Release DetailsLABEL Candlelight
RELEASED ON 11/1/2005
Gospels For The Sick
posted on 1/2006 By:
Does the name Amicuss ring a bell? That was the name given to the much anticipated project of Phil Anselmo, Killjoy (Necrophagia), and Casey Chaos (Amen). Unfortunately, a professional falling out between Anselmo and Killjoy, partners in the now defunct Housecore Records, seems to have all but killed all hope of the project ever materializing. While those two have plenty of other things on their plates, Chaos had nothing but downtime in between Amen albums (and members). Enter his latest project, Scum. Now, I don’t know who called who first, but the end result is all the same. Chaos (vocals) is joined by Samoth (guitar, Emperor), Bard “Faust” Eithun (drums, ex-Emperor), Happy Tom (bass, Turbonegro), and Cosmocrator (guitar, Mindgrinder) that blurs the line between punk rock and black metal, two genres that aren’t as different as you might think, as you may have read in your ragged copy of "Lords of Chaos". That isn’t to say that this is a groundbreaking album that will change the face of the extreme underground, but damned if it ain’t a grand bit of fun.
Vocally, this is all punk, courtesy of Chaos’s perpetually pissed-off scowl. In true punk fashion, you either love ‘em or you hate ‘em, and that will pretty much set the tone for your listening experience. Musically, it all sounds punk rock, too, but if you pay attention, you’ll hear some of your favorite Mayhem and Emperor riffs played just a little slower. The tonalities come courtesy of black metal, although not quite as distorted as the tr00 kVltists. You’ll hear it all right away with “Protest Life” and the title track, which includes a few more tricks, as well. The punk rock takes over on the amusing “Throw Up on You”, while the black metal takes a front seat on album closer “The Perfect Mistake”, complete with guest vocals from Nocturno Culto (Darkthrone). Thrown in the mix are Mortiis on the rockin’ “Backstabbers Go to Heaven” and Turbonegro’s Knut Schreider on the aforementioned “Throw Up on You”. “Deathpunkscumfuck” is, not surprisingly, pretty damn close to straight up black metal, restrained only by a lack of vocal screeching. Some have called this musical see-sawing the album’s weak point, criticizing the band’s lack of focus. For me, it’s what keeps things interesting, as they move seamlessly back and forth between the two sounds.
For a metal fan, your enjoyment of Gospels for the Sick is going to depend heavily on your tolerance for puck rock n’ roll and Casey Chaos’s vocals. For a punker, it’s a matter of coping with the harsher guitar tones and the grimmer lyrical content. Personally, I like all of it and have been spinning this one a lot since it dropped into my lap. I guess you might also say Scum has taken away the annoying parts of punk and black metal and left only the good stuff, because I’m finding very little to criticize here. This is not incredibly groundbreaking, but incredibly entertaining to listen to.
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