Sudden Death Syndrome
Sudden Death Syndrome is the latest full-length from Jordan metallers Bilocate. The album sports songs of varying lengths and unusual harmonies as well as Middle Eastern elements. Expertly played piano and acoustic guitar parts play more into the progressive side of the equation, while other moments recall Celtic Frost with a more deathly vocal style. Although many of the tracks are obviously a stab at the symphonic, I'm not sure there is enough going on to justify some of the lengthy songs. What s.d.s. does do, however, is create a great ambiance. Horns are divided on this one.
A little bit different than your typical death/doom release
Sudden Death Syndrome
Company: Self released
Reviewer: Raising Iron
Genre: Doom, death
Bilocate are a newer band from Jordan who plays your typical doom/death variation of metal. Formed in '03, they have just self-released their sophomore effort entitled "Sudden Death Syndrome, a slightly progressive ride through Middle Eastern textures but squarely rooted in their genre of choice.
There are a number of bands in this genre now, many of which do a fine job but don't really add anything new. Bilocate differs slightly from the characteristic doom/death blueprint as they offer a bit of their middle-eastern roots into the songs, as well as highly varied dynamics within each composition. Vocals are of a decipherable, "cookie-monster" variety, nothing clean, except for a kind of speaking/singing mix on "Pure Wicked Sins".
"Sudden Death Syndrome" is comprised of 7 tracks, 5 songs proper book-ended by a short instrumental intro and a meandering, droning, keyboard laced outro. In fact, as heavy as the guitars are in parts, the album's songs are built around a lot of the keyboard passages. We're not talking those of the Stratovarius variety either, as here they are very dark and brooding, creating a chilling atmosphere. Acoustic guitars and other instruments break up the songs nicely, affording space for their unique melodies. After the short intro, track 2 lades the listener with the epic, 17 minute "Blooded Forest", a wildly diverging song taking you from one grove to another before arriving at camp. After this though, there is only one other epic length song, the 9 minute "Ebtehal", and the other 3 clock in at around the 6 minute mark.
Now, for a do-it-yourself band without backing from a record label, this is one hell of an impressive release. The production is superb, warm and lively, with an unobtrusive mix. Despite a couple of rather long songs, the album overall is fairly quickly paced, especially for the genre. There are enough interesting phrasings used throughout the songs to keep one's interest piqued, so, if you're looking for something a little bit different than your typical death/doom, pick up this release. Highly professional and uniquely compelling, Bilocate are sure to turn heads with "Sudden Death Syndrome".