NUM SKULL — When Suffering Comes (review)

NUM SKULL — When Suffering Comes album cover Album · 1996 · Thrash Metal Buy this album from MMA partners
3.5/5 ·
"When Suffering Comes" is the 2nd full-length studio album by US death metal act Num Skull. The album was released through Defiled Records in 1996. Num Skull formed in 1985 and is often mentioned among the first acts to play death/thrash. The band released their debut full-length studio album "Ritually Abused" in 1988, and recorded a second album in 1991, which was never released though. They disbanded that same year, but reformed in 1994. It was essentially a whole new band then though as guitarist Tom Brandner was the only remaining member from the "Ritually Abused (1988)" lineup.

The music style has changed quite a bit since the debut album too. While the music on "Ritually Abused (1988)" was a pretty raw and brutal type of thrash metal, it was never really death metal. The same can´t be said about "When Suffering Comes" which is a death metal release through and through. The heavy and brutal sounding production also pulls in a death metal direction. "When Suffering Comes" is actually a very brutal and relentlessly aggressive release, with deep intelligible growling vocals, downtuned brutal riffing, and punchy aggressive rhythms. The only exception is the cover of "Buried Alive" by Venom. It´s generally a very effective type of music but also slightly one-dimensional.

Num Skull are well playing/singing and deliver their music with both great passion and conviction. So "When Suffering Comes" is overall a quality release. The tracks could as mentioned have been slightly more memorable and the variation between tracks isn´t that great, but if you enjoy a brutal and fiercely aggressive punch in the face, it´s a highly recommendable release. A 3.5 star (70%) rating is deserved.
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