Sleaszy Rider Records
March 15th, 2013
Release length: 33:46
The production quality to Sick is definitely a little on the rougher side. While not a raw album, it definitely has a dark, gritty output that often works with the atmosphere the band churns out. The guitars have a mid-range sharpness common for Death Metal distortions, which ends up dwarfed quite a lot by the deep and loud bass presence, as well as the strong drumming. The snares have a hollow sound to them which can sound out of place at first, but the click of the bass kicks adds to the deeper, far more stern tone of the album, and the cymbals come through really crisp, podded up quite loud to not only fill out the music, but also drown out other aspects. Even the vocals end up slightly lost on the mix despite the enthusiastic guttural approach, and additional layering done in the studio for additional bite.
There aren’t a lot of faster tracks on the release, but given the atmosphere the band often tries to include, it not only works out in the musics favor, but also for the audio samples that sometimes appear which give the album a hint of a cult influence. “Lockdown” starts things off with background ritualistic chants against a woman breathing heavily, then screaming bloody murder before a gun shot erupts, kicking the blasting brutality and enthusiasm into gear. Much of it ends up pounding away at the drum kit with similar faster riffs, finding complexity in the timing changes and bridges. The darker atmosphere is woven into place about half way through with cleaner, slower riffs that offer a melancholic melody, met later by a slower, thunderous bludgeoning that goes into slam territory. This offers up the most variety, and still stays fluid from start to finish. “As I Burn” offers another sound bite at the start, giving way to a slower, near Doom Metal approach at times, something that appears again on “Judas.” The pace shifts from here to a mid-tempo approach, and finds itself laced with slamming passages and subtle groove-filled material similar to “Lockdown,” but not quite as varied.
“Pieces of Shit,” however, introduces you to the uncompromising attitude of the group. The consistant mid-tempo of the song simply feels punishing with a commanding groove, especially from the layered vocals and later slam style breakdown. Of course, the punishing nature here doesn’t quite live up to “No Return.” Easily one of the most intense, and infectious cuts from the release, the additional speed really grabs you by the throat and refuses to let go. The main verses pride themselves on catchy, deeper hooks with a ruthless groove the layered vocals perfectly capitalize on. The shift into the slam passage later on is execduted well, though doesn’t quite hit with raw, primal fury that one would expect after the build up from the aforementioned intensity. The simpler guitar solo that occurs during it, as well as after, does fuel some additional creepy atmospheric tones to enrich the song further. Finally there’s “Lab Rats to Eradicate,” another hostile track with additional technicality in the shifts between passqages, and even the speed that they are executed in, concluding with one last audio sample of dialogue that wraps up the cultish theme, implied of accidental, well enough to leave you feeling complete.
Overall, Sick isn’t really the most unique of Death Metal albums. In fact, it can come off a bit patterned with the blast beat style verses and random slams towards the end of various tracks. But, that doesn’t mean it’s a bad album. In Utero Cannibalism is a group fans of bands like Incantation and Immolation will definitely find appealing, and the energetic performances really help to keep the listener attentive throughout just about every song. With dark atmospheres and creepy ritualistic elements in the audio samples, Sick is a brutalizing album with some cult influence that commands you to drink the metaphorical signature Kool-Aid cocktail, and to keep coming back for more like the obediant slave you are.
01. Lockdown – 3:52
02. Pieces of Shit – 2:19
03. As I Burn – 3:39
04. Dead Nation – 2:56
05. No Return – 4:00
06. Retribution in Gore – 3:10
07. Bloodless – 3:46
08. Judas – 2:58
09. Sick – 4:01
10. Lab Rats to Eradicate – 3:05
|Initial Pressing Score: 8.5/10