Metal is a strange beast to many people. Since its emergence in the late ’60s/early ’70s, heavy metal has spawned at least a dozen official sub-genres of music, and its definition is amorphous at best. Ask a dozen different fans which band best defines “metal,” and you’ll get a dozen different—and valid—answers.
One thing all fans will agree on, regardless of style, is that metal is a visceral experience. There’s an innate physicality, something that taps into the deeper lizard side of the human subconscious, the primal depths of human emotion.
Make Them Suffer, a metalcore outfit from Australia, is one of the most versatile yet underrated bands of the past decade, consistently producing some of the most complex and interesting sounds in the genre. Huge, brutal bass, and drums beneath the epic screaming vocals from frontman Sean Harmanis contrast (often violently) with subtle clean melodies emanating from the guitar and female backing vocals.
Playing to a sold out crowd at Soundstage in Baltimore, MD, the band brought every inch of their considerable talent to bear. Tracks like “27,” “Vortex (Interdimensional Spiral Hindering Inexplicable Euphoria),” and “Blood Moon” showcased their forceful ability to sweep up every person in the room in a storm of energy. The final song of the set, and my personal favorite, “Ether” was a particular standout: a complete juxtaposition of brutal screams and rhythms perfectly contrasted with almost delicate melodies and clean vocals.
Slow it down, just wait. Take some time to question life while you’re young and learning. Take it slow, just stay. I know it’s hard but moving fast, you’re going to miss the journey.
– “Ether,” from Old Souls & Lord of Woe (2016)
After supporting Born of Orisis and Chelsea Grin on 2019’s The Simulation Tour in the U.S., the band is headed to Europe and Australia for the summer. Check them out headlining with supporting acts After The Burial, Saviour, and Gravemind.