This 5 track EP from the legendary Sick of it All opens with the pulverising When the Smoke Clears, a track that is all about its heavy beat & gang-vocal led lyrics.
“When the smoke clears, what’s left is real. We will survive!”
It’s a fantastic start that gets the blood pumping leading straight into the faster paced Black Venom. This blend of hardcore & punk has been Sick of it All’s bread & butter for the last 30 years & they make it seem effortless.
At only 11 minutes long it’s over before it’s really got going but the strength & variety in each track ensures it’s getting many repeat plays. The more punky chorus driven Doomed Campaign really lights up the middle of the EP, catchy but with plenty of snarl.
Blood & Steel’s drumming really stands out, hammering home a beat that is likely to bust an ear drum or two while the final track Fortress excels with its huge gang-vocal finish. It’s a fist in the air kind of end, one that leaves the biggest smile on your face.
When the Smoke Clears does it’s job perfectly, leaving you satisfied but wanting more. As a celebration of Sick of it All’s career it’s a worthy listen. Hardcore Punk has never sounded more relevant & necessary.
Full Track Listing:
- When the Smoke Clears
- Black Venom
- Doomed Campaign
- Blood & Steel
Sick of it All - When the Smoke Clears (Century Media Records)
The Final Score - 9/10
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