Monday, June 24, 2013

Suffer the Wrath - Buried in Blood

Hammer PAOUWNDS, crushing BLAHOUWS

I have a thing for aesthetics and gimmicks, sorry, but I do.  That's not to say that a band full of dudes with beards and long hair blasting and growling about death and gore won't appeal to me, but a well executed gimmick can really tickle me in the right areas and do quite a service towards the initial exposure of your band.  You think I would have ever listened to something as awful as Winds of Plague if they didn't parade around the fact that they tried (though they failed) to implement epic keyboards into their otherwise brotarded deathcore?  Do you think GWAR (while thankfully also writing great music) would have nearly as huge of a fanbase as they do without their obnoxiously over-the-top stage show?  Fuck no, of course not.  One should always remember that the music is the number one most important aspect of a metal band, but to shy away from the theatrical side of heavy metal just does a great disservice to the inherently over-the-top nature of the music.  And that is where Suffer the Wrath comes in, because these dudes understand how to strike that sublime nexus between striking theatrics and punishing music.

This short, three song EP, Buried in Blood reminds me of the first Fleshgod Apocalypse album, which everybody should know is on its own plane of awesomeness.  Right from the get go, Buried in Blood lets loose with intricate, hyperspeed riffing and blisteringly quick percussion, backed by the hellish roar of the vocalist, and doesn't let up for the entire ten minutes of this tragically short excursion.  There is an inherent sense of melody vaguely running in the background the entire time, never bursting into the spotlight with blatant melodeath style leads, but just quietly plugging away in the background, naturally entwined with the riffing to give everything a very full, cohesive sound.  It's not the same execution as the complex melodic sensibilities of early Arsis or anything, but it's the same basic idea, which is to focus on the brutal but never fully lose the triumphant feeling that comes with the right melody in the background.  The fist pumping vocal hooks get this point across well, as this manages to be both unrelentingly brutal while also sounding like a rallying cry for an army laying siege to... well the entire planet.

But really, what were those theatrics I was talking about?  You see that dude on the cover there?  Yeah, that's the band's stage attire.  Samurai armor, Sauron helmets, and Kerry King gauntlets.  Quick, think of something more fucking awesome, I dare you.  Perhaps (most likely) it's just me, but the visuals of these generals of the encroaching dark army performing these wretched, twisted odes to decimation just adds an entirely new dimension to the music.  Buried in Blood is the audial equivalent to a senseless massacre in the way of utter domination, and I don't know about you, but I buy into what's being sold so much more when it's being sold by these imposing figures with ten foot spikes on their battle armor than a bunch of dudes named Steve who work part time at the pet store.

I wish there was more I could say, but there just isn't a whole lot of material here.  It isn't the most creative death metal on the planet, but it's serviceable and slathered in a stylish overcoat of gore of and the crushed skulls of the defeated.  I don't care if it's silly or juvenile, the stage gimmick here adds a lot to what would otherwise just be decently cool death metal, and I love it juuuuuust a little bit more for the extra effort put into the non-musical aspects.  Really, imagine a song like "Bones of my Enemies" from Usurper, now imagine it being played by Suffer the Wrath.  That already goddamn awesome track just got twice as goddamn awesome.


RATING - 84%

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