SickOmania – The Devil Is Not as Black as He Is Painted

5 min read

Band: SickOmania
Title: The Devil Is Not as Black as He Is Painted
Label: Independent
Release date:  May 1st,  2024
Country: Denmark/Sweden
Format reviewed: High-Quality Digital Recording 

The first thing I must say about this album is: definitely, not “one of the pile” as it is said. Damn, there are so many great things running in these 45 minutes that I’m in awe! Starting with an overwhelming drum work… in fact, I’m here for the drummer, hehehe, I meeean… I reached SickOmania because I saw Lawrence Dinamarca (Scar Symmetry) playing with this band, and this was enough to ignite the fire of curiosity in me). 

Of course, more things: very technical, clean and melodic guitar work, delivered by Arne Lunde and Daniel Steely, with delightful solos that blend some classic Heavy Metal stuff with Thrash/Death/Progressive vibes. An audible, pulsating and galloping and totally remarkable bass work. Yeahh gotta love this guy at his 4 string axe, his name is Jesper K. Olsen and you can constantly notice his presence in this album, which is fantastic. And, about vocals, Fyrsten (Kenneth Iversen) does a massive work; he delivers raspy, screamy-like and at times angry yelled vocals that fit perfectly the sonic aggression delivered by the music.

Ah and don’t get me wrong: it’s not that SickOmania plays a kind of Metal that results in pure mayhem or something like this. Oh no no, when I said “sonic aggression” I was referring to the intensity of their sound. Their Thrash Metal riffs can be felt as vein cutters, sharp and intense, though this is not the only genre label I’d put on them. If you take a look to their Instagram site, they claim themselves to play “Scandinavian Melodic Thrash, Death’n Heavy Metal!”, and yeah, I think this definition suits the band perfectly.

In fact, there are so many details in this album that when I started writing the review I had to restrain myself to  not write kind of a novel about it… 

After a short intro involving some ethereal and operatic female vocals, a kind of a keyboard or piano playing a few different notes, some cinematic effects and an acoustic guitar that shifts into a pair of electric ones at the end, the song “Tongues of Evil” explodes ready to be easily installed in your brain as a good and energetic Thrash Metal opener. I can notice the perfect chemistry existing between all the musicians, this song is well crafted and if I focus on the different instruments separately, the result is that no one tries to take advantage; instead of this, they all work together to offer a very good start for this album. The first 3 / 4  parts of the song has punching Thrash vibes, and when the solo kicks in, it is perfectly executed while the main riff keeps playing in the background and drums maintains a mid/high speed in order to make it still more pulsating. What a way to start!

In “Magic is Gone”, you can appreciate some classic influences in the guitar playing, and some non-conventional turns. There’s a gorgeous bass resonating right from the start, da mn good vibes! Vocals sound menacing and harsh enough, and I always wonder if it’s just one person doing it all and being dubbed when required, or maybe there are more people involved. The second half of the song awaits with some surprising aspects… It’s like entering a dreamy tale for a while. 

“Beyond the Darklands” is a song that delivers some killer Thrash Metal riffs along with fast and technical drums: I’d dare to say that Lawrence is having a lot of fun in this one. The following track, “We Sleep Among the Wolves” has an overwhelming rhythm and invites you to headbang (if you still weren’t doing it); there are some savage vocals, and it seems to be covered by a  thin layer of extra dark sound. And… I’m at the half of the album and I’m still wondering how many guitars play at the same time sometimes: 3, 4? What a massive work delivered in these 45 minutes…               

And well, the opener riff in “Dawn of the Dead Man’s Rising” is something I wasn’t expecting here, just like the finale, with the acoustic guitar, bringing a bit of solace.  This song put many varied things together and it turns out to be very good, the Thrash stuff is the predominant though. The clean and melodic solo is so good…  Lyrics are dark and I love how well they fit the music: “Behold the dawn of dead man’s rising /  The light in your eyes vanishes with the flames of my wrath”, it  makes me shiver… 

“Perfect Phobia” is the longest track in this album, over six minutes, starting like a wicked lullaby, and then turning into a delightful succession of riffs and melodies led by galloping drums and a very low resonating bass that I.SIMPLY.LOVE!! Then, “Rage” enters and despite the title it starts as a calmed song, at least for its tempo; “Sometimes I just want to kill every single one of you” is the heavy statement that makes you say “ehh yeah, the title is accurate indeed”… Some of the darkest tunes are encapsulated in this track 

Well, the end of the album is near… “Aftermath (Intermezzo)” is a calmed and relaxed passage that leads to “The Path to Paradise”, and now I must confess: this is the track thad made “click” in me, the first song I listened by SickOmania (courtesy of Arne Lunde himself, ahem…) And this is a song I’ve listened to more than 30 times. I’m really blown away by the insane drumming by Lawrence; what a technical, fast, perfect delivery of blast beats, fuming double bass pedal attack, relentless display of strokes… I almost forgot about the guitars, sorry: they are building the perfect and most beautiful background for this two minute percussion show off. I’m overwhelmed with these harmonies and the powerful drums every time this song reaches the end. I’m speechless.

The awesome artwork was made by Siniša Koprivnjak from Croatia ( sanswolf99 on Instagram, if you’re curious about this artist’s great work…) 

Another album bordering on perfection for this 2024, another one that I aim all of you to check for a great ride. 9,5/10  Sílvia




9,5/10 Epic Storm
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