Vicious Art

Pick Up This Sick Child

Written by: PP on 28/11/2007 03:51:34

Hailing from Sweden, Vicious Art could well be referred to as a death metal super group, given that the act houses ex-members of such renowned bands as Entombed, Dark Funeral and Grave. According to the promo sheet, their debut album was well received by the press (yes, I was too lazy to research myself), and in an attempt to capitalize on that success, the time is now right for them to unleash their next furious death metal assault, the suggestively titled "Pick Up This Sick Child". Should we believe all the promotional hype that has been surrounding this release, then I'd be writing this review with the death metal equivalent of the Messias enqueued on my Winamp playlist. But as usual, most marketing hype can be toned down by at least two, sometimes a couple more notches before reaching reality. That is the case with "Pick Up This Sick Child" as well.

It's not that Vicious Art aren't good at what they are doing. The commanding drums are brutal, with blast beats dominating all fast passages and solid drumming pacing the rest of the record. The serpentine guitar riffs deviate only slightly from the usual death metal formula, but enough to get the critics to give an accepting nod towards the technicality and rigidness of that section. The whole album is extremely tight as well. Although this is a somewhat typical trait to death metal albums in general, Vicious Art's production team has been exceptionally good at capturing the fiercely raw sound that the band surely puts forth in a live environment.

But one element must be lifted above the rest when assessing this CD, and that is the vocal performance of frontman Joachim Widfeldt. His raging vocals are nearing the top quartile of death metal vocalists, and his versatile delivery varying between guttural growls and melodeath-esque shrieks upholds the record at a level where it's interesting throughout.

Nevertheless, it would be wrong to lift "Pick Up This Sick Child" into a similar status that bands like Entombed and Dark Funeral already enjoy. While it's certainly a step into the right direction, it still largely has the sound of a band that needs to develop as songwriters, even if the individual members have excelled at the task in the past. For death metal, Vicious Art is one of the more exciting releases this year for sure, but not enough so to make me praise it to the skies.

6

Download: Our Family Flesh, Evicting Dead Tenants, Tombstone Grind
For the fans of: Dark Funeral, Grave
Listen: Myspace
Release date 05.11.2007
Mighty Music
Provided by Target ApS

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