Album Review :
Your Chance to Die - Suscitatio Somnus

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Artist: Your Chance to Die
Title:  Suscitatio Somnus
Label:  Red Chord Records
Release Date: 8/30/2011
Reviewer:  David Marshall

Tracklisting:

01. Prochusio: Judgement Is Nigh
02. Divine Pestilence
03. Libations of Blood
04. Annuit Coeptis
05. Nigun Atardecer es Igual
06. Slaughter of the Innocents
07. Requiem for the Blessed Damned
08. Measure of Iniquity
09. Verdict for the Gods

It always amuses me when people try to define music. Sure, there may be certain key elements in every genre, but I can guarantee you that if you went back to the Roman Catholic Church, circa 1300, they’d be amazed, if not petrified, at the music that has been crafted over the past several decades, especially when it comes to what we know as metal. As I listen to Your Chance to Die’s “Suscitatio Somnus,” I wonder how many 14th century priests would try performing exorcising rituals upon the members of the band during a live show, but I digress.

South Carolina natives Your Chance to Die play a form of watered-down death metal that most “Christian bands” don’t even dream of touching because of the technicality. Too long have bands been ripping off *insert Rise/Sumerian Records band here* and not actually seeing that it’s not a sin to write technical music. Now, you may be wondering why I would use “watered-down” and “technicality” in the same sentence, let alone in a positive sense. The thing is, while there are death metal elements present, I wouldn’t put them alongside Decapitated or Cannibal Corpse, nor would I compare them to deathcore favorites Impending Doom. Facts are facts. It doesn’t take away from their musicianship; I just call it as I see it.

“Prochusio” starts off the album with an eery mix of screaming and a random woman speaking, which will probably set more people on edge than anything, but after almost a minute of that, you’re hit in the face with “Divine Pestilence,” one of the more memorable songs on the album. While the actual song writing is plagued with repetitive chugging, the melodies used, along with the solo, were chosen well, and keeps it from being just another song. “Libations of Blood” feels like a Wretched (fellow SC band) B-side, so it honestly keeps me from enjoying it as much as I would like to. It’s not a bad song, but for someone who used to enjoy Wretched quite a bit, it just rubs me a bit wrong.

Once you get a few songs in, you start hearing some of the gems, “Slaughter of the Innocents” being one of them in all of its melodic death-metal goodness. I’ve noticed that with several of the songs, they would be better if the tempo (speed) would match the feeling behind the parts, and I feel like this song finally gets to that point. I’m almost wondering if they wrote the first half of the album before they wrote the second half, because there is a maturity that is absent with the first few songs. “Requiem for the Blessed Damned” is another solid song that, once again, locks into a groove and keeps you interested all the way through.

Overall, as I mentioned, I think my biggest issues with “Suscitatio Somnus” lies with what, to me, feels like uninspired chugging and mismatched tempos/parts. Originally, I wasn’t a fan of the vocals, despite Melissa’s obvious talent, but the more I’ve listened, the more I’ve found myself appreciating her contribution to the band, albeit more of a vocal range would be nice, even if it’s from another member. There is a lot of potential to be found in “Suscitatio Somnus” and it’s refreshing to see Christians who aren’t afraid to write heavy music that doesn’t resemble Emmure. That being said, I don’t think I’ll be going out of my way to listen to this again (mostly because I have the new Thrice album to obsess over), but I will be looking out for their future material. Here’s to progress!

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