Sickening Horror - When Landscapes Bled Backwards -CD
There's a lot of technical ability in the death metal scene these days, but very little in the way of innovation. But just when I start thinking of abandoning the genre, something usually comes along to give me faith again and pull me back into the fold. Sickening Horror are the most recent band to do this for me. I waited years for this album, and I was only slightly disappointed, which is saying a hell of a lot, since my expectations were incredibly high. It's very technical, but they don't fall prey to the trappings that most technical death metal seems to go in for these days (i.e., unrelenting widdly with little thought given to song structure). The band has a great sense of dynamics—slithering, chaotic riffs often give way to haunting melodies and other atmospheric touches. In a way, this music has it all--it's technical but atmospheric, complex but catchy, melodic at times but also very dissonant. The best moments seem to come from the more experimental side of black metal (the band themselves mentions influences like Dodheimsgard), and they pepper their songs with some evil, dissonant melodies that I love. The first track (after the intro) closes with a strange, black metallish melody of pure genius that is all too short. I could listen to it for hours. In fact, my only real complaint is that I wish the songs were longer. A lot of the songs are less than 4 minutes, but they probably could be at least twice that long without sacrificing anything in the way of intensity.