Sudden Death Syndrome
posted on 8/2008 By:
What's in a name? The word "bilocate" doesn't have a definition, so I had to go and define it. I've chosen this obvious one: bi-locate. As in, "to locate two things at once". Which they do, actually. They've successfully located the hearts of death and doom, and married them. Before this epiphany, it was just a really cool pointy logo. Pair this furious font with the magnetism that can be found in the line of graceful shades that runs razor straight through Sudden Death Syndrome from first second to last, and you have a near classic on your hands. A bold statement indeed...
Much is owed to geography. Bilocate hails from Jordan, and in doing so, they bring to this large dark table an Eastern hemisphere hypnotism, incorporating their own foreign feel (the ambient closer "The Stone of Hate") into the powerful influences left by such bands as Novembers Doom (especially in the clean vocal Paul Kuhr-isms of "Pure Wicked Sins") and My Dying Bride, and then, in a nice turn of events, they show their shovels when they expel sounds similar to older Cradle of Filth or perhaps even (going out on a limb here) pre-Human era Death (the one-two clobbering riffage of "The Dead Sea"). Sometimes obvious, sometimes not so obvious. These comparisons are to be taken with a grain of salt; Bilocate are undeniably Bilocate. They show their hunger pangs while they try to build the building better, stronger, and their success is due in part to an alliance with Swede producer Jens Bogran (Opeth, Katatonia, Bloodbath, Amon Amarth, etc.) who glazes the entire album over with a luscious aggression that is worthy of sitting between the parenthesis with those other emotional monsters. But when all is said and done, Bilocate's strength beyond strength lies in their appetite, and knack for structuring. All seven tracks showcase a penchant for architecture, whether it be inside of the quiet percussive entrance in opener "Humans and the Dark Affiliation" laced with subtle key-work and gentle feedback (deeply trance-like in two minutes flat), or in the following piece, "Blooded Forest", where the floodgates swing wide open and the aforementioned delicate meets with a crunch and pound that obliterates the often heard, tried and truly monotonous doom and gloom. At a running time of seventeen minutes, this opus is the heaven and the hell of Sudden Death Syndrome, but never once feels like almost a third-of-an-hour long. Running at all paces, then crawling and dragging its soiled knees, it's their definitive moment, and how lucky for them that it lasts long enough to leave deeper impressions than I'm used to dealing with. It's a true testament to their strengths as songwriters and musicians.
Bilocate have created within these fifty-one minutes, the near perfect embodiment of those who came before and helped to drive these forces. And it's done in a completely non-plagiaristic way. That's difficult to do. They win.
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