Sicktus : Stass are named after Felix Stass, who has been the vocalist for German band Crematory for over 25 years. The core of the band furthermore consists of Rogga Johansson and is a result of the two of them working together on Megascavenger, with Felix Stass doing some guest vocals on ’At The Plateaus Of Leng’.
The idea was born to make a sort of hybrid gothic death with Stass, taking inspiration from both their long careers.
Although the idea of ‘gothic death’ might not immediately lead to a standing ovation from every death metal fan out there, the interaction between (early) Crematory and the more melodic and striking Rogga releases make for a very convincing result. Think for instance of ’Slakthus Gamleby’, but with a dose of old Crematory and 1992-ish Tiamat, with a hint of Unleashed to balance things out and put some more OSDM in the mix. The link with Demiurg is present in more than one way, with (Demiurg) bass player Johan Berglund also handling the production. Lead guitars on ‘The Dark Side’ are done by Kjetil Lynghaug, who we know from Paganizer and Echelon. The lineup is completed by Erik Bevenrud on drums, who of course is the drummer for Down Among The Dead Men.
The blend of brutish guitar riffs, melodic death, dark bombast, atmospheric keys, grunts and characteristic, sometimes a tad bit melodramatic clean vocals makes for a dark, convincing, melodic death-amalgamate, with a rich sound. The emphasis is firmly put on the (melodic) Swedeath side of things, but the gothic influences do trickle through, giving the album a darker edge. Strong release, this! Oldschol Swedeath aficionados who are ready to bail the moment they read / hear the word ‘gothic’ would do themselves a favour in giving this one a spin anyway... Stass have recorded fifteen songs and the album only features ten, so I’m expecting a mini or split from these gents sooner rather than later.