Wolverhampton Beatdown Deathcore collective Suffer – Chobba (Vocals), Jack (Drums), Ash (Guitar), Jack (Bass) and Kie (Guitar) – like their music like they like their anvils. Heavy. They’ve racked up the live shows, appearing at the final incarnation of Fall In The Brawl and also sharing stages with the likes of Harbinger and Vexed since they started out and hailing from the same city as Old Wharf as well as dropping single “For We Are Wretched” which sees them joined by Tyler Shelton of Traitors has got our attention. They’ve been preparing to release their sophomore EP “Heavy Silence” which will be appearing on 3rd April 2020 so in preparation, we’ve fired up the DeLorean and we’re heading back to 7th July 2019 to check out their debut “Slerm“.
Recorded, Mixed & Mastered by the band themselves while having additional production by Ant Wall at Firestorm Productions, “Slerm” starts with the Death Metal roar of Chobba on “Taxed Slaves“, a cut that genre blends Metal sub-genres like the band are making a fruit smoothie for breakfast. Part Beatdown Hardcore, part Death Metal, part Deathcore and reaching out and touching the void into Slam, it’s as heavy as they come while even managing a Downtemp atmospheric that builds back into Beatdown with Slam vocals. The whole track has a dark, sinister and menacing overtone in part due to the haunting lead work but if you thought you had the band’s style pegged then you’d be wrong. “White Noise” doesn’t let up on the quality but might catch you off guard with a flourish of Metalcore guitars after a melodic introduction that mean without the vocals you could be listening to Still Remains debut record. Chobba is an accomplished Death Metal vocalist with enough range to take him into Slam when he chooses and when Suffer burst into a beatdown hardcore gang chant followed by a “Bleigh!” moment over some downtempo staccato riffage mid track, it really shouldn’t work. But somehow they pull off what should be the crime of the century by subtlety evolving the sound from one style through to another with skills that defy the age of the band. Similarly, “The Town That Dreaded Beatdown” starts with some 80’s Metallic Hardcore riffs, builds through some Death Metal and then has a Metalcore lead riff that kicks in around the 2 minute mark. Vocally it’s as subtle as a putting out a candle with fire extinguisher with Chobba’s brutal tones sounding like they could well be put to use in Twitch Of The Death Nerve should Tom Bradfield ever strain his vocal chords. But what works so well, is that as with the musical backing, he doesn’t stick to one single style so you get parts that are barely audible as he uses his voice as an instrument, against parts that are just straight unclean vocals. Opening with a Crowbar esq Sludge Metal riff, “Trendsetter” is keeps things low and slow, dark and dirty with some downtempo riffs that allow for some demonic growls before upping the tempo and then dropping it down again. What you’re left with is something that is groove soaked and as black as your heart [7.5/10]
The Town That Dreaded Beatdown
“Slerm” by Suffer is out now and available over at bandcamp