Norwegian super group SUSPERIA is back for a fourth strike and what had been a hybrid of Black, Death and Thrash Metal in their beginnings (and first two albums) had turned into almost pure Thrash Metal of the TESTAMENT school with 2004’s “Unlimited” and that continues with “Cut From Stone” in unabated fashion.
Originally heralded as band with former members of DIMMU BORGIR and OLD MAN’S CHILD, they now have really grown into their own and if you don’t mind that they sound more like TESTAMENT than TESTAMENT themselves these days, you will be treated to some excellent Metal, with a truly thunderous production to highlight the sheer power these five Norwegians are generating here.
Now Thrash is one of the Metal styles that is least compatible with me, but for some reason SUSPERIA strike a chord with me (maybe because TESTAMENT are one of the very few Thrash bands that appeal to me as well, same goes for EXODUS) and if it is executed with such precision and melodies, take opening “More”, a double-bass driven powerhouse of a song, with enormous power and still great melodies or the mid-paced sledgehammer “The Clone” or dynamic, aggressive “Brother” for the heavier side. On the other side “Distant Memory” is a brilliant semi-ballad that incorporates intricate acoustic guitars as well as great melodies and the rising intensity up to double-bass, “Under” is a little less heavy, but even catchier and at the end the title track is slow-paced, heavy and melodic, giving “Cut From Stone” a more than worthy ending.
As mentioned, the production by Daniel Bergstrand is crystal clear and powerful, giving the songs the right framework to unfold their force, they might lack the stylistic width and variety of their first two efforts, yet if you take it for what it is, “Cut From Stone” is an excellent album and that’s the end of that.
(Online September 6, 2007)