Rendered Helpless - Suffer, Seraphim
If you listen to a lot of slam or brutal death metal, there's a good chance you're already familiar with the sickening RENDERED HELPLESS; but for those who have never heard the name before, all my to introduce you to this one man powerhouse death metal machine. Based out of New Zealand, Rendered Helpless is the product of Alexander Paul, vocalist of the slamming brutal death metal band Organectomy; Suffer, Seraphim is now the third full length record put out by Paul, and all it takes is one listen through the record to tell that there has been some serious progression from 2017's "Entities of Transdimensional Emergence" (which I fucking love with all of my heart) and the new record. "Suffer, Seraphim" has been one of the records I've been looking forward to hearing since the previous record came out, and it's safe to say that Alex fucking slays on this record and dare I even say outdoes himself. The record combines technicality and brutality in the finest of ways, pounding away at your ear drums with filthy fucking breakdowns and vocals bathed in pure grime. I've said it before about "Entities of Transdimensional Emergence" and it's safe to say it again about "Suffer, Seraphim": Rendered Helpless continues to be vastly underrated and more people need to be listening to whatever it is Paul is putting his name to.
The album kicks off with intro track "And the End Began," a sick building, mellow little lead-in to the purely chaotic full track "Insatiable Domination" which throws you right into the action. Plenty of hard-hitting guitar chugging and kick-drums for days. Toss Paul's insanely demonic vocals over it, and its the perfect type of music to commit some violence to. The track slows down plenty to really set an evil, hellish tone to it which is something you'll find all throughout the album; it's almost a shared feeling you'll find when listening to this album as a whole. "Suffering of Seraphim" (which features Jesse Critchley of Carnal) made me lose my mind after hearing just the first few seconds - hearing a Diablo 3 sample on this record automatically earns the album points for being insanely fucking cool. But the sickness doesn't end there; "Suffering of Seraphim" actually ended up becoming one of my favorite tracks because of just how absurdly heavy this thing gets: from disgusting blast beats to dirty, slammy vocals to some wildin' out guitars, this song just reeks of awesome. You'll find in the tracks that follow that Paul put together songs that are equal parts heavy, technical, and downright violent. Songs like "Malediction" (which features Vin Jones of Plague of the Fallen and which almost feels like a beatdown song, so sick), "Matriarchal Devirgination" (which features Joshua Bain of Depths and Connor of Mercy) and "Transhuman Dread" (with its wicked banshee-type scream mid-song) all share these qualities, and it's what makes for such a great listen. There's plenty of devastating metal to go around with this release, making it probably my favorite release from Rendered Helpless as a whole. "Consumed by Anguish" is one of the most insanely epic and damning tracks I've heard in a long, long time - probably my favorite song off the entire record; things take a slow turn and Paul manages to make it so absurdly brutal, it's undeniable how fucking sick this song is. The album closes out with "The Emperor of Nothing" - a truly wicked four minute descent with shrieks that will send shivers down your spine and a little groovy that will get your head bobbing as it slows into a peaceful, graceful solemn outro to really bring a calm end to the madness your ears just endured; a perfect ending to one hell of a fucking album.
"Suffer, Seraphim" is an absolute masterpiece of 2019 death metal so far. It's got a little bit of everything for a little bit of everyone; if you consider yourself a fan of extreme music, you'll find something that will blow you away on this record. From breakdowns to slammy vocals to speedy technical brutality, "Suffer, Seraphim" has got it all and to think it was all put together by a one-man machine makes it just that much better. There's a reason Rendered Helpless has conjured up the hype that it has received by the online death metal community over the last few years, and "Suffer, Seraphim" is 2019's proof of why. The work has clearly been put in by Alexander Paul, and it's more than paid off. Don't sleep on this record (or this band, for that matter) - this record is one that's not leaving our rotation any time soon.