Hailing from Moscow, Russia is The Suicider with their first album, “Death Surround.” I cannot hear a name like The Suicider without thinking of the now defunct Finnish metal band Sentenced. “The Suicider” is a track from the fifth Sentenced album, “Frozen.” Listening to “Death Surround” I do get a sense that The Suicider was influenced by Sentenced, but I would not call them a copycat…yet. There are similarities though, track titles like “Bleeding to Death” (“Bleed”), “Kill Yourself and Be Happy” (“Excuse Me While I Kill Myself”), and “All About Misery” (“One With Misery”) certainly bring to mind The Northernmost Killers (aka Sentenced.)
There are also some stylistic similarities with later-era Sentenced; a lot of the songs on “Death Surround” have the same slightly gothic metal feel and vocals bearing a harsh edge which is still melodic enough to be catchy. The album also contains some harsher vocals which make me think of Children of Bodom. Then there are the clean vocals which do not remind me of anyone.
Wow, track five, “Children of the Northern Night” sounds like it rips off the main riff from Dio’s “Rainbow in the Dark.” Ba-ba ba-da-ba-da da-waa-waa! Yeah, that is so Dio. Not sure how to feel about that; you do not steal from the king.
I feel myself at the crossroads here. Down one path, I say how it is great that The Suicider have picked up the ball that Sentenced laid down and ran with it to keep the style alive. Down the other path, I say how there is just way too much Sentenced-worship going on for this to be anything but a lesser band trying to profit off the originality and talent of a better band. Is there a third path? I suppose rather than turning left or right I could just go straight and pick and choose a little from each path. I truly enjoy that The Suicider choose to play in this style of metal. I am not as thrilled with how much they rely on their influences. However, this is their first album, so it is not terribly surprising that their influences are worn so boldly on their sleeves. I think the real test will be to hear how a second album sounds. If they can mature and grow beyond their influences to express their own voice and vision, then I feel these guys could do something noteworthy. If they go back to the same well again, then I see their journey being a short one.
Here is the video for the album opener, “Road to Silence.” It sounds as though it could be a lost track from “Frozen.”