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So This Is Suffering: Palace of the Pessimist

Chris Panatier's cover art suggests something of the allure and the danger this album represents. The image portrays several women in various postures, most of whom look at viewers with longing and curiosity, as if entreating them to ignore the chaos down the middle and bottom of the scene. The middle is filled with something less inviting: an anthropomorphic figure with a ram's skull for a head. Beneath this figure, two people argue. One is spewing something red and spreading into the environment. The other has a mouth full of saliva, suggesting rage or lust or both. I won't attempt further interpretation now, save only to return to my initial point: that the palace of the pessimist is alluring and alarming, a place one might visit but not set up permanent residency.

This So This Is Suffering's first release with Unique Leader and it does a nice job establishing the band's bona fides for listeners new and experienced. The band plays technical death metal / deathcore in ways that combine heavy riffs, crazy breakdowns, and blissful guitar melodies. The band isn't trying to redefine the genre but they are trying to play it up for all it's worth. In fact, the band set out to make something crushing and powerful, something that would show fans what to expect as the band advances their career. There isn't much variety in the songwritingóit blends staccato chugging, alternating vocals, and a heavy backendóbut it succeeds at making a good first impression with the new label. It should also catch fans looking for some solid technical death metal. I enjoyed "Columbine," "Sleeper Hold," and "Lecherous." The latter also has some of the best melodic guitar playing on the album. I wanted to read the lyrics to "Columbine" since that infamous shooting is still a raw memory for me and I was curious as to the band's perspective. I'll have to ask them about it sometime. Overall, this is an impressive new release.

Track Listing:
1. Sleeper Hold
2. Lecherous
3. Xenomorphic
4. Palace
5. Columbine
6. Surveil
7. Muerte Bella
8. Portraits of Fixation
9. Dreameater
10. The Sum of all Fears

Added: February 15th 2017
Reviewer: Carl Sederholm
Related Link: Band Facebook Page
Hits: 1000
Language: english

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