Release DetailsLABEL Tabu Records
RELEASED ON 3/22/2004
posted on 4/2004 By:
What the fuck happened here? Last I knew, Susperia was just a melodic death/black metal band featuring Dimmu Borgir's old drummer, Tjodalv, and former Old Man's Child member, Memnock. It seems now they've actually transformed into early/mid-ninties Testament.
Susperia's dropped their black metal rasp entirely in favor of real rhythmic vocals that go anywhere from a low-croon, to a death metal growl, to just being really epic and powerful. It's really all over the place. Although I'd rather not complain as I feel the vocal work is pretty quality, the sound is so synthetic and obviously layered. Regardless, it's still creative and even refreshing to hear at parts. Recorded partially at Studio Fredman in Gothenburg and produced by the band themselves, surprisingly, the production is pretty flawless. Even when the ridiculous keyboard-choir vocals come in on "Devil May Care", it still works with the rest of the music. Susperia should be more than proud of their production abilities, despite some minor problems with the vocal sound.
All of the material is pretty driving with a definite classic thrash feel, but they retain a lot of feeling during some of the verses and choruses. Recorded partially at Studio Fredman in Gothenburg, and produced by Susperia themselves, everything sounds great. Unlimited has a lot of riffs that build on each other, go up octaves, and end with a squeal. With plenty of fitting artificial harmonics and diving solos with delay, no one's going to question the musicianship of these guys. Sure, there's a slow part here and there, with some undistorted guitar, but nothing that really confuses you as to where they're going. Love 'em or hate 'em, it's undeniable that Dimmu Borgir's always had a great drummer. Even in Susperia you can tell the guy's beating the shit out of his kit. It's all too familiar territory, but at least Susperia's doing the classic thrash genre justice.
They've even got memorable choruses like on the song "Off The Grid", where vocalist Athera belts out the eternal question of, "are you one of those people that believe the unicorn still exists?"
I think a big problem with Unlimited is the fact that it begins to drag on a little and feel a bit dry. All of the tracks are reasonably lengthy, having only ten tracks while still being a 50 minute album. There's no filler material, don't get me wrong - it's just that a lot of the songs don't really need to be nearly five minutes long.
I'm not quite sure what exactly it is, but the entire album just reeks of Chuck Billy and company. Could be the solid rhythm guitarwork, or the James Murphy-esque solos, but more likely, it's the vocals and general sound of the verses. It's really fucking weird.
I don't really have a reason to not like this album - I don't really have a reason to love it. It's got a lot of personality, and it's good for what it is - a new take on classic thrash. Still, I think a lot of people are going to really enjoy this album while others won't necessarily hate it, they just won't care about it. The bottom line is that if you're a huge fan of Low-era Testament, or thrash in general, you'd benefit from picking this album up.
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