Words by Sam Wolstenholme
Perth metalcore sensations Make Them Suffer have been going from strength to strength since the announcement of their renewed full lineup late last year and dropping their electrifying single Doomswitch. More than 10 years have elapsed since the release of their breakout album ‘Neverbloom’, and over the years, the band have gained widespread acclaim, not least for their unexpectedly winning trademark combination of deathcore and classical piano melodies. Now, on the eve of embarking on the mammoth ‘Monsters of Oz’ tour of the US in support of Parkway Drive, the five-piece are celebrating both their origins and the exciting future ahead with a tour on home soil to revisit the album that first made the metal world sit up and take notice. Bringing New Jersey’s Fit For An Autopsy and local rising stars Ocean Sleeper along for the ride, Make Them Suffer are kicking off their ‘Neverbloom’ tour with a bang, having sold out The Princess Theatre on a Thursday night, no less.
It’s clear that regional Victoria’s Ocean Sleeper already have a considerable following up here in Brisbane – as soon as the four-piece takes the stage, there’s a rapid influx of punters rushing into the room to join the mosh which breaks out almost instantly. The band wastes no time in ripping into a solid hardcore breakdown right from the get-go, and their powerful yet catchy brand of metalcore conveys Sleeping With Sirens meets Alpha Wolf vibes. Worthless gets a passionate sing-along from the crowd, and Hate Me Like You Mean It really ramps up the rowdiness in the mosh, which suddenly expands like an atomic cloud with punters throwing fists left, right and centre.
Upon announcing that they’re performing their new single Never The One for the first time, we are also warned that this particular track is very “pop rock”, and it certainly starts out that way; however, when a crushing breakdown crashes in out of nowhere, it’s sounding closer to Bring Me The Horizon. With a nice heavy number to close out the set which brings the intensity to its zenith, this has been a consistently tight, sleek and polished set from Ocean Sleeper tonight.
Deathcore mainstays Fit For An Autopsy have long been popular with Aussie core crowds, and judging by the buzz in the room, they’re a hotly awaited act tonight. After an atmospheric, percussive intro track that hammers on like a countdown, filthy breakdowns land that provoke an even filthier mosh. Instantly the mood in the room morphs into an aggressive anarchy, with significantly down-tuned guitar grooves thundering with such a weight that it feels like they’re burning a hole in the floor. The collective power of the rhythm section is immense, and as the set goes on, more and more punters are clamouring to dive into the ever-growing circle pit.
Savages has a really innovative alternative blast beat-groove pattern in the drum line, which combined with the intense tremolo picked guitars, creates a whirlwind of sound, and the Meshuggah-esque grooves in The Sea of Tragic Beasts are a pummelling, relentless force. It’s chaos in the pit towards the end of the set – everyone’s blood is up from the sheer ferocity of the deathcore mayhem, judging by the sizeable wall of death that occurs and even an unexpected row pit. Closing with some rapid-fire guitar shreds in Far From Heaven, Fit For An Autopsy have hyped up the crowd very effectively tonight with a crushing set from start to finish.
Trippy neon video screens lining the stage and flickering lights signal the beginning of the headlining act. The silhouette of new keyboardist/vocalist Alex Reade emerges to play the mournful solo piano Prologue, dramatically building the tension until the rest of the band burst onto the stage and rip right into the cacophony of blistering riffs and blast beats that is the title track of this tour’s namesake. Neverbloom gets a jump pit going very quickly indeed, and frontman Sean Harmanis’s harsh vocals are searing, contrasting nicely with Alex’s crystal clear cleans. Walls of death and circle pits erupt, and it’s absolute bedlam in the most thrilling way possible. Sean announces that this tour is the last time the band will ever play tracks from ‘Neverbloom’, that it’s an exclusive revisiting of the album that only Australian fans will get to enjoy, and the crowd seems to take that as something of a challenge, getting increasingly out of control as the set goes on.
Elegies offers what feels like the best legal kind of acid trip with its djenty riffs and strobe lights, and Maelstrom unfolds as a literal maelstrom as the circle pit surges into more of a swirling, seething vortex of bodies. The band disappear off stage for the instrumental interlude of Oceans of Emptiness, and clearly the crowd is antsy to just keep on moving. During bangers like The Well and Weeping Wastelands, the mosh falls apart at the seams amidst chugging deathcore anarchy and the meanest breakdowns around, which are delivered like savage, crushing judgements from wrathful gods above. Sean advises us that their drummer for this tour is a fill-in who had only a month’s notice to learn this insane set, and he’s absolutely smashing it tonight – a very impressive feat. The synth patches, orchestrations and keys courtesy of Alex add a layer of gorgeous, lush drama to the punishing soundscape, conveying The Acacia Strain meets Fleshgod Apocalypse vibes. There’s a massive crowd chant for hit track Widower, and the crowdsurfing begins.
This brings us to the end of the ‘Neverbloom’ set, but Make Them Suffer have a couple of final surprises in store with their two newest tracks. Ghost of Me gives Alex a chance to show off her powerful harsh vocals and angelic cleans, and finally, Doomswitch is the perfect send off with its blistering choruses and hurricane breakdowns, not to mention the glorious appearance of a keytar! It’s an effective book-ending of the set – starting with the old, and ending with the new era of Make Them Suffer. Judging by tonight’s explosive live experience, this band are ready to dominate the world, and this feels like just the beginning.
REMAINING MAKE THEM SUFFER TOUR DATES
Sunday 28 May: Metro Theatre, Sydney
Wednesday 31 May: The Basement, Canberra
Thursday 1 June: 170 Russell, Melbourne (Sold Out)
Saturday 3 June: Fat Controller, Adelaide (Sold Out)
Sunday 4 June: Magnet House, Perth (Sold Out)
Thanks to Dallas Does PR