Democide is a term revived and redefined by the political scientist R. J. Rummel (1932-2014) as "the murder of any person or people by their government, including genocide, politicide and mass murder".
I am sitting writing this review thinking of what to write. After listening to Democide a few times I am reminded of the movie "300" - more specifically the part where Gerard Butlers character yells out "this is Sparta" before kicking some dude off a cliff. In my head I'm hearing "this is GRINDCORE" as Sickness decimate ear drums with callous intent.
15 years after originally forming in Alice Springs as a death metal band, SICKNESS recorded demos with multiple members before finding their groove. SICKNESS are now back and seeking to make up for the time whilst the band lay dormant. They released Democide in late 2015, featuring only two new tracks - Made In Israel and Sea of Stress.
The others are from the 1996 - 97 era or rewritten versions from 1992 - all original SICKNESS incl. a Napalm Death cover song, Scum, which fits in tightly with the others.
So what is it like, you ask. Fucking brutal is the quick answer. It is to the heart of what GRINDCORE stands for. It also is politically motivated - the two main song writers Dan Pearse (guitars/official noise maker) and Phil Haldane (drums) want to make the listener think about the issues involved in Democide. Are they trying to convert anyone to their ways of thinking? No. They are just pointing out how people are getting taken for a ride by governments without realising it.
These guys know how to play grindcore - it's not overly technical but doesn't mean to be.
Nick's vocal delivery is brutal to say the least; although you may need a lyric sheet to read along but that's what's it all about. Dan's guitar tone is vicious and his attacking style brings the aggression to the front and centre then wacks you upside the head (as well as his own on occasions). The drumming style of Phil is unique as he only uses one kick pedal for the bass drum and his rolls and fills are fast and unrelenting. Rounding off is the big man on bass, Stuart, keeping up with this lot is no mean feat but he does it with ease and a thundering bass tone which is felt deep within the soul.
17 tracks in 25 minutes - the longest being 3:43. It is manic from the beginning sample of $exploited$ right to the end cover song, for the untrained grindcore listener... welcome at first... but they may find the tracks sound very similar. The trained maniacs will hear the underlying noise tracks made by Dan going apeshit at Blastbeat Studios in the Riverlands, which is owned and run by vocalist Nick Hansen. Rounding out the band is bassist, Stuart Blackman, who used to play guitars back in the day but due to an injury had to switch to bass.
Democide is 17 quality grindcore tracks to rip your fucking skull off and re-educate of the plights of the average man. Simply put: THIS IS SICKNESS! \m/