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Suppression – The Sorrow Of Soul Through Flesh

suppression – the sorrow of soul through flesh


If there was one nation that exceeded all expectations with regards to stellar Metal releases in 2022, Chile takes the crown. While not an unknown country for seasoned metal fans, in recent years the sheer quality of the output has been outstanding. Last year alone we had powerful albums by bands such as Inanna, Mortify, Nar Mattaru and Rotten Tomb to name a few. However, the one that stood above all else was Suppression’s debut.

Suppression has been around since 2012, but only really been active since 2019. This came from the schism in Ripper (another fantastic Chilean band) that led to the departure of Pablo Cortes (bassist) and Daniel Poblete (guitars) and to re-ignite this project. Within the same year we were treated to their killer demo ‘Repugnant Remains’, which obviously retained some of Ripper’s thrashy DNA, but was clearly more indebted to the early works of Technical and Progressive Death Metal – a core that would carry over to this record.

“The Sorrow of Soul Through Flesh” makes for a brutal yet engaging listen. The masterminds behind the band are clearly channeling the energy of albums such The Erosion of Sanity, Unquestionable Presence, The Longing for Death among others but through a much thrashier lens. This concoction drives a record that is furious and pummeling in every sense of the word, rarely dropping the frantic tempos all the while demonstrating a great deal of technical prowess. This subgenre of Death Metal sometimes has a habit of meandering too much and producing what can only be labelled a “riff salad” – a hodgepodge of random riffs thrown in together without much coherence, but Suppression manages to avoid this at every turn. You only need to listen to the opener ‘Lifelessness’ with its skillful assortment of different riffs and time signatures, punctuated with a backdrop of wonderful drumming courtesy of Cristopher Zapata.

Any review of this album would be amiss without including what is undoubtedly the highlight of this record, the fretless bass. A lot of Death Metal bands are guilty of letting bass play second fiddle or drowning it out in production, but here it is front and centre to every piece. Pablo Cortés is an incredibly dexterous musician, driving a great part of the rhythmic section and helping evoke a dizzying atmosphere in the record. A key exhibis of said prowess can be seen in ‘Unperpetual Misery’, the way the guitarists and bassist work in tandem together to deliver a crunchy and groovy breakdown that eventually segways into a clean outro, which is one of the only moments of respite in this record. The guitar solos have a soaring nature to them (‘Misunderstanding Reality’ and ‘Overfeeding Gaps’) which mix some brief melodic moments into the pot that flow seamlessly in the mix.

With this record, Suppression have delivered everything one could wish in an album of this style. There is a clear reverence of the past, but the members know how to dissect each of the elements that made these records so mythical in the first place while at the same time adding their own unique interpretation and benefitting from the advances in recording technology to provide the listener with a modern sound that isn’t over-produced or artificial. In a year like 2022 which was stacked with so many great releases, it is not hyperbole to say Suppression were the leaders of the pack and should be getting more attention. Let’s hope that is the case.

Dark Descent Records

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