In June 2021 we premiered a complete stream of Rip Tide, the stunning third album by the multi-national funeral doom collective Suffer Yourself. We concluded a lengthy and laudatory introduction this way: “Rip Tide isn’t conventional funeral doom. It’s a multi-faceted experience that exerts a powerful, ice-cold, grip that pulls you out, far from shore, and has the power to haunt a listener long after it ends.”
This year Suffer Yourself are returning with their fourth album, Axis of Tortures, which will be released on September 22nd by Aesthetic Death. Once again we’re happy to help spread the word, this time with the premiere of the second song to be revealed from the album (and the last one you’ll hear before the album’s release).
The song we bring you today is “Axis Insanity“, the first complete track following the album’s intro piece, “Enter the Axis“.
In Rip Tide we could hear Suffer Yourself expanding and altering their musical range in ways that brought them closer to the deathly terrain of such bands as Esoteric and Evoken. On the new album they’ve incorporated ingredients of death metal even more prominently as part of a generally more aggressive approach, but Suffer Yourself are still unconventional in their interweaving of ingredients, which again go beyond the expected conventions of funeral doom and death metal.
The new album as a whole has an interesting but frightening concept, described this way by the band:
“Axis of Tortures is based around a concept and representation of any perceived tortures as a 4-dimensional geometrical graph, where there are three real coordinate axes (Insanity, Despair and Pain) and one assumed – Time (a 4th dimension, as we know it).
“Thinking about it from a pure geometrical, and metaphysical point – any point in the 3D space can be anywhere in the coordinates and have any values, for example, (0,0,0) – is a very centre of all planes whilst, moving away from the central fulcrum, brings any combination of the three aforementioned variables and subsequently different amounts of each torture within the axis. We all exist somewhere within the spectrum of tortures”.
With respect to the song we’re premiering today, we’ll share the comments of the band’s founder, Ukrainian composer, musician, and vocalist Stanislav Govorukha:
“I tried to pack musically, emotionally and especially – lyrically, what I’ve thought about experiencing insanity at the point of composition. I’d say that this song – is the most ‘traditionally’ sounding one on the album, however, the doomy glowing/floating vibe which it has – gives the taste of that blurry insanity I’m trying to describe, at least I hope so.
“There are a bunch of interesting components in the song, but I think, the most twisted feeling will be obtained once the lyrics are read. In my opinion, this song is a good opener for the ‘Axis’ concept”.
Across the span of the song’s 15 1/2 minutes Suffer Yourself lead listeners on an unpredictable and unnerving trip within the torturous geometry of their conception, beginning with hallucinatory sensations of frightening grandeur and wrenching pain, and then moving into an experience of brutish jolting cruelty as abyssal vocals join in.
The afore-mentioned increased aggressiveness of the music becomes apparent when it seems to convulse in madness and shocking screams explode. Writhing guitars and bursts of percussive hammering add to the terrors within… and then the music suddenly ceases, and briefly drifts away into a chilling and dreamlike dimension.
When the music’s power swells again, the guitars slowly moan and wail as the drums drop like bombs. Adamant spoken proclamations emerge, and around them the music’s intensity magnifies, roiling in agony and pounding with ruthless intent, slowing and then accelerating, morphing from soul-submerging funereal bleakness into spasms of derangement, and back again.
Near the end, a lonely guitars slowly rings in sounds of despair, before a final episode of jackhammering, monstrous roaring, and feverish lunacy… and a brief, surprising finale.
The entire experience is elaborate and enthralling but thoroughly nightmarish and often psychedelic. Little of it seems tethered to the world around us, even if the array of very dark emotional qualities channeled in the music are recognizable to anyone who has experienced turmoil, confusion, pain, and loss.
Following “Axis Insanity“, the album proceeds through four more tracks, and below you can listen to the one that immediately follows “Axis Insanity” — “Axis Despair“. It’s even longer, and even stranger than the one we’ve just presented.
To visually reflect the musical vision, the band turned for the album’s cover art to Austrian surrealist painter Otto Rapp, who approved the use of his work “Eye of the Dark Star” (1993).
For more info about the album, check the locations linked below.