SKULL321

SICKBAG, Shades Among Shades (2010, Destructure)

The skull:
Although there are too many textures going on here, this is a pretty nice cover. Classy, even. Which seems inappropriate for a band called Sickbag. The skull is artfully rendered, looking a little like an engraving at first glance, but made up of much curvier lines on close inspection. The third eye is a nice touch, too. And while it’s a little hard to say for sure, I guess that fluff near the bottom could be skullvomit. There’s no sickbag to be seen, but I guess you gotta start with the puke, right?

The music:
Sickbag sound like maybe they started out playing modern Napalm Death style grind before calming down a little and settling into abrasive midpaced death metal. Dissonant chording and some angular plodding also call to mind Gojira at their least accessible (so, around From Mars to Sirius). There’s a thick grime of fuzz over everything here, from the guitars to the vocals, that I find very unpleasant, and even minus this effect the vocals would be generic and offputting, but the songwriting, for this style, is reasonably solid. The occasional ambitious reach (for instance, the increasingly messy drum intro to “…for the weak”) generally falls flat, but I do like the creativity at least hinted by those attempts. Sickbag need to tighten everything up a bit, and change their name, but they at least have some potential.
— Friar Johnsen

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