Reject the Sickness – While Our World Dissolves (WormHoleDeath)Monday, 7th June 2021
Driving home a musical cocktail of melodic death metal, thrash and metalcore, Belgian group Reject the Sickness whet this scribe’s appetite for their sound based on the previous 2019 EP The New Chapter. While Our World Dissolves as the quintet’s third full-length features new versions of the previous three-song recording plus six new tracks – issuing a sound that encompasses vicious riffing, sinister guitar melodies, blood curdling screams and growls, plus drumming which gallops, blasts, and slams for all its worth in the quest for memorable heaviness and brutality.
Obscuring the obvious breakdowns and allowing the individuality of the musicianship and natural transitions to take ahold pays dividends throughout the record. Guitarists Ruben Van der Beken and Zoran van Bellegem pair up and fill the riff/lead landscape with tasty rhythms and circular runs that mesmerize and take command of the band’s style – check out the fluid back and forth, stop/start mechanics in “Disapproval of the Weak” as well as the heads down thrashy/melodic death follow-up “We All Burn” for stellar examples of axe mastery. Evil tremolo tones against progressive double kick/fill juggling from drummer Jannick Govaert allows “The Plague of Life” to cement itself into mandatory windmills from metalheads worldwide, the slower transition with background orchestration giving the track a bit of an atmospheric breather before continuing in aural jackhammer fashion. Narrative sequences on “Disconnect” as well as “The Furrow of Our Soul” engage the social senses, while vocalist Guy Vercruysse spits nails from his larynx, his words dripping with an edge of terror and mayhem as the best extreme singers should convey. Acts from Soilwork to Testament, At the Gates to Gojira, even Pestilence and Fear Factory come to mind throughout the record – a synthesis of proper styles into tightly woven songs that have a balance between catchy passages, heaviness, and aggression.
European artists these days can take the best parts of specific metal genres and mold them into something all their own. While Our World Dissolves gives Reject the Sickness an ample platform to conquer stages across mainland Europe and other territories, as there is plenty to digest and appreciate here.