DISBELIEF
"66Sick"

(Nuclear Blast)

01. 66 (Intro)
02. Sick
03. Floating on High
04. For God
05. Continue from this Point
06. Crawl
07. Rewind it All (Death or Glory)
08. Lost in Time
09. Try
10. Edges
11. Mental Signpost
12. To Atone for All

RATING: 6/10

Described as a death metal band early on and morphing into more of a slow groove melodic crusher, on "66Sick" Germany's DISBELIEF have settled into a style that's got more in common with the down-tuned stomp of modern (bordering on "nu") metal, as well as a little doom. Yes, it's true, the rubbery thick riffs and big bottom are rather "nu" sounding at times (listen to "Sick" and tell me you don't hear KORN). To avoid giving the diehards aneurysms though, let's just say that the grooves tend to run slow and thick like molasses, the layered riffs are dense, and the vocals are of the growly and constipated variety.

The Tue Madsen (THE HAUNTED, MNEMIC, EXMORTEM) production has a lot do with the sheer heft of the mix. At almost 50 minutes though, the low-end suffocating effect begins to bog the album down. The few tunes with up-tempo rhythms (in whole or in part), such as "For God" and "Crawl", help the album's flow immensely. The best material is front-loaded, "Floating on High", "Continue from this Point", and "Rewind It All (Death or Glory)" good examples of the more dynamic end of the band's sullen bulldozing. Seemingly one-dimensional at times, a closer listen does bring out subtle gothic overtones, airy guitar work, atmospheric backing vocals, and quite a few spoken word parts (probably too many).

In the final analysis, "66Sick" comes off a bit sterile, and phrases like "beating a dead horse" entered my mind at a few points along the way. Even so, I really can't say I dislike the disc and I found enough value in it to keep me from panning it.

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