SUSPERIA - PREDOMINANCE - NUCLEAR BLAST
Formed initially as Seven Sins, this newest project of former members of Old Man's Child, Dimmu Borgir, Mortem et al fares much better than all the aforementioned acts by a long shot. Susperia (Italian horror anyone?) is clearly not introducing any of the pretensions of many of their countrymen and is a metal band; incorporating a myriad of influences into its own unique mix of heavy, speed and death metal potpourri. Imagine Opeth mixed with Dissection, Pestillence and even similarities to early nineties band Suspiria and that should give you an impression of from where this unit gets its kicks. It's not all techno metal, but Susperia delivers its fair share of technicality and complex passages. The sound is clear and given the cover art and overall presentation, the Norwegian quintet is independent and powerful. If there is one criticism to be leveled here, it would be the 'normal' vocal interludes which do nothing for the overall package and are inferior to the singer's ferocious growl/scream mix. Having said that, Susperia is a strong contender and unlike most bands out of Norway today is actually heavy metal! More of the same please! - Ali "The Metallian"
SUSPERIA - VINDICATION - NUCLEAR BLAST
Vindication is the follow-up to the Norwegian metallers' (featuring former members of Dimmu Borgir, Old Man's Child, etc.) debut of 2001 Predominance. In contrast to their country-mates, Susperia has opted for a pure sound devoid of trendy elements like synthesizers and certainly a sound more pleasing to metal fans. The band has changed in the last year though. The five have pulled back one gear from the death metal of Predominance to a more heavy/thrash metal style. The music here varies between fast and mid-paced and incorporates frequent tempo changes. The guitarists like hitting the notes on their guitars in a manner reminiscent of Obliveon's early days. Vocally things are less growled and more mainstream. Athera experiments with his vocalizing which sounds hoarse at times. One can expect this album to be more representative of the Susperia of the future were it to be assumed that the debut featured older and accumulated material, while Vindication is music written over the course of the last year or so.
SUSPERIA - UNLIMITED - TABU
The difference between the last Susperia album and the current one is enormous. The band seemed to be veering towards a toned-down sound just before being dropped by previous label Nuclear Blast Records. What ensued is not clear other than from what is etched onto Unlimited. A colossally potent sound propels forth massive riffs, inspired guitar playing and warm drumming that is often reminiscent of mid-era Testament. The singer, in particular, does a good job of reminding one of Testament's Chuck Billy. The songs drips with both passion and heaviness and prove, once again, that good things can happen when melody and brutality are married. - Ali "The Metallian"
SUSPERIA - CUT FROM STONE - CANDLELIGHT USA
A decade after appearing on the scene Susperia is still closer to third-rate than second in the name recognition sweepstakes. Despite getting its start on the esteemed Nuclear Blast label, and soon being dropped, the Norwegians are not a big band. That does not mean that Susperia has not been growing in popularity however. Cut From Stone is surely going to aid in that regard as well, given how it draws influences from several sub-genres of metal and how it is arguably the band’s most accessible outing yet.
Susperia is still - Cut From Stone is the band’s fourth full-length - mostly comparable to Testament. Both the thrashy music and the vocals of Tjodalv are easily comparable to the Bay Area thrashers and it is still astounding how different this band is to the members’ experience and sound in their previous groups like Dimmu Borgir, Satyricon or Old Man’s Child. Between The Lines is one obvious example of a song that reminds the listener of Testament and the guitars on Life Deprived are analogous to Testament’s The New Order, although the production of Daniel Bergstrand seems to want to push the band into Soilwork’s corner. Cut From Stone is easily the band’s most diverse work to date with plenty of melodic bits, easy to swallow harmonies and sing-along vocals. Nevertheless, Between The Lines’ guitar Work is reminiscent of Mötley Crüe’s Dr. Feelgood, while Release has a touch of Megadeth and Slayer.
Susperia might be becoming more mainstream, but this album is still full of harsh thrashy moments. The smooth production and the cleaner vocals will attract a large crowd without losing the band’s core audience since there is plenty of grit to still be had. - Ali “the Metallian”