Artist: Susperia 
   Title: Cut From Stone
   Label: Tabu Recordings

The term melodic thrash metal may seem a little outlandish but Oslo based five piece Susperia are just that.  The band started out around 1999 when former Dimmu Borgir drummer Tjodalv (Ian Kenneth Akesson) joined up with Satyricon guitarist Cyrus and former Arcturus vocalist Athera (Marious Vold) and set about forming what was then Seven Sins.  With the added second guitar of Elvorn and bassist Memnock and so Susperia as it is now was born.

The band debuted with 'Illusions of Evil' in 2000 and delivered something new to the Black Metal genre, as the band brought a more melodic edge to the genre and with subsequent albums 'Predominance', 'Vindication' and 'Unlimited', the band mastered the art of a more approachable Metal Sound, while still retaining that harsh edge that you associate with the Black Metal genre.  The band have now reached a pinnacle in their career with the release of their new and strongest album to date ‘Cut From Stone’.  The album itself is as metal as they come, with some hard hitting anthems and a few surprises along the way.

The album gets under way with one of the more intense metal tracks on the album the bass and kick drum fuelled ‘More’.  A track which makes it mark instantly, especially the vocals of Athera, who comes across as a mix of James Hetfield and Henry Rollins.  Both powerful and intense and with the screaming guitars of Cyrus and Elvorn this track is a metalheads delight.

The album continues with another thumping piece of metal in the form of ‘Lackluster Day’ before the band mix it up a little with one of my favourite tracks of the album the pounding onslaught that is ‘The Clone’.  This track is all out metal shredding guitars, angst filled vocals and a thunderous rhythm section to die for.

The next track ‘Distant Memory’ is one of those surprises I mentioned at the start.  The track begins with Athena showing he can bring the intensity down a notch or two as shows the gentle repose that is soon shattered as the track breaks the shackles of sensitivity and pursues the full on metal road, while surprisingly retaining an air of serenity at the same time, again containing some outstanding guitar licks courtesy of Cyrus and Elvorn.

The bass driven tones of ‘Release’ are next.  A track that Hetfield and Co would be proud to have written, this track takes you back to the Bay Area Metal days of old. Then it's back to the bands Black Metal roots with the next track ‘Life Deprived’ is as full on as anything you will hear from the likes of Kreator and the like.  Although the track has a twist as they break the mould of the genre with another set of soaring guitar licks that lead once again into the rampaging all out no holds barred metal assault.

The thunderous pace is continued with ‘Between The Lines’ and ‘Bound To Come’ before once again showing their not all screams and speed with the quite superb melodic metal tones of ‘Under’ and the equally great double kick driven ‘Brother’.

The album closes with the title track ‘Cut From Stone’, a track that truly sums up the entire album for me.  It manages to capture the whole spectrum of emotions the band have put into the album, its intensely melodic as Athera shows his wide vocal range on the track and with Cyrus and Elvorn ripping it up on the guitars, with the constant factor of the whole album being the relentless pounding rhythm section of Memnock and Tjodalv bringing it all together.  What a superb album and one worthy of any metalheads collection

Tracklisting:

1. More
2. Lackluster Day
3. The Clone
4. Distant Memory 
5. Release 
6. Life Deprived
7. Between The Lines 
8. Bound To Come
9. Under
10. Brother
11. Cut From Stone
                  

 

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