“Midnight Sacrifice” is the first full-length from Swedish band Suffer The Pain. At less than 30 minutes, this 14 track ripper is a short, but sweet offering of crusty, punky death metal. The songs on this record tend to be largely in the same vein: fast-paced, driven by solid buzzsaw riffs (check out the tremolo-picked riff in the title track for the best example, though quite a few tracks have a similar-styled riff), and drums that worship at the altar of punk. This sound means that not too many of the tracks stand out from one another, but they all offer lots of aggression and quality riffs. The vocals tend to be standard growls. They’re not excessively guttural, which means that you can pick out words here and there, and would likely be able to follow along easily with the lyric sheet. Though the vocals and guitars are quite competent, the highlight on this album is the drumming. They're incredibly active, both with fills and standard beats. They help to keep the record going at full force for its entire playtime.
One potential area of improvement for Suffer The Pain is the production. With this style of release, it is understandable that the production isn’t exactly crisp or clear sounding; however, because the guitars are so distorted and the album sounds so quiet, it actually doesn’t make things particularly heavy. What the band plays is heavy, but it just doesn’t sound as heavy as it could, especially when compared to the giants of Swedish death metal like Entombed or Unleashed. Another minor complaint is in the lyrics on “Nightmare”. The band starts doing some counting, which, to be honest, sounds kind of lame. This music is supposed to be brutal, but it ends up sounding like a kid’s version of a death metal song.
In any case, these two issues are definitely not problematic enough to ruin the album. In fact, “Midnight Sacrifice” is a pretty solid ball of energy, and will likely appeal to anyone who wants their death metal to start crossing over to punk. Though the band is firmly rooted in metal, the outside influences on this record are clear, and add something unique to the band’s sound.
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3.5/5 or 70%.
Written by Scott