posted on 6/2009 By:
It’s the World Series of Melodic Thrash Metal Poker and representing Norway at one of the final tables is Susperia. They often find themselves holding a pretty good hand of cards, but are failing to play them with an optimal strategy, resulting in various levels of success. Also playing for Norway is Blood Tsunami. Their chips are increasing, not because they keep picking up the right cards, but because they have a style of play they are sticking to rigidly and are using to outwit the other players. The Haunted started strongly, but seem to have lost their way, whilst Destroyer 666 is playing consistently and is quietly confident. Susperia continually glance over at another table to see Testament wiping the floor with their opposition, and decide to borrow a few tricks. The opposing players see right through them and they backfire, so they build their way back in the game with patience and a few solid plays of their own that work well, but aren’t coming as thick and fast as they need to. They put up a good fight but drop out, ranking mid to high table - kicking themselves.
Released on Candlelight records, Attitude is Susperia’s fifth studio album. It’s great to see this band trying to pull away from being a living testament to… an unnamed thrash band, but as wonderfully unique and recognizable as Athera’s mid-to-high range vocal tone is, it’s all too easy to draw comparisons to the rest of his performance, having moved from the Lemmy-ed Chuck Billy sound of previous releases to a sort of Chuck-Billy-does-David-Draiman (gulp) sound. Either way it somewhat undermines a guest spot from the actual Chuck Billy on the rioting “Live My Dreams” and doesn’t help the over-whelming Disturbed-a-like sound that turns up invited every now and again.
The riffs are aggressive and very digestible, crunchy like dry cereal, washed down with a can of Red Bull, whilst the lead parts sound clear and rounded, retaining the same sense of melody as older songs like “Chemistry.” Most tracks have a good vocal melody and at least a decent hook in the chorus, which is lucky for the likes of “Elegy and Suffering” and “Another Turn” which had to be saved from a bad case of Metallyric Genericus.
The earlier tracks pump blood uncontrollably and are very promising, the title track being the anthemic entity that needs to be aimed for more often, but when Susperia lose that formula that makes them sound like themselves, it’s frustrating. For the final track “The One After All” they manage to regain their identity, like a sea-washed sailor with his passport in his pocket, but the overwhelming early In Flames feel of “Character Flaw” and the aforementioned Disturbed echoes of “Mr. Stranger” ruin the flow. They are by no means bad songs, but they are seriously holding back a good band that should have ultimately refined their sound after five albums.
Susperia break even. They will undoubtedly pick up a few small prize pots on the circuit in the near future, but need to try harder if they are to win big on their own terms.
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