Feb 092023

(Andy Synn presents three recent releases which might ease your pain)

As some of you may be aware, the last 18 months or so have been a steady stream of set-backs, fuck-ups, and tragic events for me, all culminating (I hope) in my upcoming surgery to remove an infected wisdom tooth.

So… yeah, I’ve been in quite a bit of pain – both physical and mental – for a while now, and this has clearly carried over into my listening habits (especially in the past month or so).

Still, I’ve always found that a good dose of auditory agony can serve as a pretty effective painkiller in other areas of life, so here’s a selection of things that have been easing my suffering recently.


Delivering five tracks of heaving, pulsating, sludge-soaked Post-Metal positively drenched in loss and regret, Chora‘s new album – which sits somewhere between the thunderous intensity of early Cult of Luna and the bile-spewing belligerence of Planks (RIP) – is the perfect soundtrack for anyone suffering a bout of existential angst and despair over the path(s) not taken.

As crushingly heavy as it gets though (and passages like the humongous finale of “you must lie” have so much mass and weight behind them it’s shocking that your speakers don’t immediately collapse under the sonic pressure) it’s the dynamic range between moments of delicate beauty and bombastic fury (bolstered by some seriously thick and meaty bass-lines) that give this album its outsize impact, meaning that – for such a relatively small band – Chora make a seriously big impression here.


The debut album from Blackened Doom-mongers Felsenmirror is one of the bleakest, darkest albums I’ve heard so far this year, combining the ominous, oppressive weight of early Ahab with the keening, cathartic fury of latter-day Ludicra in a manner that should appeal just as much to those who prefer their music slow and suffocating as it does those who like things fast and furious.

The band’s juxtaposition of colossal, crawling riffs and ragged, raging blastbeats – interspersed with moody movements of haunting ambience – makes for a constant push-and-pull between these two different extremes, and keeps the listener from ever getting too comfortable, while the overarching aura of anguish and agony (eloquently expressed by the harsh, harrowing vocals) should ensure that even the most jaded of listeners won’t be able to resist having their heart-strings tugged and twisted out of shape.


Don’t be deceived by the artful acoustic introduction to the new album from Japan’s Worship Pain, because when Starless, Endless finally kicks into gear it kicks in hard with some seriously savage, stripped-to-the-bone Black Metal reminiscent, in places, of early Ultha or Instinct Decay-era Nachtmystium (with the latter comparison being particularly apt during the shifting rhythms and malevolent lead melodies of “Knife”).

Carefully balancing raw energy, focussed intensity, and baleful, brooding melody, the trio don’t waste a single second of the album’s blistering, bare-knuckle run-time, blasting through these three tracks – each one an artfully abrasive arrangement of writhing riffs, howling vocals, and subtly proggy proclivities – like the devil himself was at their heels, resulting in a short but savage release that’s all killer and no filler.

  4 Responses to “THE SOUND OF SUFFERING”

  1. lol british oral hygiene etc insert comments thur

    • Ha, you say that but I’ve never had a cavity, filling, etc, in my life, and other than the fact that I broke this one tooth about a year and a half ago – probably on a bit of shot or something else – I’ve never had any issues with my teeth before now. It’s just the proverbial icing on a particularly fucked up sundae.

  2. Hang in there, pal!!!

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