SUFFERING HOUR — The Cyclic Reckoning

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SUFFERING HOUR - The Cyclic Reckoning cover
3.50 | 2 ratings | 1 review
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Album · 2021

Tracklist


1. Strongholds of Awakening (5:27)
2. Transcending Antecedent Visions (7:58)
3. The Abrasive Black Dust Part II (7:59)
4. Obscuration (6:33)
5. The Foundations of Servitude (16:32)

Total Time 44:29

Line-up/Musicians


- DgS / Bass, Vocals
- IsN / Drums
- YhA / Guitars

About this release

Profound Lore Records
CD, Vinyl, Digital
Released 19th Feb 2021

Thanks to Nightfly for the addition

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SUFFERING HOUR THE CYCLIC RECKONING reviews

Specialists/collaborators reviews

Nightfly
Back in 2017 Suffering Hour created quite a stir with their debut album “In Passing Ascension”. Their distinctive take on blackened death metal won them many admirers so not surprisingly album number two, “The Cyclic Reckoning” arrives with high expectations.

Whilst the band shows growth they continue using the template they cut last time. Their sound is pretty distinctive mainly down to the guitar work of YhA which is quite clean with plenty of top end and vibrato and a heavy chorus effect – a seventies vibe even at times. The songs, only five in total, sound cold and atmospheric loaded with plenty of dissonance. The thin top heavy production bears more resemblance to black than death metal and in fact the music does sit in both camps. Personally I would have preferred the rhythm section to have a meatier sound as they lack power and sound distant in the mix. No doubt this is deliberate though adding to the cold, icy feel. As a result of this the guitar does tend to overshadow everything else, including the vocals, so it’s just as well that YhA has come up with some engaging riffs though they’re far from immediate and require some perseverance to fully appreciate. The album closes with the sixteen and a half minute “The Foundations of Servitude” giving them ample opportunity to stretch things out and not surprisingly is the most complex track here. The opening chiming chords soon descend into a maelstrom of riffs backed by the ever-shifting bass and drums. It’s the best track on offer and whilst the first four songs hint at what’s to come it’s only now that I feel the band reach their full potential.

A minor criticism from me is despite its uniqueness; the guitar sound does wear a bit thin over time and seems to offer limited opportunities for growth on future albums if they stick with it. But I’m getting too far ahead here so concentrating on “The Cyclic Reckoning”, whilst it’s an album I admire rather than love, there’s no denying it’s very good and full marks must go to Suffering Hour for trying to do something original in a genre (or genres) of music where it is becoming increasingly difficult to do so.

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