Review: SickOmania “Sickomania” [Sliptrick Records]

Review: SickOmania “Sickomania” [Sliptrick Records]

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Two years ago Scandinavian death/thrash metalheads SickOmania have released their self-titled debut album SickOmania. Their first serious record was released entirely independently, and it is clearly a statement of their immortal loyalty to the mighty spirit of thrash metal, tinged with orthodox death metal’s brutality and melodic death’s softness.

The line-up of SickOmania consists of experienced musicians from various Danish and Swedish metal bands (their drummer Lawrence Dinamarca is a real star, known for such projects as Loch Vostok, Carnal Forge and Nightrage). Together they polished their innermost creative ideas, transforming them into a uniform pattern of death/thrash metal fury. Combining traditional death metal riffs with speedy thrash mischievousness, and adorning it with catchy melodies, SickOmania sounds like classical Swedish metal release straight from the 90s. Even the sound isn’t contaminated with 21st century smoothness and resonance, reminding of old underground records and first demos of young bands that now confidently stand at the forefront. Yeah, the sound is a little bit too raw and dirty, but without soiling the overall perception, just referring to the past affections of the band.

Basically, there’s nothing over-complicated or unnaturally bizarre, on the contrary, we can estimate this record, describing it as primitive and minimalistic. But “primitive” – not in a simplistic and unprofessional way, just without technical sophistication or experimental shifts. And by the way, there are a lot of mood changes and challenging bridges that connect the different patterns into holistic compositions. And the guitar solos even hint at something slightly progressive, but those moments are short-lived. The songs on SickOmania also don’t sound very similar to each other, but the connecting line still lingers in the background, gluing them together within 40 minutes of this structural musical journey. And if we carry away all thrash metal madness and death metal frenzy, it’s safe to say that SickOmania emanates positive vibes. But not “brainlessly happy vibes”, rather dropping some kind of hope for the better future.

There are a couple of acoustic introductions, preparing the listener for a straightforward wave of supervised brutality, and also providing with pensive tranquility (“Asystoli” or “Theater of Memories”). The last ten-minute-long instrumental composition “Beyond the Ninth Circle” is the most comprehensive and integral, offering atmospheric and almost epic intensity of melodic death, as well as more ordinary metal parts. “Lost in Oblivion” is about Swedish old school death metal, stark and straightforward. Meanwhile, the songs like “Asystoli” and “Saint Psycho” are turned toward Gothenburg scene, covering the foundation of every composition with melodic evenness. But during the entire album, we constantly bump into whirlwind of old-fashioned thrash metal that violently splatters bloody drops of savage belligerence.

It is clear that these Scandinavian thrashers like to explore dark psychic staff through various states of sick mind that lead us straight to metaphysical realms. This duality is plainly displayed through the cover art, when the ugly side of physical and mad is opposed by the transcendental path of mysterious and unknown. Smooth and primitive, but also emotionally saturated, the debut album of SickOmania is rushing through the tangle of primal death/thrash right to the insightful chasm of catchy melodies.

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