Review Summary: Venturing into new territory that catalogues the band’s strengths, Worlds Apart proves Make Them Suffer hasn’t lost a step.
Any band that sticks too close to their own formula across their career often end up burning out due to their own stagnancy, so it’s sincerely quite admirable when a band relinquishes the sound that made them popular in favour of expanding their musical horizons. This is why the sense of agency Make Them Suffer demonstrates switching up their sound on every release should not go unappreciated.
Since the departure of keyboardist/vocalist Louisa Burton alongside bass and rhythm guitarist Chris Arias-Real and Lachlan Monty, respectively, the most noticeable thing about Worlds Apart is how different Make Them Suffer’s internal dynamics perform. In addition to newcomer Booka Nile’s keyboard and vocal performances, Nick McLernon captains both lead and rhythm guitar duty, resulting in fewer chugs and more riffs across the board.
This synergy results in a more diverse back and forth between heaviness and melody than Make Them Suffer has demonstrated previously. ‘The First Movement’ opens the record with infectious guitar work, laden with beautiful chorus melodies while ‘Uncharted’ boasts shining, delicate keys laid over colourful riffs.
In a word - it’s vibrant.
Atmosphere has been a cornerstone of the Perth quintet’s sound and Worlds Apart delivers it in spades, trading bleak, nocturnal ambience for a more spacey and ethereal flavour which sticks the landing more than it has any right to. Sean Harmanis remains at the top of his vocal game, with an effective range of screams lending each track weight while contrasting effectively alongside Nile’s soaring choruses.
That’s not to suggest Make Them Suffer have abandoned their roots; the opening guitar licks of ‘Dead Plains’ sound absolutely menacing and ‘Midnight Run’, albeit short, is downright filthy and an absolute gem of a track. Moreover, ten tracks across forty minutes make for a very compelling, concise listen, with not one song signalling a lack of purpose.
The transition in sound might appear a little too drastic for the most seasoned of veterans, especially those around as early as the band’s Lord Of Woe
EP in 2010. The bleak deathcore winds on the likes of Neverbloom
and symphonic passages of Old Souls
are a thing of the past, and yet despite this, Make Then Suffer transcend into a sound completely their own.
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