy “Spring Will Come”. Opening with some futuristic keyboards, a killer melody and excellent guitar work, this song is by far one of the best that the band has ever crafted. The chorus section is stellar and the solo work on this track is very catchy and effective. For nice tempo changes and crushing melodic sections we have “Tree of Life and Death”, a very melodic and emotional track that comes second in our favorites list.
Closing the release with a nice combination of pounding guitars and catchy keyboards, “Kingship Incarnate” is a very nicely paced track that closes this release with a boom. In general, we have to say that Illnath has released their best album to date with “Third Act in the Theatre of Madness”. The band’s sound has nicely consolidated and sounds like their own regardless of losing band members over the years. We feel that the band is ready for some spotlight action and with the current line-up it should be a blast to see them live.
|Album: Third Act in the Theatre of Madness
|Label: Pitch Black Records
Release: November 18th, 2011
|Genre: Symphonic Black Metal