The deeper I descend into the world of underground and extreme metal, the more it seems I'm rewarded for taking the journey. I've not hid the fact that in the grand scheme of things, I'm a relative noobie to death metal. Gojira was my gateway drug less than ten years ago, so I've had a lot of ground to cover in a very short period of time. The upshot is that there's what seems like a never-ending supply of both old and new metal albums to be discovered.
This week's discovery is New Zealand's Rendered Helpless, and their third LP 'Suffer, Seraphim'. Rendered Helpless is Alexander Paul, front-man for NZ''s Organectomy, who calls this evil creation of his a side-project. What Rendered Helpless have done here is taken elements of deathcore and atmospheric metal and deftly woven them into a menacing fabric of slam and brutal death. Primarily guttural vocals are accented with tonsil shredding screams and the occasional, disarming spoken segue to deliver a concept album about a Corpse God. This is, not surprisingly then, a dark and truly heavy piece of music that is made more potent, more viable and infinitely more engaging thanks to the amalgamation of extreme metal sub-genres, not in spite of it.
Blame it on the fact that this is a concept album, which is a continuation thematically of Rendered Helpess' 2017 offering, Entities of Transdimensional Mass; or the fact that everything you hear on Suffer, Seraphim is the singular vision of Alexander Paul, and therefore no competing forces and egos exist within the band; or the fact that I'm a total sucker for genre splicing, but whereas I'd tell you that slam/brutal DM is my least favorite extreme metal sub-genre, this album is certified ear candy. The ever so slightly dialed back guitars allow the rhythm section, and in particular a bass that sounds like it's strung with overhead power lines, to not only carry the weight of the album, but to bring it straight down into your forehead. Whether it's the thundering and menacing sludge that opens 'Matriarchal Devirgination', or the speed hate of Transhuman Dread, 'Suffer Seraphim' hits hard in every gear.
For right now, SS is only being offered in digital form over on Rendered Helpless' Bandcamp page. I reached out to Alexander earlier this week about the possibility of a physical release and he got back to me right away, letting me know that CD pre-orders are underway over at www.inheritedsufferingrecords.com. Go get some!!!
The "band" has quite the following on Facebook (frankly, the Metal Abyss staff is jealous) so you can check in with Rendered Helpless there. You can also direct all of your hateful comments about the editor allowing me to write for MA to the comments section on our FB page. He'll be delighted to finally have a reason to give me my two weeks notice.
Video: RENDERED HELPLESS - SUFFERING OF SERAPHIM single