SICK SOCIETY styles themselves as ‘primitive metal’ and I can hear it in the raw instrumentation. It’s as if someone took modern metal, put it in a large vat and rendered it down to a concentrate of riffs, aggressive drumming and brutal vocals.
The album, entitled Urn01, begins with the tones of Boots Randolph’s long lived classic, and comedic soundtrack, Yakety Sax. This is an interesting way to lead into an album, and I’m not sure I will forget it any time soon. From this unique introduction they go on to discuss the topics of individualism, capitalism, war and democracy. SICK SOCIETY have a lot to say and they manage to cram it all into an album that’s a little under thirty eight minutes.
The band chose to follow in the great tradition of not using their real names instead choosing to go by the monikers of The Preacher, The Planner, The Executioner and The Saviour.
Wall Street is the most compelling reason I’ve heard to drop everything I’m doing and go and watch Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps and The Wolf of Wall Street.
“I sit at my desk, I have a line,
I offer it to my colleagues.
It is the fuel to go on and on.
With them I am not, I’m not alone!
And day this way begins,
the numbers on the screens,
they run fast with the share prices yeah!”
The excitement of fast cash and irresponsible life choices, the alienation that lifestyle breeds and the dream, the belief that you will be the one to get rich, the one to live the dream. All while you “Hear the great and awesome spirit of Wall street: never ending trading, dealing, let the demon enfold your black soul!”
Similarly the song Sick Society takes a strong anti-capitalistic stance and points that out that the acquisition of goods is making monsters of us with this verse:
“Animals dying for vanity,
but we don’t take care, we are so chic!
Hungry children dying and humanity
think that is just on TV.”
SICK SOCIETY put social issues back on the table while giving you something to tap your foot along to. I think that’s been missing from a lot of non-hardcore metal for a while (although I may have just been listening to the wrong things). It’s the brutal spiritual successor to BLACK SABBATH, and the rawer cousin to bands like GOJIRA and the heavier sibling to RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE.
You shouldn’t go into this with strong expectations of anything. It’s probably closest to MOTORHEAD mixed with a little JUDAS PRIEST, it’s an enjoyable listen and it grabbed me by the collar and shook me a little but I think I’d have to be in the right mood to revisit it. That said, I know a few people that I’m going to strongly recommend it to.
Overall, there’s solid musicianship and lyrics all throughout this release and I will definitely keep an eye on what the band do next because this has the seeds of something special.
Words: Jacob McCrone
Urn01 is out now.
Find SICK SOCIETY on Facebook.