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Suiciety > Beyond the Thorns > Reviews > bayern
Suiciety - Beyond the Thorns

On Thorns They Lay in a Deathly Suicidal Posture - 92%

bayern, August 30th, 2017

This act managed to rise above the group of identically named outfits thanks to the visionary approach to the death/thrash hybrid which became quite popular worldwide in the late-80’s/early-90’s, and although they were never fortunate enough to secure themselves an album deal, this string of demos in their discography is definitely worth checking out for the audacious musicianship on display. The debut demo was a more immediate affair the guys still honing their weapons, relying on speed more than on their subsequent material, with thrash assuredly leading the show. Stylish bits and pieces of more serious musicality hinted at a bigger potential, and it didn’t take too long for the latter to reveal itself on the demo reviewed here.

The start is nothing short of outstanding with the angular abstracter “Hours to Nothing” pouring surreal technical riffs galore which move from the bizarre time-signatures of Target and Mekong Delta to the more spastic, more aggressive feats of Atheist in no time; yes, death metal has come to stay, also helped by forceful shouty vocals, although that style’s significance isn’t that big later as a nice atmospheric creepy passage occupies the second half. Said atmosphere is handsomely provided on “Inside Outwards” which begins with a captivating balladic section the latter replaced by sprawling doomy solemnity until a more dynamic and a more technical stroke arrives in the middle giving the song a desirable speedy flair. “Pathogenic Intellect” keeps to the mid-paced, doom-decorated confines its minimalistic technical decisions a wonder to listen to recalling Sacrosanct’s colossal “Recesses for the Depraved”, with several quirky Coroner-esque escapades making things even tastier. “Unaffirmative Reactions” predates the more sterile, mechanical landscapes of the mentioned Swiss legends on “Grin” with more hygienic staccato rhythms, death metal coming at some stage to brutalize the environment with brilliant fast-paced intricate rifforamas which fade into another atmospheric epitaph. More morose doominess on the engaging 10-min opus “The Forthcoming”, but there’s more variety on offer later like sudden speedier upheavals (read a bit above the mid-tempo at best), a few less predictable twists and turns, outlandish cavernous arrangements in the spirit of Demilich, and a jumpy nervy exit.

From the thrash/death metal hybrids that appeared in the early-90’s this effort comes the closest to Psychopath’s “Making the Transition”; like it it’s more thrash fixated, it has its ties to the European side of the technical/progressive metal movement, and it achieves a really nice balance between technicality and aggression, not to mention the copious amounts of atmosphere soaking nearly every pore from this recording. The band’s purpose was not to go out with all the guns blazing and stupefy the listener with dazzling brutal guitar acrobatics galore the way Atheist, Hellwitch, and Vicious Circle did; their agenda was to lure him/her with several ingredients blended together, and to extract the best from the achieved symbiosis without giving preferences to any side involved. Although the dominant approach was strictly on the classic side, the several modern-ish additives were perfectly legitimate seeing the guys in pace with what was going on around the scene at the time.

“Confines of Nature” elaborated on the modern thrown-ins with more spacey abstracticism present again binding this effort with Coroner’s “Grin” and Pestilence’s “Spheres”, among other visionary works, the more futuristic landscapes carved by bursts of retro metal fury, those quite technical as well, and was another prime example of progressive/technical metal done right. It also drew new trajectories to be followed in the future, and “Stains and Omissions” was a full surrender to the groovy, industrial post-death norms with a sound that would attract more worshippers of Godflesh, Grope, and Soulstorm than the regular thrash/death metal fan. A change of name was necessary to mark the end of an era and the beginning of another, and the band settled on Grone, with an EP and two full-lengths released in quick succession before the end of the decade. The delivery on those remained unchanged, mechanical industrialized bleakness with robotic, hypnotic riff-formulas that seldom offered deviations from the established rigorous, apocalyptic path. Tough intimidating stuff for sure, and one that often makes the fan nostalgic for the more flexible, more captivating “suicidal” notes written during more challenging, “thornier” times.