Sick Of It All

Death To Tyrants

Written by: PP on 18/04/2006 18:19:37

Lets face it. There isn't much more one can say about Sick Of It All that hasn't been said five times already during their 20-year career as the flagship of the classic New York Hardcore genre. Similarly, after 20 years, no-one can expect the band to suddenly take a new direction on their album, especially when it's their ninth studio album excluding EP's and live recordings. "Death To Tyrants" is the essential Sick Of It All the older generation grew up with during late 80s to late 90s. Lou's vocals still sound as fresh as 17 years back when we first experienced his ferocious yelling on a full length album, and the left wing politics are still dominating the lyrical content, although the album title kind of gives it away already. Songs like "Uprising Nation" call people to get active and oppose their governments, while "Take The Night Off" is an ironic, sarcastic 'note to self' that people just don't care enough in order for any of this to happen, even despite Lou's angry yells 'power has always been abused', suggesting it's time to do something about it.

Strictly stylistically speaking, the guitar lines Pete delivers are still the best examples of what can be done with just a few chords and avoiding technical proliferation, while keeping the essentials there. The band still uses a variety of different styles on the album, ranging from the slower, more gang-hardcore shout oriented "Machete" to the psychotically paced "Leader" where speed and mental vocal delivery stand as the most important elements to the song structure. However, there are too many highlights on the album to name on this review, but "Uprising Nation"'s powerful 'Death to tyrants' chants caught my attention straight away, and the brutally honest lyrics of "Faithless" about the loss of belief into mankind's own ability to co-exist peacefully touch me deeply. The non-finger pointing political lyrics like the prior example were always one of the things that made me love Sick Of It All. They aren't directly or even indirectly criticizing the US government like, say, Strike Anywhere or Ministry, but instead they act as the messengers of the negative aspects of today's society and right wing politics.

As usual, Sick Of It All does not disappoint. Their honest, straight-forward NY hardcore is still among the best that's ever come out of that scene, and once again we get a chance to pay credit where its due. Aside from that, it's also one of the best outings the band has given out since the 1994 classic "Scratch The Surface". Don't miss out on a future classic.


Download: Uprising Nation, Leader, Faithless
For the fans of: Agnostic Front, Minor Threat, Terror
Listen: Myspace, Purevolume

Release date 18.04.2006
Abacus Recordings

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