“Anguished Scream (for Vengeance),” the third track on Susperia’s Vindication, neatly summarizes the Norwegian death-metal supergroup’s approach to music-making. Susperia is quite anguished and screams about it at length on its sophomore effort. And while these five haunted-house fashion rejects certainly rawk with bludgeoning conviction, they also do so without imagination. Oh, there’s heaps of demonic vocal sermonizing, scalloped-fret finger-tapping and double-kick-drum pedals, but they sure don’t add up to much. Susperia is too self-important to be interesting, refusing to lighten up or have fun for even a second. The act’s vaguely rebellious lyrics (I don’t care who you are) form an inarticulate gloom-and-doomsday worldview that offers no clue as to why it’s so pissed. Maybe it’s something in Norway’s water supply, or perhaps it’s caused by the guilt that comes with swiping your whole sound from old Iron Maiden and Metallica records.

Categories: Music