Suppression - The Sorrow of Soul Through Flesh (2022)

Band: Suppression
Country: Chile
Album: The Sorrow of Soul Through Flesh
Label: Unspeakable Axe Records
Website: Facebook

What needs to be stressed when looking at this new Chilean band, with only a couple of demos and an EP under their belts so far, is that it consists of members who also play in the - also relatively new - death / thrash band Ripper. And over there, they have shown to have an excellent grip on creating fast and pumped, old school rooted, menacing metal with no elements of modernity, as with 2016's Experiment of Existence being to me, one of the best album of its kind for that decade. The same gifted individuals now take a turn towards purer death metal and the underground should be happy.

For people listening to this music more than just to find out what they like and pass their time, it's an ordeal to end up finding a band with substance, mainly because of the rate records are released and how different approaches sometimes miss core points. Once one tries to play it old school, one sounds worse than what we have already heard. Once one tries to go on cleaner and more modern playing, one puts oneself in danger of lacking meaning in the music for the sake of ultra complex technique. In the end, I am frustrated to listen to 90% of death metal bands with fancy album covers out there. Oh, what is this, another Swedish chainsaw sound record about death? Just what we needed.

Considering these side notes, Suppression is a breath of fresh air in a post-apocalyptic, barren and uninhabitable wasteland. This band understands the essence of the riff. The flow and structure of their tracks is perfect, every instrument is audible and has a purpose in the composition, and they dare to experiment more than once in this album. Production-wise, the same muddy sound of the Ripper albums is ongoing, but it shouldn't be anything other than that. There's a ton of bulldozing guitar melodies all over the place, wonderfully placed together in seamless changes of tempos and it's above all, naturally heavy. 

Of the two instrumentals, there is one short acoustic piece and a more elaborated piece "Unwinded Harmonies", in the same spirit like the rest of the record, only more abstract and experimental that reminds a bit of early technical death metal's unconventional side, but only in parts of it. I liked all the solos I heard in The Sorrow of Soul Through Flesh, which also features vocals very close to the style of Obituary, and it's the only minor drawback I could find. While there's nothing wrong with how the vocalist sounds, sometimes it gets to close to this way of singing (for example in the second track "Overfeeding Gaps"), which is already a bit particular.

Apart from that, the record is full of amazing death metal tracks. The opening "Lifelessness", as well as "Lost Eyes" and "Monochromatic Chambers" are highlights, for their glorious guitar and bass moments, with the latter having a vibrant presence in the album, as it should always be. The take home message here is the same as in the other band of these Chileans, that you can still play old school without boring the listener to death, and it can be worthy listening to even further away from the ears of the fanatics of traditional metal that don't go for anything else. As much as I like Ripper, I like Suppression now.

Release date: April 25th, 2022

1. Lifelessness
2. Overfeeding Gaps 
3. Monochromatic Chambers
4. Unperpetual Misery
5. Unwinding Harmonies
6. Lost Eyes
7. Misunderstanding Reality
8. Self-Eaten Alive
9. Arrowheads
10. Extortion Behaviors

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