Hailing from Athens, Greece, When Landscapes Bled Backwards is the debut full length from this top notch technical death metal band featuring members of NILE.
The band was formed on January 2002 by George Antipatis (guitars, vocals), Ilias Daras (bass) and George Kollias (drums, Nightfall). After a very short time the band started completing its first songs which were floating around technical Death Metal forms in the likes of Cannibal Corpse, Morbid Angel, Death and Atheist. After a year-and-a-half of non-stop rehearsing and killer live shows, the band recorded the demo "Promo 2003" in the Fall of 2003 which received great reviews worldwide for its innovative and precise sound. At the time, the band had George Bokos (Rotting Christ/ex-Nightfall) on the second guitar, who left after a while due to increased obligations. In the summer of 2004 George Kollias joined the US death metal band Nile and recorded "Annihilation of the Wicked" album. By 2005 Sickening Horror had completed the song-writing of their first album. Meanwhile the band's influences had expanded in a wide spectrum which included experimental black metal bands like Ved Buens Ende, Dodheimsgard, Virus and jazz-fusion artists like Charlie Parker, Dave Weckl, Virgil Donati. All these elements filtered by their unique "Sickening Horror" point of view, in a Death Metal basis, plus many industrial samples and loops created what is now called "When Landscapes Bled Backwards". The band's debut album was recorded in Athens and mixed by mastermind Neil Kernon. As for the lyrics, they have to do with quite simple - often personal - subjects, regarded from a completely strange and surrealistic aspect. Eventually the band reached to an agreement with Neurotic Records to unleash "When Landscapes Bled Backwards" in Spring 2007 and everyone involved in this recording has very high expectations, as the album's sound is really fresh and has a vast variety of the deepest, strongest and darkest emotions..
There's a lot of technical ability in the death metal scene these days, but very little in the way of innovation. But just when I start thinking of abandoning the genre, something usually comes along to give me faith again and pull me back into the fold. Sickening Horror are the most recent band to do this for me. I waited years for this album, and I was only slightly disappointed, which is saying a hell of a lot, since my expectations were incredibly high. It's very technical, but they don't fall prey to the trappings that most technical death metal seems to go in for these days (i.e., unrelenting widdly with little thought given to song structure). The band has a great sense of dynamics—slithering, chaotic riffs often give way to haunting melodies and other atmospheric touches. In a way, this music has it all--it's technical but atmospheric, complex but catchy, melodic at times but also very dissonant. The best moments seem to come from the more experimental side of black metal (the band themselves mentions influences like Dodheimsgard), and they pepper their songs with some evil, dissonant melodies that I love. The first track (after the intro) closes with a strange, black metallish melody of pure genius that is all too short. I could listen to it for hours. In fact, my only real complaint is that I wish the songs were longer. A lot of the songs are less than 4 minutes, but they probably could be at least twice that long without sacrificing anything in the way of intensity. Some sections could be repeated or developed a lot more. A small complaint, though. This could turn out to be my favorite death metal release of this decade, unless the band outdoes themselves on their next one.