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A classic in tech death - 97%

Lustmord56, January 10th, 2008

Holy. Fucking. Shit.

Thank you Willowtip for licensing this gem this from Neurotic

Readers, what was the last technical death metal album that truly changed how you viewed and listened to technical death metal? A mind altering, genre smearing album that altered the death metal landscape? For me personally, I have to go back as far as Nile’s Amongst the Catacombs of Naphren Ka. Before that, Cryptopsy’s Whisper Supremacy, then before I have to revisit the golden era of death metal with the likes of Atheist’s Unquestionable Presence, Disincarnate’s Dreams of a Carrion Kind and the ridiculously ahead of its time, Obscura.

I mention those four albums, in particular the last four, as I hear a lot of those in this simply stunning debut from Greece’s Sickening Horror (whose drummer is Nile’s George Kollias) and this album I feel will rub shoulders with those aforementioned albums if the pantheons of technical death metal greatness.

Yes, this is that good. Beyond good, beyond superb, beyond great. When Landscapes Bled Backwards is simply awe inspiring on every level, with every note, growl, bass twang and blast.

With the mind fucking complexity of Obscura (particularly “Virus Detected”), the crippling heaviness of Whisper Supremacy (“Embrace the Abstract”) and the polish, precision and song writing chops if Disincarnate’s lone work, Sickening Horror blaze through 12 tracks (one intro and one interlude included) of truly mind bending technical death metal brilliance. From opening intro, the aptly titled “Descending the Minds Abyss” through the closing title track, Sickening Horror simply put virtually all other modern technical death metal to shame. It’s not that it’s more complex or more intricate, its not. It’s just a perfect balance of twisting serpentine expositions of ferocious intricacy, melded with a symbiotic semblance of brutality and intellectual heft and just the right amount of programmed experimentation (“Dark One Surreality”). Throw in some heaving slower, angular yet devastating slower tracks like “A Perfect Disease”, “Filming Our Graves”, which while certainly slower, are no less brain melting and you have an album that will truly change your perception of death metal. And each track is a perfectly timed slice-all hovering around 3-4 minutes, making for an immaculately paced 35 minutes of sonic Armageddon. I’m not going to gush about individual songs as each track on When Landscapes Bled Backwards is utter technical death metal perfection. Throw in an organic, symbiotic production and earthy, deep vocals and you have technical death metal nirvana.

Folks, I’ve made some outlandish claims in my reviewing ‘career”, but even with the some great technical death metal I’ve heard over the last few years from the likes of Anata, Psycroptic, Spawn of Possession, Odious Mortem, Necrophagist, Dim Mak and a slew of others, I’m going to stick my neck out there and say When Landscapes Bled Backwards is a true modern classic that simply devastates every technical death metal album you’ve heard in the last few years.

By Erik Thomas (originally posted at