SKULL236

DISPATCHED, TerrorizerĀ  (2004, Khaosmaster)

The skull:
Stock skull (we’re sure we’ve seen this exact one at least 22 times in the last 236 skulls) with cyber-hair and weird twisty cyber-tentacles. Looks like it took about five minutes to create, with even less time and thought going into the band logo. I’m not even gonna get into how bad the music is. (Oh wait, the Council is telling me I have to, per the rules as a lowly Big Dumb Skulls friar. Okay then…)

The music:
Achieving a small degree of notice during their long 12-year slog, poor Dispatched would be occupying bargain bins everywhere if bargain bins still existed. Terrorizer is poorly
recorded, and remarkably so, which doesn’t help their cause. This production is thin, frail and brittle sounding, which might work if you’re a one-man bedroom black metal demo band, but they’re not. They are, however, bad metal, despite trying for something bigger and better. Dispatched attempts to achieve a melodic death metal sort of sound, one that doesn’t mind adding in a flute or lead keyboard role here and there. It’s maybe akin to In Flames right around the time In Flames started getting junky. But whether the songwriting is good or not (it’s not), you need a production with some degree of power to convince. Dispatched’s other problem is ambition, but not because they’re lacking it. In fact, they throw out a ton of ideas, sometimes within the same song, but most of them aren’t very interesting to begin with. If they are, they fly by too briefly before some dippy keyboard-driven gothic sort of melody line flies in. And then they’ll deliver another stock riff out of the Unused Dark Tranquillity Riffs box. I’ll usually give some credit to any band who tries to, you know, “mix it up” a little bit, but in Dispatched’s case it’s unlistenable and annoying. And I realize my criticism is very surface and probably unfair, but why try any harder if they themselves can’t be bothered to write better lyrics than this…from “I Am thy Lord”:

“The world is mine
I grab it with my soul
Identify
Me as your lord
The world is mine
I grab it with my soul
Realize
I am thy lord”

But hey, if faintly “cyber” melodic death metal with cheesy keyboard sounds and a terrible
production appeals to you, go for it. You might even enjoy living in hopes that some label
comes along and releases their numerous demos and EPs in a four-LP box. For me, I hope this band stays buried. Please do not exhume!
— Friar Wagner

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