Sick of It All - Death to Tyrants (Cover Artwork)

Sick of It All

Sick of It All: Death to TyrantsDeath to Tyrants (2006)
Abacus Recordings

Reviewer Rating: 4
User Rating:

Contributed by: sickboiChris
(others by this writer | submit your own)

Let's celebrate that we don't give a fuck! You said it Lou. Sick of It All has never given a fuck what people think. But not in an annoying way. More of a "let's make music we love for 2 decades and not give a shit what anyone says or thinks" way. And that is exactly what Death to Tyrants exe.

Let's celebrate that we don't give a fuck!
You said it Lou.

Sick of It All has never given a fuck what people think. But not in an annoying way. More of a "let's make music we love for 2 decades and not give a shit what anyone says or thinks" way.

And that is exactly what Death to Tyrants exemplifies. A spirit of hardcore that has yet to be tainted, despite odds that would make the hardest of the hard turn soft (*cough* *cough* *H20*).

First, a major label outing that created some classic albums, but did not appease the radio-friendly masses. Now, their first outing since a peculiar affiliation with Fat Wreck Chords, Sick of It All are still doing just what they want: making aggressive music with insightful lyrics that can draw in almost any fan of punk or hardcore. And by peculiar I mean three AMAZING records that for one reason or another did not receive a fraction of the rightful respect and admiration they deserved. Call to Arms represented Sick of It All's approach to a brand of melodic hardcore that in many ways was ahead of its time. Yours Truly, which I will sternly declare the band's best work ever, created a severe rift between those who had stuck with the band for so many years and were unwilling to accept this progression towards melody, and those just finding their level of comfort with this abrasive, yet highly accessible brand of classic hardcore. Followed by Life on the Ropes, SOIA seemed like a band trying to recapture something that was never lost. It was almost like they were trying to prove "we're still hard, we can still kick your ass." I'd never doubt they could. But the melody was gone, and the record seemed forced.

Fast forward to the now. I don't think anyone knew what to expect. Some thought Fat was clearly responsible for changing SOIA to a poppy, watered-down hardcore outfit, then dropped them when sales didn't meet criteria. Furthest from the truth. Fact of the matter is, Sick of It All makes records they want to make. You either love them or you don't. Which brings me to actually discussing Death to Tyrants‚?¶

A rebirth. A flame rekindled. Use any metaphor you want, but it's back, and if you aren't careful, it'll kick your ass. For those that love the epic era of Scratch the Surface and Built to Last, but found the recent harmonies offered in later albums refreshing, this is your new favorite Sick of It All album.

The brutal opener, "Take the Night Off," sets the pace for an outing set to display the aggressiveness, the melody and the sincerity that so many have come to expect from these legends. With a breakneck tempo to start, Lou's incredible ability to scream through the speakers -- right into the listener's ear, the classic gang choruses, and breakdowns that make me proud to actually dig the breakdown -- the words "instant set list addition" come to mind.

Personally, the album's pinnacle comes during the "Preamble" instrumental that leads right into what has quickly become one of my favorite SOIA tunes ever, "Uprising Nation." Bouncy call-and-answer vocals, combined with thunderous bass-lines create a chaotic bliss that only a Sick of It All fan could love.

"Die Alone" sounds like it could easily been written during the Call to Arms sessions, with its harmonic delivery and well-timed choruses, again, another one that seems it could be right-at-home performed at any show. Which is where this wayward review has led me‚?¶

This is a testament to Sick of It All, who had always somewhat failed to display in their studio recordings. NOTHING has ever captured the ferocity of their live show. Until now. Every song you find yourself singing -- no, make that SHOUTING -- along to; as if you've been there in front of the stage pumping your fist for years.

Hardcore has always been about the live experience, and the kings of the genre have always seemed to falter when trying to match up to the high expectations they have given fans themselves. Death to Tyrants finally delivers the seemingly undeliverable.


People who liked this also liked:
Ignite - Our Darkest DaysThe Lawrence Arms - Oh! Calcutta!Bouncing Souls - The Gold RecordNone More Black - This Is SatireMinor Threat - Complete DiscographyThis Is Hell - SundowningConverge - Jane DoeThe Lawrence Arms - The Greatest Story Ever ToldRise Against - Revolutions Per MinuteJawbreaker - 24 Hour Revenge Therapy

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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
thomas7155 (August 28, 2007)

this band has influenced some of my favorite bands, so i picked this up and its pretty damn good. the lyrics, once again may not be poetic, but i like the ideas. "Take The Night Off" and "Uprising Nation" are the best songs.

jimmyjjackamoose (July 1, 2007)

kickass record. the lyrics aren't poetic, but the delivery more than makes up for it.

Anonymous (May 27, 2006)

Sick of it all is where it's at.

Even if they did play with dropkick murphys when they came down to florida ;

Anonymous (May 18, 2006)

The album art looks like that of Strive and Neu Smell by Flux of Pink Indians.

Anonymous (May 1, 2006)

it's clobberin' time to make the doughnuts

GreenVandal (May 1, 2006)

HoOdie CoRe!

punksxe (April 30, 2006)

Good nyc hardcore I more into punk the best song is uprising nation the song is really heavy and makes you want to put your foot through something it is what i thought it would be so at least i am not let down

Anonymous (April 30, 2006)

Show of the fucking DECADE
Yacopsae (germany)
Sanity's Dawn (germany)
Unholy Grave (japan)
Mind of Asian (japan)
Spoonful of Vicodin
Chainsaw to the Face
Shit dogs of War
Baltimore May 29th.

Anonymous (April 30, 2006)

gimme the band Death To Tyrants over this

feeeding5000 (April 29, 2006)

I've always felt that they were kind of generic. Their older stuff sounds like a crappy Agnostic Front, and their newer stuff is eh...Potential for a Fall was too poppy a song for me to really get into it, or, alternately, not poppy enough. I have Blood, Sweat..., but it's kinda dumb. If you can find it online, listen to the radio deabte between members of SOIA, Born Against, and Agnostic Front. The only person who comes across as sticking by their ideals and having an itelligent message is Sam McPheeters. I know it's from like 15 years ago, but SOIA really sound like stupid hypocrites.

Anonymous (April 28, 2006)

I have to listen to this new one a couple more times. but so far I can't say it's their best. Not bad at all but not their best. For me scratch the surface is where it's at. I love these guys though. Seen em a bunch of times and am looking foward to seeing them a bunch more.

dazed (April 28, 2006)

Most of this band's work sounds remarkably consistent, but I have to say "Call to Arms" is my favorite. Good band, I don't go nuts over them like some people do but then again I haven't seen them live.

civperc (April 28, 2006)

ugh these guys blow, saw them live recently and man it was annoying. I couldn't wait til they left the stage

Anonymous (April 28, 2006)

I bought the last album and promptly sold it back.....hopefully this is better. I assume it is. Built To Last still owns.

rkl (April 28, 2006)

i was thinking about it, and i couldnt come up with a single bad soia album.
its pretty amazing, the bands been around almost 20 years and have yet to float a single turd

lookmommyididit (April 28, 2006)

this is definetely some of their best work.

Anonymous (April 28, 2006)

What was odd about them being on Fat Wreck Chords?

joeg (April 28, 2006)

i liked a lot of the early sick of it all records including the ones on the major label but some of their recent ones have been hit or miss. haven't heard this one yet. score is for the band.

Anonymous (April 28, 2006)

"It's okay to not start a hardcore band trying to fit into a scene. "

Thats totally true, but it doesn't stop SOIA from being extremely mediocre in my book.


Anonymous (April 28, 2006)

Not many bands can claim to have sucked this consistently for this long! Congrats!

Anonymous (April 28, 2006)

Sickboi, this is the REAL score.

You're welcome.

Anonymous (April 28, 2006)

"This band has never, ever done anything for me. They were always too slow to hang with the "fast" bands, not heavy enough to hang with the "heavy" bands, and way too NYHC and apolitical to hang with the "political" bands.


Maybe, but RAMBO stole a lot from them. I like SOIA because they are just proto-typical hardcore not trying to be a part of any of the scenes you mention. It's okay to not start a hardcore band trying to fit into a scene.


sceneupdates (April 28, 2006)

Oh yeah, and this leaked like atleast 2 months before release date, hah

sceneupdates (April 28, 2006)

great album

miff (April 28, 2006)

wow it got reviewed in the end
i went to see them a bit ago n they were fucking amazing

lushj (April 28, 2006)

Can't wait to hear this- I really loved "Scratch The Surface" and "Built To Last"! The following records were pretty cool too, but those 2 really stuck with me.

Anonymous (April 28, 2006)

I agree. This is their best album in a damn long time, which is tough to do when all your other albums are still pretty damn good.

Anonymous (April 28, 2006)

"Sick of It All has never given a fuck what people think."

Good, because they're fucking terrible.

Anonymous (April 28, 2006)

damn, back when I was 16-18, I couldnt get enough of 'scratch the surface' or 'built to last'...I vividly remeber the first time I got to drive with my brand new drivers liscense...I went cruisin in my 92 acura and popped 'scratch the surface' into the tapedeck and rocked that shit. I just can't get into hardcore anymore, but I have lots of respect for these guys. The last thing I listened to was 'call to arms' and didnt think it was nearly as good.


Anonymous (April 28, 2006)

You cannot front on Sick of It All. Ever.


Scruffy (April 28, 2006)

The new None More Black, or what I heard of it a month ago, sounds awesome.

The Riverboat Gamblers surprised me as well. I'll be spending most of tonight home alone, so I'll probably write a review.

gladimnotemo (April 28, 2006)

I'll agree with Ken here - I'd take the 10 or so SOA songs over a 20-year SOIA catalog.

cantsitstill (April 28, 2006)

really? i just can't get into it, i think the guitars are way underdistorted on most of the songs and too far back in the mix, along with jason's voice just not matching up to the music on a few. i loved "file under black" and the EP... and the track off the RAB comp was so promising...

rinjonjori (April 28, 2006)

This is classic SOIA. It's great to see them making hardcore after 20 years... who else in the genre has stuck to this sound for as long and put out such quality released.


Anonymous (April 28, 2006)

the new none more blakc album kicks ass score i sfor that

Anonymous (April 28, 2006)

This band has never, ever done anything for me. They were always too slow to hang with the "fast" bands, not heavy enough to hang with the "heavy" bands, and way too NYHC and apolitical to hang with the "political" bands.


cantsitstill (April 28, 2006)

Is there anyone else that's heard the new None More Black and thinks it kind of sucks? Score is for that.

Sorry to get off-subject.

bryne (April 28, 2006)

I'm with Sickboi, Yours Truly is easily their best album. This one is really good too, though.

jamespastepunk (April 28, 2006)

So far, Abacus is 2 for 2. (Ignite, SOIA) Still got the Distance and PMFS to go.

sickboi (April 28, 2006)

i see no melody in sick of it all.

Are you kidding me? Lou is VERY melodic in his delivery. Its raspy and aggressive, but certainly melodic.

gregs (April 28, 2006)

I fully agree with the analysis of the Fat albums. Unfortunately, this album didn't wow me right off the bat. But it hasn't received it's fair share of listens yet, either. Good review

Anonymous (April 28, 2006)

thats done it.
if sick of it all can be described as 'melodic hardcore' i now have complete incomprehension of the meaning of this genre.
i see no melody in sick of it all.

Anonymous (April 28, 2006)

Nice review duder.

I like "Yours Truly" by an inch, followed by "Call To Arms". And this record is what SOIA is all about, just straight up hardcore punk at it's utmost finest.

Hopefully Abacus will do a nice job of getting the album noticed.


Anonymous (April 28, 2006)

Sixk of all are pussies. They suck. Lou and the drummer are morons.

Shouting into the mic like idiots.

SICK OF IT ALL and LOU are morons.


20 years and they still cant sell out a BAR. Idiots

OzmanX (April 28, 2006)

Hell yeah, great album. I thought it was going to be overlooked here at the org, seeing as its not out on Fat.

Nice review sir.

Anonymous (April 28, 2006)

call to arms has alot of personal significance to it for me.

I have a SOIA tattoo, and most people wouldn't think of SOIA and me, and if someone asked me my favorite bands, SOIA might not cross my mind. That particular record though, at the time it came out, and its intersection with my life at that moment, made it extremely special for me. So SOIA will always mean great deal to a certain period in my life.

I hated but grew into Yours truly, I actually like it alot now. Life on the ropes I can't even remember, and the older stuff is hit and miss with me. Good guys i imagine. I still have to listen to this more to have an opinion on it.


Anonymous (April 28, 2006)

Let's celebrate that we don't give a fuck!!!!!!!!!

bobbett (April 28, 2006)

does anybody have any episodes of "the tournament" that they've been showing on oln after hockey every night? it's fucking great.

sickboi (April 28, 2006)

To clarify, I didn't think Fat made them watered-down, but a lot of people did....some even decided this before a record was rleased with them...

thetruman (April 28, 2006)

"Some thought Fat was clearly responsible for changing SOIA to a poppy, watered-down hardcore outfit,"

When did this ever happen? SOIA always has, and always will,continue to kick the ass of 85 percent of the other hardcore bands out today. 20 years of teaching kids a lesson or two in hahhhdcore.

Anonymous (April 28, 2006)

I totally agree with the reviewer. Yours Truely was their best and Call to Arms kicked major ass. Both were better than their earlier stuff. This review makes me want to get this.


DarrenMcLeod (April 28, 2006)

this is a great album... will most likely be one of the better hardcore albums of the year.

TheOneTrueBill (April 28, 2006)

"So if I had to get one SOIA album what would it be?"

In all honesty, this is as good a place to start as any. If you want slightly more generic late 80s NYHC go for Blood, Sweat, and No Tears and the self titled EP. Scratch the Surface is the most brutal album they did, both production and song wise. That's my personal favorite (though like I said, this one might top it).

recordings (April 28, 2006)

that was a pretty awesome review. nice work. i really wanna check this out.

BTown (April 28, 2006)

So if I had to get one SOIA album what would it be?

AcidPolice (April 28, 2006)

Without a doubt best hardcore release of 2006.

TheOneTrueBill (April 28, 2006)

I'm the exact oppositte, it's gets better every time. It might be my new favorite work of theirs.

BizzleBrizzle (April 28, 2006)

This record rules, Sick of it All rules.

InaGreendase (April 28, 2006)

This wore off a little after repeated listens, but still rips.

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