Written by: AP on 18/06/2009 17:03:41

Susperia was established by former members of several Norwegian extreme metal bands, most notably Dimmu Borgir (drummer Tjodalv) and Satyricon (guitarist Cyrus) and the group's latest offering, "Attitude", marks the band's tenth anniversary. While I'm not very familiar with the band's work prior to their surprising breakthrough record "Unlimited", my impression is that the band's music has been on the decline since then, morphing from an accessible brand of black metal with thrash influences to all-out thrash metal. "Cut From Stone" from two years ago at least left me unimpressed and disappointed - especially after a promising EP that preceded it - that a band of this caliber should underperform so grossly in almost every aspect.

"Attitude" is a step back in the direction of the band's early material but does little to vindicate my harsh words on the last record. One argument still stands though: Athera is a superb vocalist, and where his voice became hidden in awful production on "Cut From Stone", it has been reintroduced here as the central element in Susperia's music. This is so obviously a band that rests its uniquity on the shoulders of its vocalist and not without reason, because there simply isn't another vocalist that sounds like him. Perhaps the best way to describe his delivery is a combination of the might of power metal, the diabolism of black metal, and the raw energy of thrash metal all at once (not alternating between the three, but the three combined in one). Listening to "Attitude" it would be easy to confuse the music with just about any thrash metal band were it not for the vocal performance which gives Susperia an unmistakably, distinguished sound.

Unfortunately that, and Tjodalv's drumming, are the only things that are worth really raising an eyebrow about on "Attitude". Sure, on the facet of things everything seems to be in order (even the production this time, thankfully) and the songs have the character of a well-written, professional and rounded album, but upon several listens it becomes clear that there is very little lurking beneath the polished surface. The songs feel indistinct and unaddressing and particularly the guitar playing is trite (some might even say uninspiring) compared with the fantastic riffs in the band's early work. As such, it's not a decidedly bad album, it's just god damn anonymous and while it may be worth a few superficial listens, it certainly isn't an album worth recommending to anyone not already a devout fan of Susperia. Those fans will lap it up like whipped cream of course but for the rest of us there is very little to rave about.


Download: Another Turn, Character Flaw, The One After All

For the fans of: Carnal Forge, Darkane, Sanctity

Listen: Myspace

Release date 18.05.2009


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