Sicadis
Blood of a Thousand Hearts

So as we start to get a little further into 2013, a lot of reviews are going to be late entries from 2012, and I’m trying to limit them to ones worth your while or ones that grabbed my ear. And I was surprised to find that one such release is the self released debut from Kansas City’s  Sicadis and they carry the dreaded metalcore tag.

Fear not though, Sicadis while certainly falling in line with metalcore and dare I say some Nu metal (don’t be scared by a guest appearance by Five Finger Death Punch vocalist Ivan Moody) and commercial modern metal, rage pretty hard, and for those that found last years All That Remains and God Forbid albums major let downs,  or enjoyed Sylosis‘s surprisingly good Monolith, Blood of  Thousand Hearts should satiate you admirably.

With references certainly detectable in the two aforementioned genre heavyweights  as well as the obvious Killswitch Engage influence, there’s a bit of a Machine Head /thrash vibe going on as well just a little more extremity that’s borderline death metal/melodic death metal (vocalist Brett Carter has a slightly gruffer, meaner growl than most metalcore), that keeps this out of the realms of pure commercial metal.  I’m reminded stylistically of recent Aussie act Lynchmada, but much better song writers.

First off, the band just exudes energy and seem like they would just kill it live and seem committed to their sound. Second, that energy is back up not only by solid playing, but solid song writing that covers the genres paradigms, but delivers them exceedingly well. The few clean vocals aren’t annoying or whiny, the breakdowns are burly and the big, brash American Metal riffs are certainly pit inducing. The melodies and solos are well crafted and often catchy, and while you, as a big dirty death mental fan brace for some cringe inducing modern metal, don’t be surprised if you find yourself banging your head on playing air guitar to these guys, then look around sheepishly at your friends in their Incantation shirts.

Several moments had that affect on me despite bracing for the worst; notably, the standout track “Voice of a Martyr” is just a downright great song, the shredtastic, epic opening gallop of “Soldiers of Damnation” is flippin’ rousing as hell  and the catchy chug and blast of “No Sympathy” form a  killer, early album trio. Admittedly, the album loses a bit of steam thereafter as the obligatory interlude “A Fading Light” kills the buzz and momentum a little and “My Redemption” tries a little too hard, being a little too KsE-ish and verse/chorus-y, if frenetic. The there is the track with Moody, “Through These Eyes”, which ends up being a cliched nu/modern metal track, with Moody barely even being noticeable.

Things pick up and close the album out on a positive note with the fierce “‘Beneath the Swarm” and thrashing “Slay the Masses”, showing there is an underground metal band lurking in Kansas City that can go toe to toe with the East Coast, Massachusetts boys and deliver damn fine American Metal from the heartland.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
February 25th, 2013

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