Sickening Horror - The Dead End Experiment
SFC Records
Technical Death Metal
10 songs (40:19)
Release year: 2009
SFC Records
Reviewed by Goat

Originally a George Kollias side-project, Sickening Horror also once featured George Bokos of Rotting Christ on its skilled talent roster, and although neither are present for the Greek Tech-Death trio's second album, it doesn't stop it from being a great listen. It's somewhere between the old-school technical Death Metal of the likes of Demilich with a bit of Pestilence influence clear from the fluid songwriting and forays into experimentation. Guitars are downtuned, but this works in the album's favour, as Ilias Daras' basslines are clearly audible and the added electronic elements are very effective. Yes, electronic elements are a vital part of Sickening Horror's sound, verging on the Industrial at times, and doing its best to live up to its name with some pretty strange noises giving it a heavy atmospheric vibe. Unlike, say, Portal, however, these guys are unafraid of headbanging, and the mixture of the two makes for a great listen, sure to draw together fans of the crushing technicality of Ulcerate as well as those in search of a down and dirty Metal album.

It's pretty obvious that Sickening Horror are not taking the simple route to Death Metal when an electronic drum beat is the first thing you hear. Album opener Dusk is full of well-placed electronic moments, mixed in with the impressive acoustic drumming and vocalist/guitarist George Antipatis's impressive contributions - whether it's jazz fusion melody or epic riff constructs, the man performs wonderfully, and his growled vocals are great took, somewhere between former Morbid Angel grunter Steve Tucker and Canopy's Fredrik Hultgren. Subtly catchy, it's an excellent opener and sets the album up wonderfully, The Universe Within following in a similar style and the album never letting you down from then on. If there is a criticism that can be made it's the rather samey style of the songs; an extra bit of ambience here or there aside, it can seem like you're listening to the same song over and over again. Not a bad thing for fans - it is a pretty kickass song, after all - but were there more than forty minutes of this, tedium may well set in.

Fortunately, there are changes of pace that become more apparent once you're used to the album. The slower, more melodic opening of Mirrors Reflect Only Dead Bodies acts as a sort of interlude, and there's one hell of a good solo at the end of Noise Dreaming - even some clean vocals on Lay Rotten, Never Forgotten. This ultimately is an album that will impress more than a few Tech Deathsters, and is more than worth hunting down.

Killing Songs :
Dusk, The Universe Within, 24 Januaries, Children Of The Swamp, Dressed In Madness
Goat quoted 84 / 100
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