RADIATION SICKNESS (U.S.) “Reflections of a Psychotic Past” CD review by Heavy Metal Tribune

RADIATION SICKNESS (U.S.) “Reflections of a Psychotic Past” CD review by Heavy Metal Tribune

By hongrui

Formed all the way back in 1987, Radiation Sickness took a rather long hiatus after numerous split releases in 1990, before coming back together once again in 2010. This year finally sees the band releasing their debut full length album in the form of Reflections of a Psychotic Past, which not only contains 7 brand new tracks but also 12 tracks that were on their 1990 EP, The Other Me. Fresh back from their extremely long break, it leaves one to wonder whether the band still has got what it takes to produce quality material.

And the band quickly proves that they still got it, as the music assaults the listener relentlessly right from the start with title track Reflections of a Psychotic Past, with the heavy and crushing riffs, and drummer Mike punishing his kit like a madman. However, Reflections of a Psychotic Past will soon prove to be more than just a straightforward death/thrash attack as the band incorporates some rather technical moments on the album. Just on the opening track alone, there are numerous shifts in time signatures, with equally complex riffing and rhythm patterns by guitarist Tom and drummer Mike. However, rather than breaking down into a complete technical wank-fest, the band takes a rather straightforward approach, with most songs being short and sweet, preventing the risk of overstaying their welcome, with effective results that leave a lasting impact on the listener. For instance, songs like Graveside View even has a slight grindcore feel on top of the usual death/thrash style of the band. Also, Tom’s lead guitars are often somewhat melodic and not particularly technical, giving a sense of order amidst the chaos that the rhythmic section often impose. The slightly raw and bassy production also helps in creating a heavy impact in the music, upping the intensity of the experience of Reflections of a Psychotic Past.

The difference in the songs that were written back in 1990 and after their reformation is clear, despite the remastering of the tracks from The Other Me. Unlike the newer songs, the tracks from The Other Me have a less polished style, though this isn’t to say that the band’s material from the 90s are bad. What particularly struck me was the similarity between the opening riff of The Other Me and Wormrot‘s Lost Swines, though Radiation Sickness‘ riffs have a rawer and thinner sound, displaying a heavier grind and punk influence here than the newer material, especially with the heavier bass presence as well, giving a nice groove to the music.  The vocal approach here is also less developed, with vocalist Doug having a more raw style here with an almost punkish attitude, allowing for the raw energy of the band to really flow out freely. Escape to Insanity even sees him singing cleanly, drawling out the lyrics.

Despite the inclusion of the 1990 EP, the entire album runs for a mere 37 minutes. That said though, Reflections of a Psychotic Past is a nice introduction to people who have never heard of Radiation Sickness before, and displays the band’s growth from one that leans more towards the crossover style to one that has come to include a heavier death metal influence in their music.

Review link: http://heavymetaltribune.com/wp/2012/08/album-review-radiation-sickness-reflections-of-a-psychotic-past/

Radiation Sickness links:

Facebook: www.facebook.com/RadiationDoug

Reverbnation: www.reverbnation.com/radiationdoug

Last fm: www.last.fm/music/Radiation+Sickness

Abyss Records links:

Label & Online Music Store: www.officialabyssrecords.com

Myspace: www.myspace.com/abyssrecordsofficial

Facebook: www.facebook.com/OfficialAbyssRecords

Reverbnation: www.reverbnation.com/label/abyssrecords

Last fm: www.last.fm/label/AbyssRecords

Youtube: www.youtube.com/user/MinionfortheAbyss

To purchase RADIATION SICKNESS “Reflections of a Psychotic Past” CD and other RADIATION SICKNESS merchandise go to: www.officialabyssrecords.com/advanced_search_result.php?keywords=radiation+sickness


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