When Systematic Sickness Kin was brought to my attention they were described as thrash and thrash alone. My thoughts when reading that it was thrash was that it would be an ode to old school thrash, something that sported the traditional musicianship with the traditional angst filled scream of thrash. But upon listening to the very first minute of the opener Never Trust the Signs all of my thrash biases were dashed. The thrash attack here really is just that, an attack. However, thrash isn’t the only genre here as Systematic Sickness Kin inject this brain bubbling thrash firestorm with romping and stomping death metal.
Code Zero was released some months ago in July by Systematic Sickness Kin. This EP features six songs that blister, tear, shred and incinerate. Traditional thrash isn’t really a theme here, as this is far off from the beaten thrash path of their predecessors. Infusing death metal, these Finnish metal warlords create something that is entirely punishing.
Not only does this EP slice your face off, it provides a hint of eerie ambiance as well. There is just something about each song and the samples that they provide that is sinister and creepy all at the same time. Suffocating begins to describe Code Zero as that is the best word to accurately describe this release.
Without room to gasp for air, Code Zero is the equivalent of a plastic bag being draped over your head and held there for you until you turn purple and die. Without anything more than some samples to split up each song, there is absolutely zero breathing room.
Systematic Sickness Kin take a ground and pound approach to this release. Nothing here needs to be melodic or atmospheric as that would be the very last thing that you will be thinking of upon listening to Code Zero. Instead, Code Zero beats you within an inch of your life with aluminum bats and punches to the kidneys and to the jugular.
From Never Trust the Signs to the closer Inhaling the Shards, Code Zero is packed to its bursting point with stomping chugging riffs, a blood boiling bass, fully chaotic drumming and gravely growls and thrown into the middle of each song are blazingly good and well executed solos. Systematic Sickness Kin have an uncanny ability to combine death metal with thrash. The thrash elements create a thunderstorm of noise and discord while the incorporation of death metal leaves you full of hatchet wounds. Every song bleeds into the next while simultaneously making you bleed. Code Zero is choppy, discordant, and oh so heavy.
Generally an EP is three or four songs long, but Systematic Sickness Kin provide you with almost an album’s worth of material, and within these six songs you begin to realize what it feels like to be thrown around the room by a bear. Code Zero is heavy, so prepare your skull for the trauma that it is about to experience.