Monday, April 1, 2024

Full Length Review: Suffering "Symphonies: Diabolis" (Independent) by Dave Wolff

Band: Suffering
Country: England
Genre: Black doom metal
Format: Cassette (limited to 22 copies), digital
Label: Independent
Release date: March 29, 2024
Suffering have honed their ability to create a dichotomy between fantasy and reality since their 2017 full-length debut "11". While that album conveyed a sense of forbidden ritual with LaVeyan overtones, "Symphonies: Diabolis" feels like a manifestation of the reality summoned by those rituals after being long hidden from human view.
Throughout the material, the prophetic theme inspired by "The Omen" is a promise of something much more sinister to come, made all the more unnerving by the dialogue and the contrast between age-old scenery and the modern world. This transition from Suffering's first album to their latest appears to have been a long and meticulous process, undertaken with infinite patience that is now bearing fruit.
My impressions of the music recorded for this album: A quote from "The Omen" introduces the death march emerging with "Ave Satani". The repetitive rawness of "Symphonies: Diabolis" establishes the mood of the album by heralding an apocalyptic event already occurring. This track and the following ones take the listener on a journey through the wasteland, showing nothing but devastation up close and personal, with light having vanished and nothing but allegiance to darkness remaining.
As I envisioned eldritch horrors coming to life and slowly taking over the contemporary world for "11", I made comparisons to John Carpenter's film "In The Mouth Of Madness". The merging of normal and macabre also gives the songs a similar feeling to the second chapter of Carpenter's apocalypse trilogy, "Prince of Darkness", with possessed humans lurking everywhere you turn.
With gritty, caustic production, unvarnished, discordant guitars, vibrating bass, barbarous drumbeats, and vocals that threaten to break your sanity, the repetitive nature of the songs pushes the album toward a mechanically mind numbing plateau, until you finally appear to be one with the minions of the underworld preparing to bring Old Scratch himself from the shadows into our midst.
With two additional live tracks, you can’t go wrong with this release if you’re into raw, primeval black/doom metal with heavy occult connotations. –Dave Wolff

Aýdlig: Guitars
Inquinatus: Bass
Malleus: Drums

Track list:
1. Ave Satani
2. A Semen Stained Letter To The Devil
3. Deceit: A Sheep In Wolf's Clothing
4. Danse Macabre
5. Nácht: Das Kinde Tod
6. Fire, War, Death!
7. Releasing The 11 (Live)
8. Cloven Hoof (Live)

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