Make Them Suffer may be worlds apart from where they were in 2015 with the release of Old Souls, but they are back more musically cultured than ever before with their Rise Records debut. Symbolizing a new era for the band, Worlds Apart features Make Them Suffer like you’ve never heard them before. It’s risky business to mix things up, let alone change your line-up, but Worlds Apart gives further proof to the claim that with no risk there is no reward. By exploring previously uncharted territory, Make Them Suffer are making their first move away from the formula to rise out of the ashes as this year’s highly-unexpected, yet extremely welcomed and celebrated, surprise.

Immediately, the record introduces this new era of Make Them Suffer with “First Movement,” which is just as brutal as it is refined. This duality is threaded throughout the entire record as you are taken through moments that are beautifully fragile, which can be felt most in the haunting additions of the keyboard and Booka Nile‘s etherial, airy vocals, and others that are insanely heavy, which are displayed most in Sean Harmanis‘ vicious growls and the earthy thickness of the guitar. Make Them Suffer have always been technically sound, but tracks like these shows them at their most progressive. From the very get go, they have you in the palm of their hand with a dynamic, explosive, and rhythmic opener. But the best has yet to come…

The previously released single, “Uncharted” follows, and opens up, much against the Make Them Suffer norm, euphorically. It’s even a tad bit… djenty, like something you’d hear in a Periphery or Northlane record. Make Them Suffer are wanting to take it up a notch without completely losing themselves, and they successfully achieve that with songs like “Uncharted.” Conceptually, it’s not crazy to think that this is a continuation upon their previous work. Some may say it’s uncreative and “more of the same” when they include similar musical elements throughout a record, but I actually think it’s a nice touch. Tracks like “Uncharted” show incremental growth, which can be heard all throughout Worlds Apart; However, I do still think this album takes it away from the formula more than ever before. Elevation and improvement are key successes on this record. Once you step away from the idea of who they used to be, you can really appreciate them for who they’ve become.

Genre limitations hold no bounds this go around, especially on the next two tracks, “Grinding Teeth,” which is as technical ever, but features breakdown moments similar to something you’d hear in a hardcore punk track, and “Vortex,” which is death metal to the core. Setting things off further is “Fireworks,” Make Them Suffer’s first released single, and rightfully so. It shows off the nuances of the record flawlessly, but as the record develops, it opens up more and begins to bloom. Not only do you get something that’s more inventive, especially in terms of the guitar work, but you also get something that’s more groove-oriented. You even get more spoken word in songs like, “Save Yourself,” which adds yet another layer of surprise to Worlds Apart.

For those who say Make Them Suffer have grown tentative with Worlds Apart, I disagree whole-heartedly. Tentativeness would mean that they didn’t take risk this go around and stuck with the same old formula. But rather than be afraid to jump off the cliff, Make Them Suffer have leaped off it without a single hint of fear or apprehension. It is that unhindered approach and willingness to change that makes Worlds Apart an extremely successful record. A new era is on the way this Friday, and that era is Make Them Suffer 2.0. All I can say is that the world better be prepared for what’s to come next.