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Suffer In Paradise offer a melodic but somewhat pedestrian Funeral Doom debut.
With this release, Suffer In Paradise gives a therapeutic glimpse into the world of slow, crawling Doom, one whose home lies in longevity. The songs are tragic and woeful pieces, only half of which make it under the ten-minute mark. 'This Dead Is World' is full of crunching, or roaring guitar chords, synth interludes and accompaniments, and deep, growling vocals, which mesh nicely with the open, but forbearing sound of the album. While most of the songs are drawn out, crawling pieces of Doom, the track 'Suffer In Paradise' picks up the pace a bit - its approach reminiscent of My Dying Bride, at least as far as the riffs are concerned. All these efforts across 'This Dead Is World' are mostly successful, but some are muddled by the abuse of a few melodic themes, and what I would call the tasteless use of keyboard in some spots.
The natural, and raw sound of all the instruments is one of the most notable things on the album. The distortion on the rhythm guitars gives the chords a crushing feel, and the reverb on the lead guitar parts hits just the right balance, making the soaring, but deliberate melodies sound distant enough to evoke feelings of tragedy, while still standing firm and clear in the mix. And while the bass guitar seems to be lost for the most part as far as distinctiveness is concerned, the drums are quite coherent. The combination of minimalism the drums use, and their excellent treatment on the soundboard - particularly on the cymbals - makes for pleasing percussion in the arrangement.
Sadly, the keyboard/synth effects are a hit or miss depending on the song. What's most notable are some poor piano interludes, like towards the end of track one. These could be called minimalist, or atmospheric, but in my opinion they are painfully simple, and uninteresting. A few other interludes follow in these footsteps in much the same manner, whether they be on the settings of pipe organ, choir, or piano. This is not to say the album would be better off without these arrangements, but that the album would benefit from a more deliberate, and tasteful use of its keyboard effects.
Vocal-wise, Suffer In Paradise's singer could stand to show more variety, as the vocals hang on exclusively growls, but regardless, their placement and usage is appropriate, and I found myself entertained by their booming sound and slow rhythms. The growls follow behind the music, never drawing too much attention to themselves, often taking quite long breaks while the instruments play by themselves. There is a good bit of bass to their tone on certain words, but they are still enunciated well.
One salient thing about 'This Dead Is World' is its longevity, which isn't quite justified. Repetition is a key feature here, and certain songs, notably 'Somnambula' and 'Insect', seem to squeeze their main melodic themes as much as possible. The melodies themselves are great, but their repetition leaves me bored after a few minutes, and usually by this point the song is only halfway over. Thus, 'This Dead Is World' may not be an album to actively listen to, but its beautiful melodic approach is unforgettable at certain moments. To me, the highlight of 'This Dead Is World' was the song 'Archetype', the fifth song of the album.