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Suum - Cryptomass

by Dani Bandolier at 29 January 2020, 12:17 PM

Earlier this month I pulled up a band wiki called Encyclopaedia Metallum designed to list groups by country and was surprised to see a bona fide black mass of occult music covens in Italia. Coincidently, the lads of SUUM (2016) summon their haunted spectral gatherings from Rome, Italy. Proof that the divine love of Metal Temple extends to many a band, I reviewed the Italian gore hounds CARONTE a few weeks ago; they and SUUM shared a recent show this very month of January at Orion. My CARONTE review is found here CARONTE REVIEW. SUUM had a very recent change of lead throat with Misantrophil replacing Mark Wolf to stand tall before the center stage Shure. Let us have a listen, shall we?

“Cryptomass” schwings in with church bells banging, heavy reverb soaked guitar, the whole spooky nine yards - and I think “righteous!” … and that is the last time we sample that bit of sonic souse until the last song ending fadeout. Misantrophil makes up for this with his dramatic baritone and operatic delivery that invokes the SUUM majik with his singular voice. More on him later on in my review … “Creatures from the Vault” track #3 is one of my favored tunes on ‘CRYPTOMASS’ with Misantrophil throwing down, down into the dramatic realm of King Diamond style vocals– sans falsetto – featuring a final molten lead guitar outro by Painkiller. Right on¡! “Funeral Circle” grabs my attention beginning with bloody heavy doom guitar before easing up for the vocal voodoo. Track #5 “Burial at Night” is another standout track, with a surrounded-by-sludge theremin-like wail leading the way into the song’s sludgy underworld – at 7:35 minutes-seconds, maybe a bit too sludgy at times - and another ripping guitar tag by Painkiller, who dredges up a malevolent alloy of doom-metal guitar tones on this release. This cat can play, delivering arpeggiated dagger blasts of guitar when he takes a lead. I dig it. “The Failure of Creation” has a hocus-pocus grind allowing Misantrophil to plaintively plead for his soul. We get to a musical mutatis mutandis with the arrival of “Mass in the Catacomb”, namely some evocative rococo guitar and vaguely medieval latin ramblings. The last tune “Reaper Looks in Your Eyes” shows some spunk with Misantrophil sounding a bit displeased. Take that, Reaper.

Misantrophil sounds a bit like the amazing baritone of Peter Murphy of BAUHAUS, and has a bad-ass baroque vibrato with his trillos caprino and cavallino. His wild performance, reminiscent of King Diamond and Screamin Jay Hawkins, letter by letter unchains this release from a horizontal slog through Heavy-Metalandia, taking us down, down to where the howling demons of 60 beats per minute convene.  I don’t know if it is the economy, the politics or the weather working the levers of discord; I don’t know if it is the proximity to His Holiness that promotes this heady anti-scene of black metal and stoner doom in Italy, home of the great LACUNA COIL and HAUNTED and about a thousand other heavy music groups. Whatever it is … it is happening Jack ! I shall drop another pin on the map for future travels and find out in due course. SUUM, your time has come … Arise ¡!

For you cool kids that want some bangin’ hangout music, check out my Spotify playlist which includes my reviewed bands ¡!

Songwriting: 8
Musicianship: 9
Memorability: 8
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

1.  Cryptomass
2.  The Silence of Agony
3.  Creatures from the Vault
4.  Funeral Circle
5.  Burial at Night
6.  The Failure of Creation
7.  Mass in the Catacomb
8.  Claws of Evil
9.  Reaper Looks in Your Eyes
Misantrophil - Vocals
Painkiller - Guitars
Jos Grave - Bass
Fed Kemper - Drums
Record Label: Seeing Red Records


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