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RGTE tryin' to please 'em all I see... - 95%

DaddyZeus67, February 17th, 2009

Deviant was one damn awesome goregrind record full of grindcore brutality, genius melodies and very dark atmosphere and while I know some Regurgitate fans were concerned about this new direction this band was taking, I myself loved it all over. Therefore it's no surprise that I was looking forward to the next album these guys would release. Now Sickening Bliss seems obviously like an attempt to mix their old raw goregrind with the new interesting direction they started with Deviant as the title of this review suggests, kind of like what Children of Bodom is trying currently with their Blooddrunk album. Although I don't hate Blooddrunk even nearly as much as many people on this website, I can definitely say Regurgitate's effort was MUCH better! But regardless of being an attempt of revival Sickening Bliss is still all the way an individual release and not too similar to any previous Regurgitate albums. Main elements here are gurgling pitch shifted gutturals, regurgitating shrieks, heavy distorted guitars yet with melodic riff and solo work and the very anger and punishment only Regurgitate could create.

Now let's talk about the vocals. The very first thing old RGTE fans will love about Sickening Bliss is how this CD is bringing back the pitch shifted gurgling gutturals straight out of Carnivorous Erection! Right away when the intro track "Bliss" ends, the album opener "Abducens Eminence" kicks in with brute force and represents the pitch shifted gurgles right away as the vocals kick in, soon to be followed up with some vomiting screams. While Deviant was almost completely dominated by screams, Sickening Bliss now has the gurgles for the lead and screams for somewhat less. I could say about 60% of these vocals are growls and 40% are screams.

What comes to the scream vocals, Rikard's sound has now quite changed from the previous album. Now he sounds more like a typical goregrind screamer: forced and vomit-like. He doesn't sound as natural as on Deviant but nevertheless he executes amazing shrieks and is actually somewhat more decipherable than before. Yes Regurgitate still refuse to write any lyrics but this album includes some moments where I think I can actually make out what Rikard is saying. For example listen to the song "Bleed On Me" at 0:23, I could swear he said "Bleed on me!" 2 times there and at 2:04. As well as the beginning of "Worm Eater" Rikard quite clearly says the title of the song. The long gurgled vocal sounds like "worm" and the scream right after says "eater".

Guitar work here is pretty much like Deviant, straight up chord smash brutality mixed with some well planned melodic bits. Guitar tone is now way more raw than on Deviant and reminds more of Carnivorous Erection but the riffs still maintain the dark atmosphere of Deviant and the awesome melodies are still there too. For example take the beginning riffs for songs like "Putrid Serenity" and "Reborn In Latrinic Ecstasy". But there's not only fast shit and atmospheric melodies here, the song "(We Are) Sadistic Hateful Scum" is one of the different tracks in Sickening Bliss. This one has very groovy riffs going in mid tempo among pitch shifted growls all over it (no screams in this song). It doesn't build up to blasting speed or anything, it just holds the groove all the way to the end.

One new thing in the guitars also is that there's now more solos than ever before. Deviant had only 2 solos but here you can hear guitar solos in "Putrid Serenity", "Violent Necrophilic Climax", "Devoured By Ghouls", "Defile" and "Catatonic Possession". These solos are all really short and mostly just some shreds but they are very catchy and do carry kick-ass melodies too. "Putrid Serenity" solo is good and quite catchy but maybe not one of the most unique solos in this album. My favorite solo must be the one on "Violent Necrophilic Climax" with really catchy and memorable melody. It just stuck in my head right away and never left. There's some insane speed solos in "Devoured By Ghouls" and "Defile" that will stick in your head as well. And then in the final track entitled "Catatonic Possession" the "solos" are actually just some guitar noises to create atmosphere for the slow end of the song. I can't really call "Catatonic Possession" anyhow as good song as "Life Falls Before Our Feet", the final track of Deviant but I still think it's an awesome song.

Bass is heavily distorted and it's quite audible all through the album.

The drums haven't changed in my opinion at all, they are still non-triggered and there's still the blast beats and nice fills. But one thing I don't like about the drums on Sickening Bliss is that they're not loud enough in the mix and sometimes seem to drown under the other instruments. Blast beats here might be really hard to hear at times but other than that I think Jocke did great job on drums and his drumming sounds tighter and more precise than ever.

Fans of Deviant, you will love this. Fans of old Regurgitate, you will love this. Fans of brutal music in general, you will love this. All I can say for now.