Picture of Susperia


Susperia - Vindication ©2002 Nuclear Blast
1. Cage Of Remembrance
2. The Bitter Man
3. Anguished Scream (for Vengeance)
4. Petrified
5. The Bounty Hunter
6. Completion
7. Warmaster
8. Dead Man's World
9. Cast Life Into Fire
10. Bleed Yourself

Susperia first gained attention for having a member who originally played in Dimmu Borgir and another member who played in the Dimmu Borgir bush league band, Old Man's Child. Despite that lineage, Susperia isn't quite a clone of the Dimmu Borgir sound of overly clustered and ultimately vacuous symphonic black metal. Rather, Susperia provides the world with their own blend of overly clustered and ultimately vacuous blackened thrash metal. Just like their more famous counterparts, Susperia excels in making music that offers thick, heavy production and an array of prerequisite elements that add up to a sum far less than its parts.

Vindication is one of those records that lacks identity, heart and vigor. Although Susperia seems to go through great pains not to sound like certain other outfits from Norway, they fail to come up with the songwriting skills and hooks to make their music anything more than heavy, thrashy guitars with a monotonous vocalist rendering each song flat. Athera, the vocalist in question, is somewhat versatile. He can growl in one grating pitch or offer a goofy, slightly-spoken goth voice that sounds entirely contrived. The band, meanwhile, sticks to a formula that relies entirely on a series of heavy riffing and ultimately no hooks to attempt to make up for the lack of drive by the vocals. In that regard, they succeed entirely in mediocrity. There's some decent guitar playing, but it never really takes the songs very far nor creates a compulsion in the listener to replay the album to catch all those missed nuances. In fact, "nuance" may be a very difficult word for this band to comprehend. So we won't tease them with an extended vocabularly.

As with so many current releases, Susperia seems content in playing music that fails to do more than exist in predefined boundaries. Times like these demand music that doesn't stagnate listeners and this CD will not vindicate the band from being an utter bore.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 05/2002

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