Album Review: Sick of it All – Wake the Sleeping Dragon! (Century Media Records)

New York City hardcore legends Sick of it All aren’t slowing down with age, the long-standing quartet are still pissed off, and the genre stalwarts still seem many years ahead. Since coming into existence in 1986, Sick of it All have released 11 acclaimed full-length albums, the latest of which is the riotous and anthemic Wake the Sleeping Dragon!

The new album will be released on November 2nd 2018 via Century Media Records.

You can read our review of their last release, the EP ‘When the Smoke Clears’ here and the previously released single, ‘Inner Vision’ off this album here.

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11 albums in and with a slew of modern bands taking the hardcore scene by storm, you might wonder if the legends really have a place anymore. Were do Sick of it All fit in 2018’s hardcore scene? The answer is at the top where they’ve always existed. They have nothing to prove but that doesn’t mean they are any less pissed off.

Wake the Sleeping Dragon! is a pissed off sounding record taking swipes at life’s many faucets and numerous hot topics. The fire burns brightly in Sick of it All and with only the odd misstep here and there throughout the album, it can proudly sit among the highs of the bands back catalogue.

Once such misstep (Bulls Anthem) comes after a rousing couple of tracks that show of the continued intensity of the band. That Crazy White Boy Shit is an instant Sick of it All classic.

17 tracks long but most come in around the 2-minute mark, Wake the Sleeping Dragon! doesn’t waste time as it takes aim at infamous public official, Robert Moses on a track dedicated to him called, Robert Moses Was A Racist.

Sick of it All have no issue telling you exactly how they feel declaring that “you fuck off and die” on Self Important Shirthead. The snarl of the word ‘hashtag’ should tell you all you need to know about just who this song is aimed at.

It’s not all about the fiery and confrontational lyrics though. Sick of it All bring the brimstone too with crunchy heaviness. If they’re not spitting out sharp hooks and raw hardcore energy, they slow it down just a tad with a little bit of punk influences such as on the catchy Always With You. It’s as restrained as you’re going to get here.

There’s a bit of a lull at the halfway point with the title track and 2 + 2 lacking snappiness but Beef Between Vegans pulls things back wonderfully with a bouncy beat and shouted gang vocals that excite.

That’s a highlight of a pretty wicked album but it’s not alone as Mental Furlough thrills, Deep State’s opening drum and bass combo is deeply disturbing while The New Slavery makes one final no-holds barred statement.

“Fuck the government”

It’s good to have them back.

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Sick of it All – Wake the Sleeping Dragon! Full Track Listing:

1. Inner Vision
2. That Crazy White Boy Shit
3. The Snake (Break Free)
4. Bull’s Anthem
5. Robert Moses Was a Racist
6. Self Important Shirthead
7. To the Wolves
8. Always With Us
9. Wake the Sleeping Dragon
10. 2 + 2
11. Beef Between Vegans
12. Hardcore Horseshoe
13. Mental Furlough
14. Deep State
15. Bad Hombres
16. Work the System
17. The New Slavery

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Wake the Sleeping Dragon! will be available via all major stores and streaming sites.

Sick of it All - Wake the Sleeping Dragon (Century Media Records)
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