Release DetailsLABEL Crash Music
RELEASED ON 4/4/2006
To Escape Is To Suffer
posted on 4/2006 By:
Dive bombs, semi-melodic tapping, dark shredding trade off solos, off kilter harmonic lines, pummeling triplets, thick palm mutes, fluid tremolo picking, aggressive riffing that is always one second away from ripping your fucking head off and tossing it to the dogs of war…yep that’s Floridan death. Luckily though, this isn’t just another throwback album put out there to give you nostalgic memories of the good ol’ days: camo shorts, sleeveless Altars of Madness shirts, and denim jackets dappled with patches. To Escape is to Suffer stands as a damn fine executed debut that offers a solidly genuine and well convicted interpretation of a classic genre.
Generally speaking, how you feel about the Floridan death sound will determine how well To Escape is to Suffer is received, either insipid and generic or completely fucking devastating. Either way, there’s very little offered in the form of genuine originality despite the effective adaptation. The inclusion of Gus Rios (touring drummer and co-writer of four Malevolent Creation albums) would account for why the hell this reminds me so much of Malevolent Creation and Divine Empire with the inclusion of a stopping aggression that reminded me of Obituary in some ways.
Upon Infliction have a straight up old school aesthetic, no frills or extravagant trappings, just pure fucking straightforward, unmerciful death metal, which in effect, is a modernization of the traditional sound despite the strong Death influences (hell they offer a decent cover of “Mutilation” as the album closer) and various thrash trappings along the lines of Kreator. No samples, no suspense, opener “Order” explodes from the speakers emanating Upon Infliction’s no fucking around/go for the jugular approach, which luckily is one I’ve always appreciated. The song is by far the most apocalyptic moment on To Escape is to Suffer while songs like “You will Suffer”, “State Sanctioned Execution”, and “Surgical Murder” carry the Floridan death metal torch with a stripped down, direct, never overdone approach. Tracks like “American Way” and “Lifeless and Abused” display perfectly Upon Infliction’s ability to combine whirlwind riffing and machine gun blasts with mid tempo death metal while avoiding the usual pitfalls of sounding reserved or letting up on the level of intensity. However, some moments tend to drag by with a lackluster demeanor, despite impressive soloing and superb musicianship. “Abducted”, and “No Options Left” offer displays of less imagination and ferocity rather than the usual impressive lacerating guitar riffs dealt out one by one courtesy of Seth Ringler on tracks like “Rage” with its semblance to Morbid Angel or the excellent drumming of Gus Rios and crunchy head bobbing gait of “Lifeless and Abused”.
I love the thick tone of the vocals; it’s like a less powerful version of Frank Mullen (Suffocation) but still with that maniacal bash your skull in approach. One of my big issues is that the vocal delivery isn’t exactly an exemplary offer of ingenuity or variety as opposed to the technical proficiency of the guitars, drums, and bass. Albeit you get used to it, in a lot of ways due to the effect Brian Mygrant has on his vocals he literally sounds like he has phoned in his performance, the effect was cool at first, but it’s a bit over killed.
My other main problem, is though there’s relativity no bad songs per se and the musicians always offer an extremely varied approach to the riffing within the songs themselves, there’s very little in the way of stand out songs. There only seems to be the various awe inspiring moments scattered here and there throughout the album. Granted this isn’t a one trick album and Upon Infliction avoid being too one dimensional, To Escape is to Suffer lacks and adequate level of advanced or exceptional songwriting prowess for individual songs to really shine distinctively on their own. Even as enjoyable of a blur as this might be, they offer little in the way of surprise. However, Upon Infliction is a damn fine band with more than competent intelligent musicianship worth taking note of; I have high expectations of a bright future.
Register to post comments.