After an initial delay due to the usual suspect of COVID-19, Make Them Suffer arrive with their fourth album, ‘How To Survive A Funeral’, where their gradual expansion from deathcore into a more synth and keyboard driven contemporary metalcore sound may have possibly reached its conclusion.
‘Step One’ comes in with a clean guitar intro before we go full throttle into some mechanical riffing to set the scene, then for ‘Falling Ashes’, a blast beat kicks things off for real. It’s by-and-large modern metalcore 101, but this is an impressive enough start. Booka Nile‘s keyboard lines provide enough of an atmosphere, and Sean Harmanis‘ growl is equally powerful.
The fury doesn’t let up for ‘Bones’ either, with its swinging groove in the intro very much carrying on the song, also featuring a memorable vocal hook.
It’s clear that Make Them Suffer have progressed in terms of their sound, but rather than sounding like many other deathcore bands, they now sound like a lot of other contemporary metalcore bands, such as a number of their label mates on Rise Records.
‘Drown With Me’ continues in a similar vein, with both Harmanis and Nile continuing to impress vocally. There are some moments where this record undoubtedly peaks, but at times it’s also a bit too far on the side of clichéd, even in spite of the aforementioned song’s impressive moments. This track and others offer many familiar chugging patterns in its verses.
While you’ve heard some of this before, that’s not to say that there’s no variety on this record. ‘Soul Decay’ is well placed on the album, and you may have heard some of this from many other bands, but there’s enough toe-tapping grooves to be found, and you can see why they’re still better than numerous bands that attempt this. Another highlight includes its “burn it to the fucking ground” mosh call; undoubtedly set to be a key moment in future tours.
The title-track sees a more prominent Nile vocal performance, and ‘The Attendant’ is the closest the band get to a ballad. Even the similarities to Loathe‘s ‘Two Way Mirror’ will be obvious at times, and the “woah” or two that make their appearance are definitely a hackneyed trope, but this still leaves you with a lot to take in. And closer, ‘That’s Just Life’, is another highlight, and still manages to trump many of their contemporaries at this take on metalcore.
While Make Them Suffer have delivered a solid fourth effort with ‘How To Survive A Funeral’, which is impressive in some instances, there’s still plenty of room for them to push the envelope in the future.