A Sickness Unto Death – “The Great Escape”


the great escape (2015) A Sickness Unto Death formed at the start of 2012 as a collaboration between Michael Maas and Tim Ziegeler. Michael runs the small project studio “Refuge Studio” close to Bremen, Germany. Tim comes from north Germany and has been involved in several musical projects such as the doomy Visions of Moribund and the brutal Hasszorn. Tim connected with Michael’s material and contributes his vocal lines and lyrics.

Whilst Michael’s sound is influenced by the nineties doom bands such as Paradise Lost, Type 0 Negative or Tiamat, Tim’s influences are the old-school doom bands like Candlemass, Trouble or Warlord. So they set about combining this epic doom style to combine classical elements with a modern sound.

The duo released their debut album ‘Despair’ in May 2013. Meanwhile, the project had grown into a full band with Giordano Bruni (Ex- The Archetype, Guitar), Marius Paschen (Ex- Collapsing Sun, Drums) and Michael Nowak (Ex- Mental Vortex, Bass). They released their second album, ‘The Great Escape’ in October 2015.

They open with ‘The Great Escape’ with its mid-paced stomp and surprisingly fast drum fills. There are several guitar solos and the clean vocals bellow above them, but it lacks the doom riffs. “This is the great escape / This is a dreamer’s dream / This is a picture of misery / Defying the storms of vanity”.

There are heavier riffs on ‘Intoxicated’ with its slower pace and longer length giving it a more authentic doom approach. It also includes several spoken sound bites. The crushing riffs appear on ‘The Atonement Ship’ with its woeful tale. “The atonement ship is coming / Cast your load of sins on board / Pray it may run aground / On distant shores it may be found / Spread fear and tragedy / A wrecker’s agony”.

The guitar approach lightens with a lengthy solo in ‘Lost’, although Tim’s vocals are still bellowing at full force. But fear not as they launch into the leaden paced, heavy grind of ‘The Concrete Lake’. The spoken sound bites being in German this time, alongside the desolate theme.

‘The Uniqueness of Two’ takes a modern ballad approach with patches of light and shade that increases the tension in the latter half. After a short instrumental, there is the thoughtful ‘Judgement’, which shows off the twin guitar parts to great effect in this mid-paced romp. ‘Purgatory’ takes it back to doom territory and even has a few growled vocals. They finish off with a gentle acoustic opening section in ‘Remains of Misery’ before the heavy riffs ensue.

Although it is heavy, the crushing riffs are not present throughout. There are also lots of spoken sound bites sprinkled in most tracks, in fact, too many for my liking. Maybe this should be called melodic doom as they do mainly have a trudging pace, but the bellowing vocals lean heavily towards gothic. The band has been described as doom, but it’s not doom as I know it.

Reviewed by Peter John Willoughby

Rating: 6/10

Track list:
1. The Great Escape 05:50
2. Intoxicated 07:27
3. The Atonement Ship 05:47
4. Lost 05:10
5. The Concrete Lake 10:10
6. The Uniqueness of Two 05:43
7. Prejudice 01:01 (instrumental)
8. Judgement 07:08
9. Purgatory 05:23
10. Remains of Misery 08:22

Band members:
Michael Maas – Guitars
Tim Ziegeler -Vocals
Marius Paschen – Drums
Giordano Bruni – Guitars
Michael Nowak – Bass

Ivan Chertov (Craving) – additional vocals on The Concrete Lake

“Despair” (2013) [review]

Record Label: TWS Records, 2015

Weblinks: Facebook / Website

Buy the album here:
First Paradox
Norway: Nordic Mission

An interview (May 2013) with Michael & Tim can be found here.













Video below: ‘The Concrete Lake’


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