Make Them Suffer – Neverbloom (2012)

After listening to several of Australia’s premiere metal acts, you’re likely to wonder what about Australia makes these bands so good at what they do. And for good reason, given the fact that the country is home to bands such as Thy Art is Murder, Northlane, and Signal the Firing Squad. Make Them Suffer, a symphonic blackened deathcore band from Perth, fits right in with the aforementioned groups. Their debut full-length album, Neverbloom, showcases the astounding ferocity that one would expect from Australian metal, but they also do so in an original fashion. After signing with Roadrunner Records Australia, Make Them Suffer was catapulted to the very forefront of the Australian metal scene and Neverbloom is one of the best albums of 2012.

Upon first hearing Make Them Suffer’s first effort, Lord of Woe, I was immediately hooked by the band’s use of keys. They accented the music perfectly and conjured up a feeling of being stranded in the middle of a frost-bitten wasteland. The keys make a return on Neverbloom and they continue to compliment the music nicely, but they don’t create quite the same atmosphere that they did on Lord of Woe. While Lord of Woe‘s atmosphere was outstanding, the fact that Neverbloom has a slightly different feel to it allows it to have its own identity and prevents the band from becoming a one-trick pony.

Another of my favorite aspects of Make Them Suffer is the vocals. Vocalist Sean Harmanis is an absolutely ferocious vocalist and he has improved greatly since Lord of Woe, which I didn’t think was possible. While Harmanis’s low growls are good, his high screams are absolutely incredible. He commands some of the most powerful highs I’ve ever heard and they help elevate Make Them Suffer to a whole new level of intensity. I was blown away by the vocals when I first heard the first single the band released.

Make Them Suffer has plenty of good things going for them and Neverbloom is an absolutely fantastic album, but it is not perfect. There are several riffs and breakdowns that are reused and rehashed and this leads me to question the band’s songwriting skills. While there are several examples of this, I’m only going to mention one: the main riff in “Widower” is the same riff from the beginning of the breakdown in “Neverbloom.” I don’t think this is too big of an issue and it doesn’t prevent me from enjoying this album, but it is worth mentioning.

Neverbloom is a hell of a debut album from yet another outstanding band from Down Under. While it suffers slightly from repetitive song structures, it is still a very intense and fantastic blackened deathcore album. Make Them Suffer still has time to improve their songwriting skills and I cannot wait to see what they will do in the future.

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By Mike O’Hara ~ Me Gusta Reviews