SICKENING HORROR - When Landscapes Bled Backwards

Sickening Horror - When Landscapes Bled Backwards

12 songs
35:43 minutes
***** ****


It should come as no surprise that the rebirth of death metal would come from the birth place of modern Western culture. Athens three-piece Sickening Horror’s band name wouldn’t betray their technical abilities, but once you learn that the drummer on this debut album is George Kollias from American death metal band Nile, it all starts to make sense, even though Kollias unfortunately left the band after the recordings of When Landscapes Bled Backwards.

Sickening Horror are deeply influenced by jazz music, and they let a lot of fusion elements in their complex death metal compositions. Their songs are always about three minutes short, but the band takes care that always a lot is happening, without creating an atmosphere of chaos. Kollias is a god of a drummer, his precise rhythm left me open mouthed, but the guitarist and bass player are no worse. Especially the guitar is setting accents all the time, no matter if we are talking about the strange chord sequences or the angular melodies.

In a way, Sickening Horror sound like an American East Coast death metal band, I felt especially reminded of Morbid Angel, but the Greeks are taking the technical components much further, resulting in prog jazz fusion death metal that may be too strange for certain conservative death metal fans, but I can well imagine that prog and jazz fans with a taste for the more extreme will certainly come to love When Landscapes Bled Backwards, an album that shows that even death metal can be intellectually stimulating art.

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