Yes, this is a review for Portrayal of Guilt’s Suffering is a Gift (Closed Casket Activities) and believe me we’ll get to it in a bit, but who the fuck tried to sell this to me as Screamo? Honestly, screamo? These Austinite’s aren’t looking to settle for some re-warmed Metalcore riffs and lofty choruses so we can leave that outdated subgenre in the circular file. The riffs and blast beats on Suffering is a Gift are eager for dust and blood.
Sure, I’m a dude who regularly wears a Relapse Records tee while walking down the street to the beat of Hatebreed’s Perseverance, so I’ll be the first to admit not being an absolute authority on what screamo is. What I do know is that when ‘Scarcity’ comes on I hear corrosive riffage and vicious drum fills that would be right at home on a Converge recording. When ‘Dissolution’ begins to lay fire with Zao style discordance and Burnt by the Sun caliber blasts I know the pit is wide open and slam dancers are moving in rapidly for the kill.
While on the subject of speed, being an EP and all, I expect proceedings to move along quickly, but Suffering is a Gift trots along with beyond a sense of urgency. The pace set here suggests that the band was expected to report to jail yesterday as after you take in the explosion of ‘Self-Inflicted’ within minutes you’ve arrived at the closing moments of ‘Merciless’ and you’re frantically trying to collect your senses and whatever is left of your molars. And in case you were feeling particularly unmotivated, bear in mind that this is coming off the heels of their debut LP Let Pain Be Your Guide which dropped last year.
Suffering is a Gift is not screamo. This is a different beast entirely.
8 / 10