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Album Reviews : Make Them Suffer – Worlds Apart

By on July 20, 2017

The term ‘maturing’ gets bandied around a lot in musical circles. In the case of Perth’s Make them Suffer, it is absolutely appropriate. Approaching the decade mark in their career, and set to release their third long-player, this band is truly spreading its songwriting wings and taking to flight.

The release of the superb standalone single Ether a little over a year ago signalled a step into a whole new world for this band, creatively and commercially. Gone was the furious, frenetic deathcore of their first three releases, which, while certainly brutal and compelling in its own right, appealed quite strictly to a certain demographic. The ‘deathcore kids’, you might say. It was replaced by a more groove-based, more progressive and dynamic heavy sound, with more melody and more interestingly crafted soundscapes. It was a true moment in time for this band.

Ether saw them transition out of their former sound so tastefully, intelligently and skilfully, their fans themselves, obviously open-mindedly maturing with the band, took it in their stride and embraced it with open arms.

It seems to have opened up a whole new audience for them too, in addition to not actually losing them any love. They are now well on their way to being one of Australia’s biggest and most internationally renowned heavy bands.

And that is set to continue with Worlds Apart. They took that big step into a new musical world with Ether, and this album sees them taking ultra-confident further strides in that direction. Their new-found groove and dynamics are there in droves: witness the contrast between the almost pop melodies of arguably the album’s best cut Uncharted, which puts one in mind of the band Volumes at times, and the eerie but muscular pound of Dead Plains. The music is still damnably heavy, and frontman Sean Harmanis’s voice could still slice diamonds, it’s just conceived and executed in a more interesting manner. And, while there has been a bit of a revolving door with regards to the members performing this role, it’s fantastic to hear the female vocals and symphonic and piano-driven elements maintaining their strong presence in the soundscape. And possibly even increasing it.

The production has improved too. Not that it was bad before, far from it. It just seems slightly more care has been taken, and maybe this comes from an increase in the recording budget available to them, and everything seems to have found its place more sweetly. It’s still a wall of sound, it still feels like a ton of bricks is hitting you between the eyes, it just does so in a classier, more lucid manner.

This album is already a massive success, in a creative sense. If it repeats that dose in a commercial way remains to be seen, but if there is any justice in the musical world, Worlds Apart will lift this band from an earthly trajectory into the stratosphere. It is a landmark Aussie heavy release.

Band: Make them Suffer
Album: Worlds Apart
Year: 2017
Genre: Symphonic metal
Label:  Roadrunner Records
Origin: Australia

About

Rod Whitfield is a Melbourne-based writer and retired musician who has been writing about music since 1995. He has worked for Team Rock, Beat Magazine, themusic.com.au, Heavy Mag, Mixdown, The Metal Forge, Metal Obsession and many others. He has written and published his memoirs of his life and times in the music biz, and also writes books, screenplays, short stories, blogs and more.