Sisters Of Suffocation – “Humans Are Broken” (Napalm Records)
Battle Helm Rating
Continuing the she warrior onslaught comes Sisters Of Suffocation, actually the first female Dutch death metal outfit and straight out’ve Eindhoven, a city cemented in metal history thanks to the (once) mighty Dynamo Open Air festival. Already releasing their debut in 2017, “Humans Are Broken” is their follow up, although now losing the all femme tag with the recruitment of new drummer Kevin van den Heiligenberg, possessing the sole Y chromosome in the band! Following in the footsteps of Dutch staples like Asphyx and Hail Of Bullets with plenty of old school brutality and Els Prins giving any bear a roar to match, what impresses about this young band is their equal use of technicality, especially in the dexterous guitar work of Simone van Straten and new guitarist Emmelie Herwegh, who are clearly not just content to shred and chunder, but serve up plenty of melodic passages, happily exhibit their technicality and also incorporate an intelligent use of progressive, ambient parts to create plenty of variation and atmosphere across the 11 tracks on this tantalising sophomore. The expansion to a five piece definitely works, making for a thicker sound here on the album which should also work a treat live, building on their experience of already playing festivals like Dong Open Air, Antwerp Metal Fest, Gefle Festival, Eindhoven Metal Meeting, Chronical Moshers and Lowlands. Driving in with the double bass drums on ‘Blood On Blood’ the catchy chopping riffola is graced by multiple vocal styles of growls and raw screams which definitely adds to the excitement, while shimmering guitar melodies and pure heavy metal solos balance the brutality with femme passion in a classy way. If it wasn’t already clear from the album cover, then the environment, meat and fear politics definitely fuel the angst of the band and it comes across no clearer than on closer ‘Burn’, with its initial mid tempo beat unexpectedly giving way to tranquil ambience, before a brutal onslaught of chopping riffs with a punkish vibe brood away as Els roars in the background with added screams until she raps out her socially conscious message towards the end – excellent. Definite fave for me though was ‘Little Shits’ with its dirty old school death riffing chugging away menacingly overlaid by a catchy groove and featuring the band’s highly effective multiple vocal styles coming at ya from all directions all screaming – well, you guessed it ‘…you little shits!!!..’ ha ha! Defining well Sisters Of Suffocation winning combination of mixing the old school with new elements effectively, “Humans Are Broken” now takes it to a whole new level from a band fast becoming the talk of a land.