Saddiscore – XXXX

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Saddiscore - XXXX
Saddiscore – XXXX

Reviewed: December 2022
Released: 2022, self-released
Rating: 3/5
Reviewer: Simon Wiedemann

Saddiscore are a modern heavy metal band who formed in 2011 with the goal of combining the sounds of classic bands such as Iron Maiden and Metallica with newer acts such as Machine Head (they sound more like black metal to me). They have participated in the Emergenza band contest in Cologne and caught the attention of their audience straight away. (Something that is shown in the group’s Youtube channel). During those early days, they released their self-titled demo album. Their ‘Roots Of Fear’ EP was released in 2014, which immediately caught the attention of the online world, that time. Their first full length album ‘Demons of the Earth’ was released through Boermsa Records, and it was performed at the Gothic Meets Rock Festival. The group started work on their latest album ‘XXXX’ during the pandemic, and it was released last August. 

One of the first things I noticed about this album is that many of the riffs have a strong ‘Demanufacture’ era Fear Factory vibe, the main difference being the much rawer production, here. It’s like a black metal version of the industrial metal band a fair amount of time, even rawer than FF’s ‘Transgression’. It’s an interesting combination, but it’s definitely lacking in original guitars. Again like FF, there are clean and shouted lyrics, however the singing here isn’t quite as powerful which is a shame. Has Factory ever had any guitar solos? I don’t THINK so. Saddiscore do, but unfortunately they’re not always very good. Too raw. I guess they’re better than nothing, but not much more, sometimes. When the leads are simplified and the guitarist doesn’t play slightly beyond his abilities, things are a little better especially with the surprisingly stylish wah pedal, but still not exactly fascinating. Ironically track ‘Facing Fear’ has less of a Fear Factory vibe in its start and instead has a mellower clean sound. (Though to be fair, FF do have similar moments, for example their ’New Promise’). Later sections of the song have more of an In Flames sound in the instruments, but slowed down a fair bit. There are some FF style chugs, though. I get it, they’re a good band.

‘The Gambling God’ is kind of in the style of Metallica’s ‘Sad But True’ at times, again with rawer production and lacking in the power. There are more melodic moments that are more interesting than the ‘borrowed’ FF moments I keep talking about but they are fairly average. The singing in ‘End of Rain’ is actually pretty good. There is an eeriness and subtle strength to the guy’s voice and he seems to have somewhat of a unique style, too. Why he chose to sing in such a cliched way the rest of the time is a bit of a mystery. Believe it or not, the song is actually a bit sugary at times! Needless to say, completely bizarre for a black metal band. Yes, they don’t SEEM to call themselves black metal, but that’s even more bizarre. Do I like the more sentimental moments? Not really no, but I guess I don’t hate them. Interestingly, one lyric in ‘Facing Fear’ goes ‘I’m not as strong as I pretend to be’. See the connection, there? Somewhat sweet music combined with aggression? 

‘Divided’ brings to mind Burzum’s ‘The Crying Orc’ at times, but it then develops into more speedy heavy metal. There are no true blast beats but you do get a lot of double pedalling. ‘Me Against Myself’ has some strangely sentimental moments at times, too. Not too often, but often enough to make hardened fans of the BM genre scratch their heads a little. ‘The Distant Age’ has a tapping pattern that could come from Iron Maiden’s ‘Powerslave’ album. Then it slows down and becomes more doomy. Then it speeds up again. Then it slows down, etc. All over the place? Not really, but much of the material is somewhat bland and forgettable, despite the action packed nature the last sentences suggested.

So yeah, think moderately paced black metal combined with Fear Factory, and you’ll have a pretty good idea of what this album sounds like much of the time, but to be fair some songs have the energy of up-tempo Iron Maiden, just the band darkened. I guess it’s an interesting mix but if I was in FF and heard this band, I wouldn’t bee too happy with them. I wouldn’t SUE them, but I would want at least a bit of credit. There are some very strong moments, ‘End of Rain’ whilst not perfect could be seriously cool with a bit of editing. Some of the songs do have a genuinely fun energy too. The production of the album on the whole is raw even when compared to a lot of BM, but still it’s far from extreme. Blast beats when you get them are surprisingly mild, so if you like to pretend people are getting machine gunned in musical form, you may be disappointed. On the whole, the album is fairly average and despite what I’ve said, I wouldn’t really recommend it for FF fans. (The last time I’ll mention the group!) Fans of DIY black metal may really like it, though. 


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Tracklisting:

1. Craving For Sin2. Turn The Blad3. With Hunt4. Facing Fear5. The Gambling God6. End Of Rain7. Divided8. In Your Face9. Me Against Myself10. The Distant Age11. The Protector

Band Line-up:

Christian Winand – Lead vocals, guitarsCaro Pohl – Lead guitars, vocalsSonny Jäger – BassPeter Schommers – Drums

Websites:

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Bandcamp