Review: “Heavy Silence” EP by Suffer

Suffer are a Beatdown Deathcore band known for bringing that Black Country Brutality when it comes to the live arena and a year after their debut EP “Slerm“, the quintet are back with a couple of friends for round two. The surprise is that vocalist Michael “Chobba” Crutchley, guitarist duo Ashley Edwards and Kieran Whitehouse alongside rhythm section of bassist Jack Cooper and drummer Jack Kent have left out single “Establishment”. That track appeared in August 2019 and would have made “Heavy Silence” into the bands debut album among the official streaming statistics instead of their sophomore EP, but that being said, we’re sure that the Black Country brutes had their reasons.

Going for that arty atmospheric vibe to build a sense of tension, the sounds of the prisoners shackles dragging across the floor as he steps forward into the rain make up the first minute of the opening track “Out of Darkness“. Rather than going straight for the throat, Suffer take a more controlled and sinister edged approach with a Death Metal orientated riff set and some dark growls from Chobba that touch on Slam but for the most part are far more audible. This in turn gives the lyrics more space and also allows the band to work on their crushing dynamic. As a tune it might have worked better as a closer than an opener given that “For We Are Wretched” which features Tyler Shelton of Traitors fame follows immediately thereafter and brings with it a far greater sense of urgency. Using the same crushing guitar tones but having more in the way of breakdown moments that cut the song into punishingly, brutally good sections like a car at a chop shop and is a master stroke that plays into the hands of their guests strengths, as does the savage Downtempo closing. “Embrace Wrath” starts with that classic Deathcore bass drive and hammer throwing groove that says I control your fate before slowing things down after a vinyl rewind that allows for a Downtempo shift. A tale as dark as night, the music sits somewhere between Death Metal and Slam with a slow, pummeling groove that beats you into submission with bare and bloody knuckles.

Returning to the Beatdown aspect of their sound with “The Cruelest Creation” that features Hayden Shemilt of Old Wharf and is essentially a Hardcore track at its black heart that has been given a Deathcore makeover, the subtlety makes the winning formula. Each track is a rhymic tsunami of controlled battery and on this one from the sample at the start to the vocal roar against the expanse of the abyss of silence are mesmerizing. Credit should also be given to Anthony Wall of Firestorm Productions who Recorded, Mixed and Mastered the EP and made it sound great. Going from Beatdown to Sludge Metal in true Crowbar style and back again within the confines of a single track in “Gasman” is jaw dropping and Chobba, he simply becomes more demonic as the EP plays out with this one being the pinnacle of his evil vocal prowess. At times he sounds like he’s gargling blood while also having great range in the low side. One criticism that could be leveled at a number of Slam vocalists is that they can be one dimensional but Chobba, he ain’t. “Slither” was the first single from the EP and is another that has ‘classic‘ written all over it. The riffs may not have that none crushingly heavy weight in the tone but they do have more than enough bark and bite to weight up against those savage vocals. The tale of the snake in the grass is always well told and Suffer do their spin with some opposing tempos with breakneck chord changes in Death Metal styles to a brutal Downtempo finish that decimates the weak and leaves your ears bleeding [7.5/10]

Track listing

1. Out of Darkness
2. For We Are Wretched (ft. Tyler Shelton of Traitors)
3. Embrace Wrath
4. The Cruelest Creation (ft. Hayden Shemilt of Old Wharf)
5. Gasman
6. Slither

Heavy Silence” EP by Suffer is out now

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