Band: Suffer Yourself
Label: Cimmerian Shade Recordings
Atmospheric as an adjective is lost to some listeners, seen as another word added to a simple title to make it sound different, which trend spiraled out of control until we have such nonsense as technical drone-death nintendocore (calm down, that’s not real.) But Atmospheric is as legitimate a quality as any others set in stone – hard rock, classic rock, death metal, stoner metal, etc. The principle of Atmospheric Doom Metal (ADM) can be seen as such; to take huge tri-tone riffage, deep drum grooves, death metal vocals and lyricism of despair and dread – the qualities of Doom Metal – and apply the Atmospheric quality, which is about drawing out the progressions, the tempo, and dynamic to have the listener engulfed in the terrifying atmosphere for at least seven minutes.
Polish quartet Suffer Yourself, having released their second full-length album last November, is a shining example of ADM’s credibility. However, they take it one step further and look to some of literary history’s most prominent figures who focused on matters of death, dread, the pain of existence, the endless void, and more for a truly unique ADM experience. Using figures such universally recognised as Poe and Lovecraft, along with lesser known – but by no means lesser quality – writers such as Gippius (Russian poet) and Turbina (Soviet/Ukrainian poet), Suffer Yourself’s Ectoplasm is emotionally rich to the point of being poignant and starkly confronting while befitting the music perfectly.
Ectoplasm begins as a fog of ambiance creeping under your door until the door explodes off the hinges. ‘The light is streaming out of the clouds, the black abysmal madness is rising. I open my eyes and see a dream, forgiven be this world forever and ever‘ is growled with gutteral doom vocals. The music drops back to a most haunting lead melody over a heavy groove, launching back into madness until an ominous chant laments Vulnerant Omnes, Ultima Necat (they all wound, and the last kills.) Ectoplasm ends with Lovecraft’s Polaris in sickening black metal vocals.
Abysmal Emptiness and The Core continues to tow the line of monstrously dark riffs with cinematic lyrics of despair growled, whispers, or shrieked (guest vocalist Andrey Tkachenko providing some fearsome shrieks.) The Core features sounds of Morse code and a chopper over their music with excerpts of Turbina in Russian speech, ‘I am the wormwood, bitterness on the lips, bitterness in the words…‘
Dead Visions takes it a step further with mixing Poe’s Spirits of the Dead and ending with Visit of the Dead, with Russian dialogue between that would freak any anglophone listener. Dominantly heavy riffing and deep groves, Dead Vision’s dynamic foretells the sound the album will end with. Transcending the Void features another guest François Bilodeau, who provides both lyrics in French and English and contributes droning and ambiance sounds to the final track.
Suffer Yourself’s Ectoplasm is equally intelligent as it is a commendable example of atmospheric doom metal.
Lars Abrahamsson – Guitar
Malcolm Sohlen – Bass
Kateryna Osmuk – Drums
Stanislav Govorukha – Guitar, vocals, programming