Looking for some brutal symphonic deathcore that plays along the vein of bands such as Winds Of Plague
, Betraying The Martyrs
, and The Breathing Process
? Well, your search is finally over, thanks to Australian quintet Make Them Suffer
. Although they had only formed in 2007 and only released a self-titled demo in 2008. Their debut EP “Lord
” in 2010, this band has already gotten quite far in the scene. Their combination of rapid and brutal deathcore and symphonic elements managed to grab the attention of the famed Roadrunner Records. The label that harbors legends such as Killswitch Engage
and Slipknot. After striking a deal with such a seasoned record label, Make Them Suffer
once again lays waste in the metal scene with their first full-length record in 2012
entitled “Neverbloom.” Even though it does have its drawbacks, this new record still is worth a visit from new listeners.
One thing’s for sure about “Neverbloom:” anyone who absolutely treasured this band’s previous records will not be disappointed at all. In fact, they even recycled the song “Weeping Wastelands” from “Lord
” in their tracklist. However, aside from that, the musicianship is much as it was back in their debut EP. Vocals that consist of mid-range and low-pitched lunges envelope the music, although now there is also clean female singing in the mix, which makes things more interesting for the album. The guitars mainly are composed of apocalyptic toned melodies and chugs throughout, and are quite memorable. As for the drums, they reach two extremes of speed; they either go really fast with rapid blast beats, or rather slow to make way for abrasive breakdown beats. However, out of all of these elements of musicianship, the one thing that stands out the most is the synthesizer and symphonic effects. They come in at the right time in each of the tracks, and they enhance the drama and gloom in the music.
Overall, the tracks in “Neverbloom” are clearly crafted to give the listener a sense of pure evil and sinister aura, and the band executes these tracks rather well. The album kicks off with the fittingly titled “Prologue,” which delivers over a minute of an apocalyptic and dramatic symphony that sums up the tone for the rest of the album very nicely. Afterwards, the album title track “Neverbloom” begins its barrage of blast beats, orchestral-laden breakdowns, and dark guitar and keyboard melodies. One thing that separates this track from the rest is the clean singing by keyboardist Heather Menaglio, which does somewhat add to the dramatic effect of this particular song. The eighth track, “Weeping Wastelands,” which was, as stated earlier, taken from the “Lord
” EP, also explodes in a spinning vortex of piano melodies and rapid drum beats without relying too much on their usual blast beats. However, the biggest hit out of the ten tracks that “Neverbloom” has to offer would be their first single off of the album, “Maelstrom.” This is where the symphonic synthesizer really comes to life in this record, and it does make the track overall more memorable and dramatic. “Neverbloom” is, for the most part, rapid, nihilistic, orchestral, and dark in its symphonic deathcore onslaught.
Sadly, although this record has plenty of good points, “Neverbloom” doesn’t necessarily come across as totally flawless. One of the major issues with this album is that some of the songs in this record sound suspiciously similar to one another, in rhythm, sound, and feel. Tracks such as “Maelstrom,” “Neverbloom,” “Widower,” and a couple others sound almost completely the same in certain parts of each one. This causes the album to somewhat lose steam throughout, and may eventually cause listeners to become uninterested. While each track is beautifully crafted, gripping and bold, the similarities between those particular songs are so noticeable that some listeners will come to believe that once you’ve heard one song, you’ve heard them all, which is never a very good situation. Another problem with this album as a whole is that it may not appeal to jaded metal fans; they might feel that they’ve heard the formula of blast beats and breakdowns too many times before, although the well-used orchestral effects may still manage to keep their attention. While “Neverbloom” isn’t a bad album, it does have its slips and falls in between tracks.
In regards to the lyrics, they are written quite well. While they do tread in rather familiar ground with subjects of betrayal by loved ones, they are written in a more poetic and visual manner, so if you’re worried that the lyrics will be a load of whiny rambling and empty threats, there’s no need. “Widower” is the perfect example of such an endeavor, where the lyrics compare a deceptive woman with a spider “weaving webs among the woods” and “sharing [her] stories with the moon and the trees, with a world which strung you along.” This is an interesting analogy where the vocalist angrily compares how a cold-hearted person uses deception and false sob-stories to trap and manipulate her victims, like a spider catches its helpless prey with the webs it weaves. The title track “Neverbloom” also fits in this vein of betrayal in its lyrics, where the song describes how one’s betrayal can lead to the horrid downfall of an entire foundation in a rather metaphorical manner, and they turn out quite intriguing to read. Lines such as “Just like teardrops, the limbs of the dying trees began to fall, one by one” and “A single tear from the elms of emptiness falls to stain the cracked earth and the soil breathes one final desperate breath of life” have gloom written all over them, and it matches the apocalyptic tone of the music without fail. Although lyrics about betrayal are definitely nothing new in the metal scene, Make Them Suffer
’s lyrics are eloquent as they are melancholy.
“Neverbloom” is a very decent record. The whirlwinds of rapid-fire deathcore bludgeons, synth-induced breakdowns, and poetically pissed lyrics make this record a fitting sequel to their 2010 debut. Even the album artwork alone gives the listener a taste of what they’re getting into when they get their hands on this record. The levitating zombie-like creature represents the brutal and apocalyptic deathcore side of the music, and the rose petals that surround the being like a vortex represent the orchestral darkness of the keyboards. Although about half of the tracks nearly sound the same, and the music is somewhat unfortunately generic enough for jaded listeners to not be very interested, this record is very solid and is highly recommended for any fans of deathcore acts, metal with lots of dramatic symphonic twists in it, and everything in between. “Neverbloom,” in conclusion, is a decent record from a deathcore band rising in the scene.