Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Inconceivable Power Unleashed

Suffocation – Suffocation

Finally I get round to writing a post about a band before I get to go and see them live! (It means I'm almost on top of my blogging backlog, it'll be the first time that's happened, ever.) Suffocation (Suffo to their friends) are playing here this Sunday, and it should be an experience. These guys are of a subgenre of death metal known as 'brutal death metal', because all those other bands hammering their drums and shredding their guitars are really only gruff or unmannerly death metal. I have no idea what kind of a crowd will show up, but I expect that it won't be pretty.

As far as I can tell in these guys' case the 'brutal' adjective describes the straightforward way these guys go about making a big noise. There's no crazy spastic stuff like Cryptopsy, and no carefully arranged melodies like Opeth, it's just one mean riff with jack hammer drumming, shredded guitars and guttural vocals going full tilt after another. It might sound a bit boring but once you get past the angry, confrontational presentation of their music this album is actually pretty catchy and fun. They don't take themselves too seriously either, well at least I hope that “You are so fucking beautiful. I bathe myself, in the entrails of you” is not meant seriously. You can tell from their pictures and videos that they have that ironic gleam in their eye (as most extreme metal bands do) that tells you that they're really just having fun, despite the morbid trappings of the genre.

These guys are all at the top of their game technically. The lead guitarist especially is inspiring. It's a great relief to hear someone who can shred amazing solos (in terms of speed and technique) but also knows how to keep them short and sweet and sounding cool in and of themselves while also enhancing the song that they're a part of. His style is quite distinctive, it's typical death metal squealing and fiddling but presented in a quirky and off-kilter way that makes it quite unique and gives the songs a nice counterpoint to the straight up thrashing that characterises most of them. Definitely a welcome improvement on those tragic wastes of talent in Dragonforce.

Anyone interested in heavy metal should definitely check these guys out. It may take a few listens to get into because they do make a good hard effort to put the 'brutal' in 'brutal death metal', but it's fucking fun stuff.

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