Sicarius - Serenade of Slitting Throats
Written By: Dustin Koetsch
Black Metal is a genre that regrettably and very narrowly treads the same ground, there are very few bands playing outside that age old lo-fi black metal box. Where every “new” band sounds like the progenitors of the genre, endless Mayhem and Darkthrone clones that almost play the style of music as an homage but with no real evolution to the music itself.
Then there’s bands like Sicarius, who defy those stringent expectations of black metal and really forge something that breathes life into the desiccated corpse that has become the genre. It’s been quite some time since I’ve listened to a Black Metal album and really felt that grim brutality that's supposed to be omnipresent in the music. Where every chord is drenched in hate and every scream spewed writhes in complete agony, Serenade of Slitting Throats does this with vigor.
Another amazing part about the band? They hail from America, which, for playing black metal is a rarity. There are very few American black metal bands that play black metal like this. An extension of this is that there are very few Norwegian or Swedish black metal bands that play like this as well, Sicarius have set the bar extremely high for the new wave of black metal being made in 2017 and onward respectively.
The opening of the record is deceptive, starting with a morose piano intro that quickly gives way to buzzing guitars, moving slowly, yet building with intensity. But that can’t possibly ready your ears for the onslaught that is to come once “Ferox Imperitum” starts. The guitar tone is a mean cacophonous overdriven assailment played at the fastest pace imaginable by “Merihim” and “Argyris”. The drums sound like its one constant blast, but there is a real nuance to “BZ’s” playing here that should really be listened to with intent. My favorite part of this band though? The vocalist, “K. Karcass”. His style epitomizes the very definition of the the word hateful as he screams out his lyrics. His vocal range has this natural inflection imbued upon it that it feels like every word he says is filled with loathing and fury. The track that best describes this is the title track “Serenade of Slitting Throats” it is just non stop madness and resentment filled infuriation spilling over each and every note of the song. All of this building to the closing track “Wampyr” that is such a strong closer of a song. Its heavy, its groovy, its bleak and its fast. You’ll immediately want to start the record over again once its finished.
Sicarius have written these Black Metal songs with all the raw intensity it should be played with, along with all the added benefits modern production has to offer. This album bursts so full of sound that every song suffocates you with its ferocious unrelenting onslaught of aural savagery. Sicarius waste no time with this album, every time you think you have a moment to really let the song sink in you’re immediately enshrouded in another song fueled by misery.
The band still upholds a few traditions of classic Black Metal imagery, in that they are adorned in corpse paint, spikes and leather. I would expect nothing less from a band that so perfectly encapsulates where the genre can go if more bands took the time to really write outside the box and would stop glorifying the early stylistic days of the genre so much.
This is a Black Metal album I have been waiting for, fora long time it feels like, something that sounds fresh and really well produced and completely different from anything else that's out right now.
"Serenade of Slitting Throats" Gets a 8/10
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