Sickrecy – Salvation Through Tyranny Review

Familiarity breeds contempt, I’ve heard, and I certainly understand the meaning of that aphorism, but it’s not always true. Sometimes familiarity is a warm blanket, a well-worn pair of boots that fit just perfectly, a good friend or partner with whom you feel completely at ease… Sometimes familiarity is a thing, a person, a place, a feeling, and sometimes it’s a sound.

Born of scene veterans from World In Ruins, Damned To Downfall, General Surgery, and goofball grind gods Birdflesh, Sweden’s Sickrecy trades in a familiar sound, which here is classic-styled grindcore. Their stated purpose is to nod to the old school but updated to fit the new times – which is to say “without necessarily being retro” – and it’s a balance they achieve. Their 2021 EP First World Anxiety landed squarely on my radar (albeit a little bit after the fact, admittedly), and served to pique my interest for what’s to come. A little over a year later, here we are…

Release date: October 28, 2022. Label: Selfmadegod.
Like that earlier and shorter offering, Salvation Through Tyranny is made of pounding sociopolitical grind, indebted to the giants like Napalm Death and Terrorizer with dashes of d-beat and crusty death metal. There’s no trickery, no subtlety, no experimental tangents, no oddball off-kilter additions – this is purebred pummeling, relatively simple but definitely strong and chunky riffing, relentless blasting rhythms offset with some thrashing bashing grooves, and Adde Mitroulis’ Barney-esque bellow.

What stands out most notably about Salvation Through Tyranny are two points: One, yes, it’s very Napalm Death, but without that band’s decades-running penchant for outside influence, and two, it’s fully savage, energetic, unrelenting at all times. Martin Eriksson’s drumming is merciless, the fire in the belly of the beast, pushing Marcus Dahl’s filthy guitars forward at a maniacal pace, even when the tempo comes down to a bulldozer drive. There are no duds amongst these ten tracks and twenty-seven minutes, but standouts come in “Progress But Why?,” with some of the catchiest riffs on the whole affair, or the crushing follow-up stomp of “Viewing The Absurd.” Later entries like “Closure” show how strong the band’s sense of groove really is, while immediately thereafter, “Leading The Blind” lays waste to everything around it, a raging bomb-blast of unabashedly ferocious grindcore.

Compared to First World Anxiety, Tyranny Through Salvation is a level above in every measurable metric – it sounds better, with those crust-caked guitars front and center, the drums hammering and crisp; the songs are more refined, sharper, hookier; the performances are tighter, more ferocious; Mitroulis’ vocals are more powerful, with that low growl his most prominent feature, offset with some higher, throatier snarls. The overall approach didn’t change between that earlier EP and now; Sickrecy just simply settled in and improved. And if you don’t believe me… well, Sickrecy makes it easy to compare, because if you pick up the physical versions of this fine record, you’ll see that First World Anxiety is appended to this newest release, separated by two strong covers of ’80s Swedish hardcore punk bands with whom I’m wholly unfamiliar. (Ingron Hutlös is represented by “Kåt Nekrofil,” from 1984’s wonderfully monikered Necrophilian Hits, followed by a take on “Doomsday,” originally by D.T.A.L. and from the Time To Die EP, also from 1984.)

So yes, in the end, Sickrecy’s sound is a familiar one, operating within grindcore’s established parameters but doing so with a skill, a reverence, and a professionalism that leaves Salvation Through Tyranny’s familiarity akin to slipping into your comfortable clothes after a long day in the office. Sure, you’ve heard sounds like these before, but the reason you’ve heard those is because you like sounds like these, goddammit, and therefore, you like these sounds like these. Sickrecy knows what they’re doing, and so do you, but they do it so well that it’s not about any surprises or progression — it’s about getting your skull kicked around.

Sometimes you don’t need to push the envelope to break the walls down. Sometimes familiarity breeds contentment. This is one of those times.

Posted by Andrew Edmunds

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

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