Raw Ensemble – ‘Suffer Well’

Enemy – Very snazzy blitzkrieg of an intro.  In fact, it’s on fire.  Raw, angry, piercing, extreme vocals and tons of thrashy riffs and drums, of a truly relentless nature.

Bad Religion – Banging drum intro, speeding straight into the mood, with killer endurance, right out of mosh pit fever.  Whether you like your metal thrashy, deathy, extreme or melodic, there’s something in here for you.  A real effortless professionalism seeps through every pore of this track.  Explosive to the end.  Dump the coffee and play this instead, if you’re aiming to stay awake.

5th Dimension – It’s one of those high-speed car chase visuals I’m so fond of.  There’s no slowing down for anything with this one.  Except, of course, the obligatory, affecting mid-section, driving into you with focused precision, like a rusty nail through your spleen.  Those entrenched speed riffs soon pick up the pace again, though, refusing to let you rest till it’s over.

Apocalypse – Now that’s an unusual intro!  Not your typical time signature and much greater cymbal emphasis; a feature becoming entrenched in the whole song, as it inveigles its way into your senses and violates your being.  Forceful lyrics and a slight ‘Tallica type drum fill, 3/4 of the way in, before the manic cymbal involvement takes hold again.  That’s a really unique spin on things, it has to be said.  It probably constitutes the tracks’ USP.  Rarely will you hear the cymbals take centre stage in that way.  Distracting as it may be, it’s certainly novel and one thing they can’t be accused of is ‘copycat syndrome’.

Beneath The Ashes – thrudding heaviness incarnate.  It’s quickly becoming clear that open-minded metallers, with mixed tastes will get the most out of this.  It’s got a bit of everything – growly, blackened slime, screamo extremity, thrashy riffs, melo-death, speed and … oh!  It’s over.  Clean cut, precise ending.

Bleeding Out – You can chill out, very briefly, for the merest hint of a moment, before it charges into life, with a spoken/screamed appeal to let it enter your soul and take you, screaming, to your execution.  Highly charged sprint of a section, till the end.

Weakness And Fear – Blood-drenched demand to pay attention to its message, this is what you call remorseless.  Menacing, wildly aggressive and uncompromising, the lyrics are arresting, chilling and almost nauseating, in their graphic depictions.  Wow, WTF’s going on now?  It’s the intro to AC/DC’s ‘Back In Black’!  Well that’s one striking way to end a track!

Neither Nor – Throwing the venom straight down your throat, there’s a powerful element of clear, unvarnished truth of the unpalatable variety.  Whatever it may be, these guys are gonna force you to swallow it.  Engage all your senses, cos you’re gonna need them for this and let’s face it – they’re gonna come into play anyway, as far as this track’s concerned, so you may as well surrender to it.

Outlaw Killers – Ooh!  Very anthemic group intro there!  A positive hammering into your senses and through your very self.  These drums definitely mean business and will not relent.  Cold-blooded, merciless terror.

Overall – If ever an album broke through your senses, battered down your psyche and destroyed your defences, it’s ‘Suffer Well’.  Aptly titled.  It makes you do exactly that.

10/10 **********

For fans of Skreamer, Amon Amarth, Children Of Bodom and all crossover metal genres, with a deathy, sludgy emphasis.




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