ALBUM REVIEW: Suffer Decay Alone – Above & Below

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Suffer Decay Alone is definitely an eye-catching title. This is the debut album from ABOVE & BELOW, the solo project from PLAGUEWIELDER‘s primary member Bryce Seditz. If the title sounds all doom-and-gloom, that’s because the subject matter is not a happy one. “The lyrics are very much about intrusive thoughts and failed relationships,Seditz explains. “There is a feeling of worthlessness and hopelessness to this album.

The first of the seven songs on the record here is Ghosts. Right off the bat, it’s something different. The production feels rawer, and the unpolished sound has a unique appeal. Seditz said that he was influenced by industrial metal, and it shows. Some might assume that because the sound is raw, then it is not a very good song, however the fantastic production work by Seditz himself comfortably avoids that. The instrumentals are the star of the song here, and they sound very eerie.

The eeriness continues with Rust, which has a focus on vocals instead of instruments. This isn’t a bad thing though, because the production means that the pacing of the album is not affected. Furthermore, the allure of the strange sounds that are in the background of the songs keeps the audience listening.

As to what those sounds are, the answer is mines and steel mills. Seditz went around his local area to record those sounds, as well as the general gloom, in order to hammer home the hopelessness. This not only does the job to an amazing degree, but it also makes the album unique. The isolation is key, and the sound of the mines during the bridge of Hope makes the despair all the more apparent. The songs are fantastically linked together by the everyday city sounds that form the outro of each song. This not only helps the pacing of the album, but also the pacing of each song, because they all have the same ending.

On the first listen, Dead seems like the odd one out; its production is more electronic-focused instead of the usual industrial metal. On paper, it shouldn’t fit the album at all because it is too ‘out there’ and does not fit the sound of the rest of the album. However, that is on paper. In practice, it doesn’t sound out of place at all. Thanks to the production, it fits right at home on the album. Furthermore, the song shows that ABOVE & BELOW are not going to stick to one genre. Industrial metal does not just stick to the metal side of things. Seditz said that he has always wanted to write an industrial metal album, and the result is perfect.

If anyone were to tell you that this was someone’s debut album, you would probably laugh in their face. That is how good this album is. Suffer Decay Alone is well-produced, and the pacing is perfect. Seditz has outdone himself by crafting a unique sound. The industrial metal sound works really well for the album, and it should definitely please fans of NINE INCH NAILS, GODFLESH and THORNS, amongst many others. This just shows that ABOVE & BELOW is a name to watch, and judging by this debut album, there is a bright future ahead.

Rating: 9/10

Suffer Decay Alone - Above & Below

Suffer Decay Alone is set for release on June 10th via Disorder Recordings.

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The post ALBUM REVIEW: Suffer Decay Alone – Above & Below appeared first on Distorted Sound Magazine.

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