The legendary traditions of Italian doom metal are deeply ingrained into my brain thanks to innovative masters like Paul Chain, Black Hole and Ras Algethi yet while Suum’s sound is rooted in epic traditional doom metal they borrow from a large pool of Earth spanning influences. After just one year of hard work the band are ready to release their first full-length ‘Buried Into the Grave’ and it’s style rests comfortably between the Reverend Bizarre influenced sound of Pilgrim or Cardinal’s Folly and the claustrophobic grandeur of Scott Reagers-lead Saint Vitus. Suum’s sound isn’t solely reliant on lumbering, epic doom riffs, but also skin crawling guitar leads and some heavier almost death/doom guitar work. The lead guitar and solos are nasty licks of Satan’s fire against the ear that further deepen the tones of traditional doom metal influence.
The vocalist’s tone can easily shift between the despondent, unhinged vibrations of Scott Reagers on Saint Vitus‘ 1995 death, ‘Die Healing’ as well as he can conjure ‘Ancient Dreams’-era Candlemass in all if it’s grandeur. His performance is well on par with a lot of Finnish doom bands doing similar treatments to the style that Reverend Bizarre re-highlighted in the early 00’s. It wouldn’t be fair to point too closely to Finland, though because fellow Italian band Black Oath have been refining a similarly menacing doom metal sound for several albums. It never felt like Suum encountered an identity crisis on this debut, which shows an exceptionally well-formed musical personality for such a new group. Not since Crypt Sermon‘s debut have I come across such a confident debut from doomers I’d never heard of.
Many of the best moments on ‘Buried Into the Grave’ come from the guitar work. World dooming riffs on songs like “Buried into the Grave” often surge into guitar solos that match the intensity of the vocalist’s impressive and menacing performance. “Seeds of Decay” likewise tosses in some unexpected riffing that give the second half of the album an even darker tone, complete with Vitus-esque wah-pedal guitar work. Closing track “Shadows Haunt the Night” works itself up into a fury of wailing guitars and churning riffs, encapsulating the most intense moments of the album into one grand finale. I think because I love the key points of reference for Suum’s sound, I can’t help but geek out over their approach to doom metal. They’ve taken the slow and clever doom riffing of traditional doom metal and gilded it with fiery guitar solos and a vocalist with an impressive range of doom metal inflection at his disposal. Mandatory doom listening for 2018 especially if you like Finnish doom, Procession, and heavy metal inspired by the classics of Saint Vitus and Candlemass alike.
|Released||March 10, 2018|
|BUY/LISTEN on their Bandcamp!||Follow Suum on Facebook|
Crumbling under the sun. 4.0/5.0
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