Susperia Cut From Stone

After almost a decade into their existence, Norway’s Susperia have been on the cusp of the mainstream for a while now. As the members’ former employers — Dimmu Borgir and Satyricon — currently enjoy the black metal spotlight, Susperia have long elected to stick to what is basically Testament worship for all four of their releases. After managing to nab famed producer Daniel Bergstrand (In Flames, Meshuggah), Cut From Stone should be the band’s ascension into a new echelon. If all was fair in the world, such recognition would have come with their last release, Unlimited, one of the better albums of 2004. Cut From Stone is somewhat of a change from the face-melting speed of most of Unlimited, and the more groove-injected passages that appear are quite catchy. Alas, Susperia have failed to take full advantage of their opportunity. Cut From Stone is a good record, it is just ill timed. Hopefully Susperia can penetrate the North American market with this release and introduce audiences to their superior back-catalogue. In the meantime, if you long for a band that can release something as good as Testament’s The Gathering, look back to Unlimited. (Candlelight) (Candlelight)