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Review: Bilocate - Sudden Death Syndrome
Sudden Death Syndrome

Label: Independent
Year released: 2008
Duration: 52:40
Tracks: 7
Genre: Doom/Death

Rating: 3.75/5

Review online: March 28, 2011
Reviewed by: Lior "Steinmetal" Stein
Readers Rating
Sudden Death Syndrome

Rated 4/5 (80%) (10 Votes)

While it will certainly remain a small phenomenon, as countries slowly open themselves more to Western culture, there is Heavy Metal in the Arab world. Jordan's Bilocate isn't the first Arab band to rise up from the Middle East, but as the total number of bands from the region is small, their impact is significant. Their new album, Sudden Death Syndrome was mixed and mastered by one of Sweden's great producers, Jens Bogren.

Sudden Death Syndrome is the band's second release, this time on Kolony Records, and again carries a mix of extreme metal and Middle Eastern influences. I was amazed how well Bilocate mixed their culture with Doom/Death Metal. The album is similar to early Paradise Lost and My Dying Bride. Israel's Orphaned Land also did something similar and is a good reference point.

There were moments when I yawned a bit. Some sections of the album felt as though everything was at a standstill. Bilocate is not the first Doom band to have a few "dead" moments in their songs, like on the instrumental closer "The Stone of Hate." While I understand the band's desire to create atmospheric interludes, a few could have been shortened or left off the album entirely. For example, "Blooded Forest," one hell of a long tune at 17 minutes, had quite a few "dead" moments that interfered with the flow of the song. It might not be that melodic, but the feel of the track said it all. A lot of effort went into the keyboards, leaving the guitars to handle the rhythms. In the same way "Ebtehal" and "Inoculate" had a lot of the same qualities as "Blooded Forest" but were much shorter.

Sudden Death Syndrome does nothing if not give the world a new perspective on extreme metal. Even though the album isn't excellent, I have a feeling it will be remembered for more than just the music.

Additional Information

- 2010 re-issue on Kolony Records reviewed here.

Other related information on the site
Review: Sudden Death Syndrome (reviewed by Larry Griffin)
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