Review: “We Die As We Live” by Suffer No Fools

Hailing from Ealing in Hertfordshire, DIY quartet Suffer No Fools have been playing together since 2016, releasing a string of live performances, a covers EP and their debut album “Songs For The Restless Youth” in that time. Citing influences in the likes of Metallica, Killswitch Engage and Trivium, vocalist and guitarist Ali Khan, bassist Alex Bain, drummer Mike Taylor and guitarist Jamie Newdeck have been sharpening, refining and perfecting their own signature sound with vocal harmonies, soaring melodies and groove laden Thrash guitar work being the order of the day. Supporting the likes of Forever Never, Krysthla and Hollowstar in the live arena has given the band the opportunity to grow their fanbase and now it’s time for round two. Their sophomore album “We Die As We Live” sees Joe Lyndon lending his skills to proceedings, recording and engineering the drum sessions at The Practice Roomz in Stevenage before handling the mixing and mastering of the record as a whole. That left bassist Alex Bain to record and engineer the guitar, bass and vocal sessions…

…”Cocytus” is the introduction to the album, an acoustic guitar steeped in Eastern promise brings in some epic guitar work before building into “Egypt“, both parts showing influences from 80’s Metallica and even Iron Maiden in their stylings. Khan uses several voices to get the vocals across, one moment vocal harmony, one moment the spitting, snarling spoken word that Dave Mustaine uses on the likes of “Sweating Bullets” by Megadeth. The point of difference comes in the guitar work with both players showing off some virtuoso talent with lead trade offs, soaring riffs and bright modern Metal tones creating an epic opening cut that would be befitting of any album from a far bigger name. Moving up through the gears, “Wicked Temptations” is the storm of whirlwind kit work to the sands of “Egypt” and the band waste no time in bringing their A game with some finger blistering, high octane solos to the table. A fist pumping chant will make for a great call and response live while some interesting melodic drops add that sign-a-long quality and catchiness that make it an obvious single. “Nothing To Fear” lights the blue touch paper with some darker rhythmic sections that make the leads shine brighter like the sun piercing through dark clouds, while headbangable riffs keep the flow of the album tight. The lyrical content of the album as a whole is really interesting, each track having depth, texture and purpose while telling a story that you can make your own as you sing along. You can’t help but get the feeling that if Bullet For My Valentine had their name on this album instead of Suffer No Fools, then it would be snapped up faster than you can say snapped up, such is the quality on show here. “Survive” is Suffer No Fools take on “Hallow Be Thy Name” by Iron Maiden, not lyrically or musically but thematically. All the elements of a classic Metal song are firmly in place like the nails in a coffin with driving riffs and galloping kit work that shows that time, patients and care have been put into creating something that not only the band are immensely proud of but also that puts them firmly on the map as a going places band.

The second half of the album starts with “Six Feet Deep” for which the band recorded drummer Mike Taylor in the studio for a playthrough video pre-release. Satanic laughter will make even the most hardened Metal Head crack an evil grin while this cut focus more on the low end dirge laden riffs as Khan does a Layne Stanley styled vocal in places that is seriously impressive. Having previously covered “Them Bones” by Alice In Chains we know they are an influence, indeed if the Seattle Grunge act did a Metallica track, it would sound very much like this. As with the majority of the album, Suffer No Fools have no issue in creating songs which play through 6 minutes or more without ever getting tiresome and keeping the listener fully engaged throughout. From the dirge laden into some brighter touches with some glorious vocal harmonies of “Broken World“, an epic cut of magnitude that also returns to the spoken word touches of “Egypt“. This cut is one that could have been the title track as it makes for a fine summary piece for the album sound as a whole and has a wonderful rise and fall to it before making way to “Liar” which manages to skillfully avoid the “pants on fire” playground lyric despite coming close on a couple of occasions. There is a clear lyrical finger pointing as your classic track with a name tagged to it but Suffer No Fools don’t abandon their trademark sound to accomplish their goals. Instead they bring the melodic metal riffs a plenty and gallop through at breakneck pace while threatening to burn the place down. Who could ask for more? Well, there is one more, the closing track “I Am Reality” which keeps the energy and pace high on an all killer no filler record with swift lead injections that add nitro to the fuel tank of their runaway train. Some elongated instrumental parts add flavor while the closing double kick work means there is no time for any balladry [8/10]

Track listing

1. Cocytus
2. Egypt
3. Wicked Temptations
4. Nothing To Fear
5. Survive
6. Six Feet Deep
7. Broken World
8. Liar
9. I Am Reality

We Die As We Live” by Suffer No Fools is out 17th April. You can stream the album upon release here and pick up merch here.

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