There is no fooling around on Death to Tyrants
. Sick of It All
kicks off album number nine with a full-on ferocious wallop to the head, a sucker punch to the stomach and, as listeners are kneeling over trying to catch their breath, the band simply blazes on, aggressively doling out their empowered, often revolutionary, message in a little over 30 scorching minutes. So, ah, good to see nothing's changed. Steadfastly carrying the NYC hardcore banner for years, the guys continue to march through the 2000s with as much vigor and passion bled into every note as any fresh-faced band two decades their junior. Surging choruses, thick riffs, shout-along vocals, and relentlessly heavy rhythms all appear without fail on every track. "Machete" is plain brutal; it starts out with breakneck drumming that eventually slows somewhat beneath thick guitars that continue to drive brash, uncompromising vocals. "Uprising Nation" and "Always War" show the band flexing their political muscle, and straightforward hardcore anthems appear in songs like "The Reason." The band also takes time to call out all lukewarm hardcore upstarts that make their stomachs turn in "Make a Mark" ("How could there be influence with quality in short supply? Forced to watch this impotence: a dozen for a dime"). As always, Sick of It All
is an undeniable force that continues to breathe life into an often oversaturated and stale hardcore scene. And thankfully, there doesn't seem to be an end in sight.