Voluntary Mortification
Suffer to Rise

What the heck is this? Christian Deathcore? Good Christian Deathcore even? What is it……. 2010 or something?????

It’s been a while since I covered and enjoyed a Christian metal record, let a alone a Deathcore one that recalls a peak of the genre and bygone era when the likes of Earth From Above (still the water mark for the genre), As Hell Retreats, With Blood Comes Cleansing, Impending Doom or every record Facedown Records/Strikefirst Records released roamed the scene.

Michigan’s Voluntary Mortification actually would have been a perfect fit on Facedown/Strikefirst back in the day, and instantly been their heaviest band except maybe for Earth From Above. But residing on a newer Christian heavy label that introduced me to Death Requisite a few years ago, I had to check it out. And I’m glad I did, as their debut, a concept album about a recently deceased soul’s journey through the afterlife from hell, and redemptive arc to heaven is a impressively hefty death metal/deathcore/downtempo record, regardless of concepts.

Backed with  huge, crumbling production/mix/master from Christian metal go to guy Josh Schroeder (For Today, A Plea For Purging, The Burial, Those Who Fear, Sleeping Giant– as well as Lorna Shore and Mental Cruelty), Suffer to Rise sounds absolutely massive and also covers all the death metal/deathcore bases with a heavy focus on mid tempo/downtempo lurches and lopes with a few blast beats thrown in, as well as the requisite dual screamed/bellowed vocals. Not a solo/lead to be seen in sight anywhere.

Now musically, it’s nothing new or innovative in the genre, but it hits pretty fucking hard. And there is none on the usual, cliched Christian fluff (clean vocals, softer interludes etc), as Suffer to Rise goes hard from start to finish. After the album’s character passes in the introductory “Wages of Sin”, from “Death Tremors”  through “Valley of Slaughter” and “Demoncratic Society” and the stitle track to  closer “Crush the Serpent’s Head” the album just pummels and pummels with a pretty relentless, if simplistic brutality.

On the minor downside, vocalist  Conner Luttig’s higher register screams get a bit grating, though his deeper growls are solid. But that does not stop Suffer to Rise being a solid deathcore album, one that one won’t be one of my real ‘go tos’ in 2022, but certainly one I won’t turn off and will enjoy as the year goes on.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
August 2nd, 2022

Comments

  1. Commented by: Conner

    Appreciate the review man! Also love the comment on my deeper lows being solid. I’m glad I did enough dynamics in the album for people that prefer one or the other. This record was a blast to produce with Josh Schroeder. Thank you so much. Message us if you want a physical CD! We’ll get you one.


  2. Commented by: Erik T

    Well- hey I appreciate the offer- but I already ordered a copy!


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