Sickening Horror – Overflow (2015) – Sickening Horror creates a mixture of progressive and groove-laden technical death metal that has a bevy of tiny experiments deep within itself. The vocals are more or less what you might expect for the genre as they’re filled to the brim with stones of various shapes and sizes, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. There’s even a little bit of piano that creeps its way onto the album, which is wholly smattered with atmosphere from beginning to end. Though in all honesty, I feel the listener of Sickening Horror might feel duped by the band’s moniker which just doesn’t go well with the music.
The performance here is great, but songs with titles like “Red Pill Initiation 3:15“, “Interstellar 4:36” and my personal favorite “I, Explorer In Akashic Fields 7:01” just don’t seem to fit a band by the name of Sickening Horror. Usually when I hear a band with a name like that I’m thinking about murder, gore, monsters, demons and other assorted maladies rather than transcendental and science fiction related material. Even the album’s cover seems a bit off from what one might expect if I mentioned their name in passing. “Oh, so you listen to that gory stuff. What a sick little individual you must be.” (I actually received a comment like that on the internet and it made my day.)
But in reality, what the band offer is something by and large different. It actually wouldn’t be too far out of the equation to put it closer to Opeth at their most progressive and experimental, rather than something like Obscura which takes an “all over the place” sort of mentality that these guys just don’t possess. Overflow exudes patience and it feels like art. It’s the kind of disc that the guy at the record store who buys every album from a band with a gore themed name is going to look a little oddly towards, as he wonders what he bought. “Are you sure that this is Sickening Horror?” he’ll say, as he calls the store to be sure that there wasn’t some sort of odd mismatch.
But all joking aside, I’m quite enamored by what I’ve heard here and it absolutely pains me that I won’t have time to give it another couple of listens due to the massive influx of albums that I receive on a daily basis. So I want you to give it those extra listens that I can’t, because it really deserves it.
Additionally, a disc as promising as this one truly deserves more promotion and I’ve yet to see any publications feature it in their articles. They still have a little bit of work ahead of them in areas, but there’s no doubt in my mind that this is an up and comer that you need to be watching. Considering the amount of texture, detail and overall atmosphere that has gone into such a recording, It really feels like a journey and seems like the next big thing in progressive technical death.
There’s no reason why a band like Sickening Horror couldn’t be the next Opeth or maybe reach the level of latter era Edge Of Sanity in a few years, but because fans and journalists seem to be more concerned with what Slayer guitarist Kerry King said in a recent interview or some other nonsense, it almost assures me that a band like this will never get a chance to be quite as popular. But if you do happen to see a jewel case with an oddly shaped geometric portal scrawled upon the cover, then you just might want to pick it up.
Overflow offers a lot of potential, so don’t skip out on it in favor of something with more publicity backing it.
(9 Tracks, 43:00)