We’re bringing you a helluva good song in this feature, one that helps herald the forthcoming arrival of Rotting Existence, a new record from Salt Lake City’s Suffocater. This is a group that only formed last summer, but they’ve wasted no time, releasing a self-titled debut EP last November and now following it with this album.
The band’s three members all played in punk and folk projects in the past, but they united within Suffocater as a way of channeling their passion for heavier music. They describe their style as “straightforward hardcore with brutal metal vocals,” taking influences from bands like Portrayal of Guilt, Eyehategod, and Genocide Pact.
But like most shorthand descriptions, that one doesn’t fully incorporate what you’ll hear in their music. You’ll get a better idea by checking out the song from the new release that we’re premiering today — “Empty Streets“
“Empty Streets” is a visceral bruiser of a song on multiple levels. Propelled by a rumbling, tumbling drum-drive and hard-slugging bass lines, the riffing alternates between brazen, blaring, and slashing sounds that have an almost imperious demeanor, and bursts of fast-jabbing fretwork accented by ear-piercing string-shrieks. In both respects, the song gets its hooks in the head damned fast.
The track’s cathartic intensity is further magnified by raw, blackened howls of unmistakable fury and by jolting grooves and feverish leads. But it also becomes more bleak, thanks to slow, haunting guitar solos that seem to weep and wail in misery above towering chords. And thus both defiant belligerence and daunting despair coexist in the song. To repeat, it’s also damned tough to get out of your head once you hear it:
“Empty Streets” is the second single from the new album. Below we’ve included a stream of the first one, “Left to Rot“, which had its premiere at New Noise Magazine. It’s further proof of Suffocater‘s song-writing prowess, melding fiery riffs that pulse and dart together with booming, neck-wrecking rhythms and larynx-scraping vocal intensity, and thereby creating an experience that’s quickly catchy despite its dark undercurrents.
Rotting Existence includes seven more original tracks in addition to these two, with lyrical themes (as the band say) that were “inspired by the dark parts of life that puzzle the mind. The deterioration that untreated mental illness can cause. The album includes songs about cults, true crime killers, and impending doom”.
The record was recorded by Wes Johnson at Archive Recordings (who also tracked Cult Leader‘s first record, and it was mastered by Will Killingsworth at Dead Air. It’s set for digital release on July 2nd via Bandcamp, Spotify, Apple Music, and other digital platforms. A tape edition is expected at a later date this year.
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