Note the typical one-name black metal monikers.
Athera - Vocals
Tjodalv - Drums (formerly of Dimmu Borgir, Old Man's Child, Satyricon)
Cyrus - Guitar (formerly of Old Man's Child, Satyricon)
Memnock - Bass (formerly of Old Man's Child)
Elvorn - Guitar
The first time I listened to Susperia was a random track someone had recommended to me. It was called "I Am Pain," off of their debut Predominance - a very heavy song somewhere between black metal, thrash, and death metal. Most of it was pretty harsh listening, but there was some excellent guitar work and one section that just stood out from the rest, with the song coming together excellently in a very powerful way. That is what listening to Susperia's latest release "Unlimited" is like, though it is less of a battering assault this time around.
Susperia has released three albums so far, and Unlimited is their most recent. They have also also changed a good bit stylistically from Predominance. The songs are not so harsh in nature, but the guitar work is still heavy. The biggest change is certainly in the vocals. Their vocalist has moved from almost entirely growled/screamed lyrics to singing the majority of the time. He sounds somewhat similar to a Black Album-era James Hetfield.
Unfortunately I don't think the vocalist is really using his voice appropriately to the material. I would've stuck with the growling, personally. It seems to more fit the material than his Hetfield voice.
One of the strongest points of this CD is the central guitar riffs to the songs. They are extremely catchy and deceptively simple, but unfortunately, Susperia doesn't take the 'unlimited' potential that these guitar parts have to the next level. I have high hopes for these guys if they can get all the awesome riffs packaged together in a few very tight songs.
As it is, a large number of the songs are extremely enjoyable, just a few have that potential that makes you want to tear your hair out because they could've been so amazingly excellent. There are also songs where the vocalist's singing voice is appropriate and also powerful, so the cons of this album are not everpresent.
It is rather hard to categorize this CD, so I shall just quote from their official biography on their website.
"Susperia are not black, not death, just pure energetic, aggressive METAL." That certainly fits. They do have a good deal of aggression, and there are some excellent songs on this CD.
Overall it annoys me to give this CD a three, but I don't think it quite is a four yet either. Just a little bit more and it could have been. There are some excellent songs on here though - Chemistry, Devil May Care, and Home Sweet Hell are definitely ones I can enjoy the whole way through, and almost every song (Situational Awareness, Off The Grid, and Years of Infinity especially) has a moment of musical brilliance somewhere in there. Let's just hope they can extend that talent into a whole CD!