MAKE THEM SUFFER are a band that have divided fans of the deathcore genre since they first stormed onto the scene. Their 2012 release Neverbloom gained great popularity online, on YouTube, as many praised their extremely heavy but ultimately pioneering brand of symphonic deathcore. Their sound combined the usual lyrical themes of deathcore with a slightly melancholy edge, aided by their female secondary vocalist and keyboard player, Louisa Burton. 2015 brought the band to even greater heights with the acclaimed album Old Souls, a real deathcore masterpiece that combined thoughtful and conceptual songwriting with technically masterful and catchy instrumentals.
To follow up from Old Souls is a great challenge, and therefore many have been in great anticipation for the release of their new album, Worlds Apart, which is due out on July 28th. Their release of the song Ether in 2016 worried many of their older fans as it pointed towards a more ambient, progressive sound that moved away from their deathcore roots. However, from most, the song gained great acclaim. The good news in that sense is that Worlds Apart carries the torch from Ether in a big way – with close listening it’s even possible to argue that the second track, Uncharted, is a reworking of Ether, with similar structure and instrumentals.
“Worlds Apart represents a new era for MAKE THEM SUFFER,” singer Sean Harmanis said [in their press release for the album]. “We’ve taken risks in songwriting and production; this album is a reminder to ourselves that change and growth are good things. It’s tough to say so early, but I think Worlds Apart is an album that will be in your stereo for quite some time.” These are confident words from their vocalist, but after some time with the album, it’s clear that he has hit the nail on the head. The first listen of Worlds Apart brings doubts due to its differences from their old material, and the lack of the brutality of their original sound. However, after a few more listens the strengths of the record start to show; their catchy hooks, original songwriting and the flowing nature of the record all combine to make the new album a lot of fun to listen to. This is by no means a generic release, their new sound brings comparisons to them of bands like NORTHLANE, and ERRA, a genre some may call progressive metalcore.
The three songs released before the album, Firework, Vortex, and Uncharted are all really solid choices for singles – each representing different strengths of their ‘risky’ new songwriting. Firework brings the epic metalcore song structure and huge, ecstatic chorus, whilst Vortex brings the heavier side of the band, with quick and chunky breakdowns. Grinding Teeth and Vortex both also showcase the improved vocal range of vocalist Sean Harmanis, with deep and menacing black metal growls layered over breakdowns. The final track, Save Yourself, ends in an emotional spoken word section detailing Harmanis’ regret over certain decisions and his will to improve and progress, which works well on a record for which the aim was to do both of those things. Along the same lines as progression, the addition of new bassist Jaya Jeffery and clean vocalist Booka Nile have made an impact on the band, but both ultimately blend in well and don’t represent a jarring change to their sound.
Simply put, Worlds Apart is not a record for deathcore or death metal fans, necessarily. However, fans of the band and of Ether will not be disappointed, as MAKE THEM SUFFER have crafted a solid and consistent record that certainly represents a move in an exciting direction for the band.
Worlds Apart is set for release on July 28th via Rise Records.
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