Album Review: SickOmania – SickOmania

Let’s get the rather dire band name out of the way immediately, for it does this Danish thrash outfit no favours. Once you’ve navigated past that, this is a reasonable if unspectacular release. Formed in 2019, the Danes who engaged Leo Magrit from Pain of Salvation to assist with the engineering for the drums and also contribute a solo on the final track “Beyond the Ninth Gate,” bring 40 minutes of melodic thrash combined with elements from the death genre as well as more standard heavy metal.

Diving in at the start is always good place to begin, and “Asystoli” immediately throws up the band’s influences; there’s Maiden, Priest as well as Slayer and Megadeth immediately thrown into the mix. A metaphorical expression of man’s finality, this is a decent opener with a solid mix of acoustic passages and more aggressive thrash. It’s evident on track two, “Saint Psycho” that the vocals are going to be divisive. Whilst they fit the band’s sound, they are limited in both power and quality. That said, the music that rages below them isn’t the most spectacular, with some routine passages. It’s a bit pedestrian in all honesty.

The challenge after two average songs is to maintain some element of interest and it’s an uphill struggle. The band’s playing is not sloppy, but it does nothing new and that causes a bit of frustration. I love my thrash, but I don’t want constant repeats fo the 1980s Bay Area and that’s the sound that is coming across. There’s plenty of Testament and Exodus straining in the mix, as well as the less complex parts of Death Angel.

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It’s not all lost though, for SickOmania do possess a decent amount of melody which shines through on “Theater of Memories,” a track about what humanity has learnt from history (answer: NOTHING!). “Psychotic Path” also allows some neat melody and that works in parallel with the overall song. Once again, the vocals don’t do a lot for me and the final minute or so is a real challenge as the band drop into Anthrax style chugging and the singing turns to hardcore style shouting.

Ironically, the pillar of light in this debut release is the final track. A ten-minute instrumental, “Beyond the Ninth Gate” is an impressive musical journey which is worth repeated plays. With Magrit adding his solo during the track.

Overall, SickOmania is an average record. It’s enjoyable without being ground-breaking or mind-blowing. It’s certainly good enough to listen to without feeling the need to skip or switch off. But for me, there’s evidently potential – as illustrated in “Beyond the Ninth Gate.” And that should be encouragement for a band who can clearly play to maintain their dreams and ideas.

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SickOmania is out on 17th June

Check out all the bands we review in 2022 on our Spotify and YouTube playlists!

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