Sick Sinus Syndrome – Rotten To The Core Review

It’s springtime, which means my pollen allergies are kicking in. So I was going to take this moment to make an unfortunate joke about my sick sinuses, but a quick Google search tells me that, in reality, “sick sinus syndrome” is a cardiac condition. Huh. You learn something new every day…

I guess I’ll just jump right into the review then…

Release date: March 21, 2021. Label: Bizarre Leprous.
This Sick Sinus Syndrome hails from the Czech Republic, a “supergroup” trio comprised of vocalist / guitarist Bilos from Malignant Tumour, drummer Jurgen from Ingrowing, and bassist Hary, formerly of Pathologist. A quick scan of the song titles should give you a great idea what the overall sound is here: This is Carcass-leaning pathological goregrind, like so many others before it. But the funny thing is: Thirty-some-odd years since Reek Of Putrefaction and Symphonies Of Sickness first splattered across unsuspecting eardrums, I’m not sick of this sound in the least, tiniest, most infinitesimal bit. Give me more, give me more, riffs and gore, give me more…

If the titles weren’t enough of a clue, Sick Sinus Syndrome wears their influences almost literally on their album sleeve. (Though I only have the digital version, so there is no sleeve, but nevertheless…) Rotten To The Core’s track listing includes covers of Carcass’ “Oxidised Razor Masticator,” Dead Infection’s “Flying Shit In The Outer Space,” Regurgitate’s “Vulva Fermentation,” and Pathologist’s own “Carcass Dismemberment.” Each of those takes on goregrind classics is strong (with the frantic blitz of the Pathologist cover being an album highlight), and the rest of Rotten To The Core holds its own, from the creepy-voiced sample that begins the groove-heavy introductory “Disgusting Aroma Of Autopsy” through the bass-driven grind of “Post-Mortem Diffusion Of Fluid” and the blastbeating pound of “Septic Infestation Of Dissection Table.” By the time “Apt’s Hallucinogenic Trip” grinds to a close, it’s been twenty-four songs in twenty-seven minutes, razor-sharp and ripping.


Perhaps because he’s the sole guitarist and also handling the vocals, Bilos’ riffs are straightforward, never overly complicated, but they’re also very hooky, the combination of relentless blasting aggression and punkish groove balanced to perfection. The array of voices runs from toilet-bowl gurgles to growls and snarls, as you’d expect, the usual stomach-churning vomitous gamut. These twenty-four tracks rip by in bursts of one minute or less, with only “Aroma” and the Carcass cover spanning lengths greater than twice that.

You know the drill here — it’s goregrind. Sick Sinus Syndrome isn’t rewriting any books, but seasoned professionals that they are, they are very good at what they do, working within the framework established decades back by the bands they’re quoting. Original concept or not, Rotten To The Core is a damned fun little pile of rotten innards. Don’t overthink the blood splatter, kids. Sharpen up your scalpel and cut your way in.

Posted by Andrew Edmunds

Last Rites Co-Owner; Senior Editor; born in the cemetery, under the sign of the MOOOOOOON...

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