February 24, 2009
Suffer - Structures (Napalm Records, 1994)...
This rigid, boxy death metal takes its inspiration as much from rudimentary hardcore as from the first generation of death metal, but sustains itself through a continuity of rhythm which even in interruption provides, as the title suggests, a basic sense of structure permeating all of reality. Its riffcraft deals in simplicity but in links the riffs narrate an experience much as classical guitar moves through motifs. Its primary influence is "Spiritual Healing" era death, in the choice of riff style and placement of vocal rhythm, and it echoes the choices of many early death metal bands in having hardcore-like primitive riffs over which inventive heavy metal lead guitar weaves a rhythm and harmony track. It is best to compare this to the first albums from Atrocity and Carbonized, hybridized, as it is the same mix of fragmentary primitivism and complex context that makes such albums listenable despite their grimly minimized content. This album would benefit from placing the first song later in its procession, and de-emphasizing the semi-technical melodic riffs that sometimes interrupt otherwise brilliantly rigid death metal like that of Asphyx. It is fair to say the vocals here are "bellowing," in that they reveal someone shouting with slight tone at the top of his range, thus they fade in and out suddenly with a vast effort of lungs. These cause a somewhat comic aspect to the work but on the whole, for basic riffing and that shift in expectation via interleaved phrase that makes death metal exciting, this is a forgotten classic of Swedish death metal. (ANUS)
Posted by Stiles