Make Them Suffer – How To Survive A Funeral
Released: June 19th, 2020
Sean Harmanis // Vocals
Booka Nile // Vocals/Keys
Nick McLernon // Lead Guitar
Jaya Jeffery // Bass
Jordan Mather // Drums
The world might be taking Make Them Suffer‘s name far too seriously at the moment. However, the news that they are releasing their fourth album makes light of a dim situation. This class act from Perth has managed to earn their position at the forefront of Australia’s heavy music scene but will How To Survive A Funeral further push this band on their path of an upwards trajectory? Let’s assess.
The album kicks off with ‘Step One’. The introduction is slow, with a soft guitar riff playing, which is somewhat reminiscent of Parkway Drive’s Deep Blue era. Vocalist Sean’s opening lyrics “Speak from your heart” is what I imagine will be yelled by crowds the world over at future shows. ‘Falling Ashes’ kicks off with shredding guitars and blast beats. The ever so talented Harmanis shows off his prowess as an unclean vocalist in the second verse as he effortlessly screams with the instrumentals, rather than on top of them. Particularly with his lyrics “From gutter to gutter, he found there was more to discover”. With a short interlude which is inclusive of an almost robotic female voice, as well as Sean Harmanis repeating the lyrics “Falling ashes” three times before bringing us back to the impressive blast beats of drummer Jordan Mather for the outro.
The undulated tempo of ‘Bones’ is extraordinarily alluring. The ebbs, flows twist and turns the instrumentals take you on in this offering is extensive. This track, upon confirmation from the lady in question herself, keyboardist/vocalist Booka Nile, was so elegantly described as a “porno/hate-fuck riff” at UNIFY Gathering earlier this year (revisit here). Throughout the chorus, we experience the gift of higher-pitched, clean singing from frontman Sean, which is something entirely new for this band, and I cannot seem to fault it at all. The outro consists of choir-esque singing, repeating the phrase “Take from me my bones”. Beginning with enticingly heavy instrumentals ‘Drown With Me’ incorporates a long introduction, which will make you get up and mosh within seconds. This is the album’s first track where we see Booka Nile sing lyrics, which makes the chorus flow smoothly, creating an easy listening experience. Instrumentally, this song is repetitive, which works great. To have added too many intricate riffs and drumming to this song would have overpowered the lyrics, as the saying goes “less is more”.
The first single to be released from this album, ‘Erase Me’ begins with Booka’s haunting keys before Jordan Mather introduces his incredibly fast-paced blast beats. I am consistently impressed with the vocals of Sean Harmanis as he manages to display different ranges and styles without presenting any strain. Much like the previous song, Booka confidently shows off her voice throughout the chorus. Throughout the bridge, Harmanis confidently sings “Why would you save me? I’m not worth saving. You’re suffocating, so just erase me” which are his most vulnerable lyrics to date, adding a personal touch, which makes for a terrific ending. Commencing with an impressive riff by the breathtakingly talented Nick McLernon ‘Soul Decay’ kicks things back into a fast-paced tempo after the slow ending of the previous song. The guitar work in this piece is a stand-out; the intricacy of McLernon’s riffs are second to none. Inclusive in the chorus is Harmanis’ higher pitched screaming, which compliments the chorus’ and the bridge exceptionally well.
Arguably the album’s heaviest song ‘Fake Your Own Death’ starts on a heavy note, with the outstanding drumming of Mather being the focal point. Similarly to ‘Falling Ashes’ Sean’s intermittent, fast-paced screams maintain consistency with the instrumentals lead throughout the chorus, creating a catchy sound without exertion as he screams “Egregious, facetious, deceptive snake. dishonest, I’m speechless, you fucking fake.” A breakdown within the centre of the song adds to the tracks momentum. Title track ‘How To Survive A Funeral’ begins with McLernon producing another impressive riff with underlying samples that are eerily similar to Bring Me The Horizon‘s latest material, which doesn’t last long, the band quickly brings us back to their heavy roots prior to the chorus, where the lime lite is on unclean vocalist, Nile, who exceeds the highest of expectations with lyrics such as “You were out of touch for so long. You filled the room up, and none of us cared ’til you’re gone”. A significant breakdown throughout the middle of the song breaks up the songs soft, melodic structure in a pleasant way. The narrative of this song describes an individual’s funeral to them after they have passed.
The album’s softest song ‘The Attendant’ includes minimal screaming. Nile’s keys play a significant part with the instrumentals, while Jaya Jefferey‘s bass is the focal point. Overall, this song is quite underwhelming if you are listening for the instrumentals. The soft, melodic voices of Sean and Booka is what pulls this piece together. Finishing off the album is ‘That’s Just Life’ which instantly draws us back into Make Them Suffer‘s staple, heavy sound. It is evident that this song has influences from other genres, such as EDM. Particularly within the breakdown. This fusion sounds like a risky move, but it has worked perfectly.
Make Them Suffer are a powerful and influential band right now. With an album like How To Survive A Funeral, I can only imagine that they will take over the world very soon as they have already done so here in Australia.
Make Them Suffer – How To Survive A Funeral tracklisting
1. Step One
2. Falling Ashes
4. Drown With Me
5. Erase Me
6. Soul Decay
7. Fake Your Own Death
8. How To Survive A Funeral
9. The Attendant
10. That’s Just Life