Written by: AP on 07/01/2017 17:35:14

Despite its limited size, Fredericia on the east coast of Denmark’s Jutland peninsula, entertains a burgeoning hardcore scene centered on the town’s youth culture house. Just as the country’s other hub for the genre (Copenhagen, or ‘K-town’), Fredericia hardcore has trended toward its own, distinct form of expression in which metal often takes precedence over punk, with dense chugging and chastising breakdowns deployed as a kind of antithesis to the raw, fiery style of K-town hardcore. One of the most promising acts to emerge from that scene lately, is Lifesick, whose potential was recognised by Southern Lord last summer and — doubtless still high on the success of another Danish signing of theirs: Halshug — unleashed unto a worldwide audience through the re-release of “6.0.1”, Lifesick’s debut mini-album from 2015.

On first impression, Lifesick sounds an ideal fit to Southern Lord’s growing repertoire of bands that bridge into the label’s other passion: extreme metal. The Fredericia-born outfit describes its music as ‘hateful and depressive hardcore inspired by the ups and downs of life’ and ‘verbal grief and riffs that make you want to kill yourself’, but oddly enough, the likes of “Swing Away” and especially “Open Casket” are likely to draw your thoughts toward something else entirely. The eerie tone, lightning-grade shredding and brutal chug sections are pages torn straight from Slayer’s playbook. In fact, the spirit of punk lives exclusively in the lyrics and vocal style of the band’s front-figure, Simon Shoshan, who ensures that the tracks not only sound heavy, but also really pissed off. His technique, reminiscent of Expire’s Josh Kelting, lifts him into the upper echelons of hardcore vocalisation; the way he prolongs and bends his screams and yells makes his rage sound so deranged, yet so pure and human at the same time. You are unlikely to forget those roars of ”Liiiiife… sick!” and ”You’re gonna get… huuuuurt!” in the eponymous title track and the standout “In Love with Hate”, respectively, anytime soon.

Often when hardcore is painted in a metallic sheen, its quality is constantly menaced by the loom of monotony, as an endless deluge of breakdowns, simplistic drop-tuned riffs and a farcical insistence on brutality dictate the formula. And although Lifesick certainly gives in to such temptations as well, by and large they manage to avoid the pitfall — not least because the two guitarists, Nikolai Lund & Nicolai Lindegaard, share a penchant for a good groove and, crucially, spicing up the chug’n’shred with a variety of licks and melodies. In the all-instrumental “Leshy”, they and the rest of the musicians, bassist Allan Kristiansen & drummer Jeppe Løwe Hansen, even verge on the dark melodicism of black metal for a good four minutes, before engaging the best part of the record with “Real Friends Come from Grief” and the already name-dropped “In Love with Hate”.

If you have an affinity for the misanthropic, unhinged type of hardcore professed by Expire, dig the atmospherics of Brutality Will Prevail, and don’t mind some Slayer in your life as well, then “6.0.1” should have a high appeal factor for you, thus. Lifesick is not pushing the metallic hardcore genre into uncharted territory by any measure and as such it is an advantage that the record clocks in at just 24 minutes, but the sheer savagery with which they execute is a feat in its own right. Now, with the input of Southern Lord available to them as well, it seems inevitable that the band might hone their most compelling aspects even further and perhaps evolve into a genuine crossover phenomenon on their future endeavour(s).


Download: Open Casket, Real Friends Come from Grief, In Love with Hate
For the fans of: Brutality Will Prevail, Expire, Terror
Listen: Facebook

Release date 11.11.2016
Southern Lord

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