Review Summary: Prepare clean underwear, for this album will make you shit your pants
There are bands that do what they do because they like music. There are bands that do it for the money. There are others that do it as a way of political and social protest.
And there are a select group that do it as a mean of kicking massive ass, melting brains and because THEY ***ING CAN!
Guess in which group is Suma included?
Seriously, Let the Churches Burn is one of the most honest and destroying albums I've heard from the 21st century. This guys have a talent to make anything they play sound like...like rivers of molten lead descending from crimson clouds and covering the entire city.
Let the Churches Burn
, the title track, is the best example of this and probably the best song off the album. After 3 minutes of slow build up, there is a precise moment, an atemporal second, when every instrument stops and then a huge, MASSIVE, JUGGERNAUT riff kicks in and destroys your body and soul. That single riff is probably the best way to describe the whole album: a prescence
entering the room, oozing an opressive atmoshpere that will probably squash you to the floor and leave only a dark spot were your body used to be. The song shows variety, with a very nice (and unexpected) post-metalish build up at around 7 minutes, in true Isis and Pelican fashion. However, at minute 10, another, even more impressive riff breaks the dreamy section and takes the song back into badassery territory.
Slow, crushing Stoner/Doom metal is what abounds here, but Suma don't limit themselves to only one style. In fact, this guys make time for the more atmoshperic, post-metal sounds which are all over the record (I am the Spiritual Shepherd, Al Quinnab al Hindi, No, you're the Monkey
); trippy jamming, sampling n' droning (...Seems you've Developed an Acid Toungue
); and even some thrash....wait what? Hypno Assassin
sounds like a slowed down version of Exodus and Beef
is pure Heavy/Stoner mayhem.
The most impressive thing about this record is the fact that this band...is from Sweden.
Line-up, by the way:
Jovan - Vocals
Johan - Bass
Peter - Guitar
Erik - Drums
Frankly, I can't find any complain about the performance or the production in this album. Every riff is played A LOT, so there's plenty of time to enjoy each one of them and the tone of the guitar is just perfect, drawing as much from Skullflower as from Sleep. The bass is perfectly audible and a major prescence in every song, and the druming is quite good too, with lots of crash work and typical Stoner style.
A chapter apart deserves Jovan, the vocalist. His style is usually a scream in the vein of Electric Wizard, but his performance here is the best suiting I've heard in a Stoner/Doom album, ever.
I'll try to close this one here. The reason why I gave this a 4.5 score is that, in spite of not making anything (very) new, Suma has achieved what could be called the pinnacle of a style. Merging all the popular trends in extreme metal of this decade (Sludge, Drone, Doom, Post-Metal, some Thrash) this people have created a masterpiece. I can't explain how my neck hurt after I banged my head nonstop to the first two songs; how my mind started wandering during the darkness of Blood Pony; how I started solo-pogoing with Beef; how astonished I was with ...Acid Toungue....
....and how excited I was when I started listening from the first song all over again.