01. I've Lost 02. Pushed Too Far 03. Cease To Suffer 04. Burning Cross 05. Last Kiss 06. Laughed At My Pain 07. Turn Blue 08. Disappear 09. Bleeding You Dry 10. Dead And Gone 11. Interlude 12. Prophet On A Lie2003 Goodfellow Records
Bands in the business for thirty years still can’t figure out how to make a rock/metal album as solid as "Cease To Suffer." On this twelve-track beast, A Perfect Murder flawlessly combines metal, rock, hardcore and thrash to incite reactions of both complete mosh pit mayhem and unity in their audience at the same time. The musical and thematic maturity present on this record is seldom found coming from a band yet to complete its third year of existence, but some kids grow up fast, as the saying goes. And with more segregation than ever in the hardcore scene, as subdivisions attempt to become their own genres, what would do the scene a great benefit is the arrival of a band that is organic from the ground up. A Perfect Murder is that band. The maturity factor can be detected during the very first song, "I’ve Lost," which charges at you from the opening riff. There are no pretentious samples, nor is there a tragic waste of a track in the form of an ambient prelude. Frank’s reflective lyrics of despair are poured over a ballsy triple-guitar onslaught delivered by Kevin, Sebastien and principle riff-meister Carl Bouchard. The last band I recall to constructively use three guitars as wisely as A Perfect Murder was Syracuse’s ill-fated metal machine, Godbelow, who can be heard as an influence and inspiration on "Cease To Suffer" in terms of their guitar tuning and concepts. The differences between these two bands however are numerous. Frank’s vocals are a low, screamed growl sounding like a crossbreed of Jamey Jasta and Scott Vogel, with more range and different tones, whereas Godbelow singer Dan Johnson’s are released in a high-pitched fashion. Furthermore, A Perfect Murder are much more exact in their musical aim and appear to have their feet firmly planted in the hardcore scene, a reality Godbelow were unwilling to accept. After nearly ten years of being involved with the metal and hardcore scenes, I have not yet heard an album with as many crushing breakdowns and dirty guitar solos in succession as A Perfect Murder put forth on "Cease To Suffer." The band has clearly been inspired by classic groups like Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin, along with more contemporary metal bands such as Metallica, Crowbar and Pantera. This foundation will render A Perfect Murder extremely appealing to people who grew up when those bands were in their heyday, playing arenas every couple of years and clothing almost every male in the adolescent age bracket. Their music is new school for the old school boys, and old school for the new school kids. Their ode to Pantera comes in the form of "Choke," a barely two-minute long blast that manages to fit in a couple of breakdowns, a solo and the main guitar riff of the aforementioned southern metal band’s classic track "Slaughter" off of "Far Beyond Driven." While definitely an essential and well-produced release, A Perfect Murder’s debut EP on Cyclop Distribution, 2001’s "Blood Covered Words," could not begin to prophesize what the band would ultimately become on their second release and debut album. "Cease To Suffer" was put out by Ontario’s Goodfellow Records, who have also jump-started the careers of such rising metalcore bands as Every Time I Die and Premonitions Of War. And despite the growing and loyal followings that those two enjoy, this is the record that "should" put Goodfellow on the map for good. Void of unattractive technical trappings and a concern for fashion, that is the rage as of late with most bands, A Perfect Murder displays a true ethic of integrity. Bottom Line: "Cease To Suffer" is so infectious with its multitude of guitar solos, including an instrumental ballad, that only if and when it is pried from my cold, dead hands would I cease to spin it. This should be the album that even the most narrow-minded hardcore listener cannot find fault with. Finally a band has been properly influenced by rock and metal unlike the mass of untalented clones that endlessly and sadly saturate the current playlists. I will go on record less than halfway through the year and regard "Cease To Suffer" as my pick for debut album of 2003.
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