Plague: Ornaments of Mutilation and more...


At just under 18 and a half minutes, SICKNESS pounded their way through their debut […]
By Liam Easley
November 7, 2018
Sickness - Plague: Ornaments of Mutilation and more... album cover

At just under 18 and a half minutes, SICKNESS pounded their way through their debut full-length, "Ornaments of Mutilation," with brutal riffs and blast beats. The only problem? It was done before, and they weren't improving it. Now, it is being remastered by Vic Records with 14 bonus tracks. Ignoring the bonus tracks, when it comes to "Ornaments of Mutilation," there is one overarching issue: it's unfinished. This album is 18 minutes for a reason: it's full of songs that don't build upon themselves before stopping in their tracks. I have no problem with short albums. In fact, my favorite brutal Death Metal albums tend to be less that half an hour long because short albums are more listenable. A good example of the unfinished material that this album possessed is right on track one. "Anatomy of Murder" has some good riffs, but once the song is about to climax, instead of climaxing, it just ends. They definitely could have put a breakdown at the end of the song, but they didn't. This problem can be seen on "Cold Bitch" and "Postmortal Ceremony."

Despite the album's issues with songwriting, there is some good material. For example, "Burn the Soul" is actually an entire, rounded-off idea. The riffs aren't the greatest, nor were they original even for 1995, but they're heavy and fast enough to mosh to. My favorite part about the song is the use of audio clips/voice-overs. It's a characteristic of brutal Death Metal that I really enjoy, and they fit them into this track very well. Another song that was good was "Deceased." This track was good mostly because of the execution. The riffs were highly unoriginal, but they were effective. In total, this album has flaws, but there are some good moments. I think that my favorite track was "I Am Christ" because of its sheer brutality and songwriting that it shows off. The lyrical structure was very fitting as well.

As for the bonus tracks, this is where the album actually becomes good. All throughout this album, there has been a strong DYING FETUS sound in the vocals. Symons sounds almost identical to John Gallagher. Obviously, the chances of DYING FETUS influencing SICKNESS are slim, as DYING FETUS didn't debut with a full-length until the next year. However, with the 1997 material in the bonus tracks, it sounds more like "Purification Through Violence" but without the wacky lead work. There's even a pretty awesome breakdown on "Murder King".  Overall, the bonus tracks are pretty good.

If anything, this is a fun release if you're into early brutal Death Metal. I may think that the songwriting isn't good, but that's the reviewer in me. The old school brutal Death Metal and Hardcore DYING FETUS enthusiast in me thought that this was a fun album. Not a great album, but a fun one. However, with the lack of songwriting skills on the better portion of this record and the lack of originality (I say that as if originality existed anymore), this album suffers.

6 / 10

Had Potential








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"Plague: Ornaments of Mutilation and more..." Track-listing:

1. Anatomy of Murder
2. Cold Bitch
3. Necrosick
4. Burn the Soul
5. Putrid Incest
6. Postmortal Ceremony
7. Deceased
8. I Am Christ
Promo 1997:
9. Yes, I Killed Her
10. Domestic Enthrallment
11. Murder King
12. Food for Worm
13. Plague
Previously unreleased material from 1997:
14. Controlled with a Knife
15. No Means Yes
16. Union of the Sick
17. Your Time Has Come
18. Anatomy of Murder (re-recorded)
19. I Am Christ (re-recorded)
Torture of Existence demo 1994:
20. Bodily Entombed
21. Marriage of the Flesh
22. Torture of Existence

Sickness Lineup:

Kyle Symons - Vocals
Hector Rios - Guitar
Sergio Cesario - Guitar
Eric Dillon - Bass
Gus Rios - Drums

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