Just taking a single glance at the album cover should leave you prepared for what you find on Sickening. I’ll tell you right now – if this is the sort of album cover you love, then you won’t be disappointed with the music itself.
Now, as regular readers of this site probably know, I have a soft spot for this type of thing. I just can’t help it. The Swedish style is just so…satisfying. The huge riffs, the macabre melodies, the steamroller drums, the gruff vocals, the graveyard atmosphere…it’s all just so compelling and, ultimately, enjoyable.
As you can probably guess, Gravestone embody the joy of Swedish death metal for me. This is a relatively short album with relatively short songs. It doesn’t outstay its welcome, but provides ample bloody entertainment for the whole time that it is visiting. This is bruising Swedeath, with the trademark chainsaw guitars, and the type of songs that you’ll find yourself thinking about long after the album has finished and you’re listening to something else.
No, Sickening won’t set the world on fire, and won’t win any originality contests, (are these actually a thing?), but that’s not the point; this is music that has its own niche and a specific audience, and it caters to them with ease and consistency.
Gravestone revel in old-school Swedish death metal worship, and they do what they do very well indeed. Sickening is a highly recommended listen for any fan of the style.