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Utter Failure – Life Has No More Meaning Award winner

Utter Failure
Life Has No More Meaning
by Justin "Witty City" Wittenmeier at 26 August 2022, 1:31 AM

UTTER FAILURE is a new project from the ever prolific John Suffering (CHALICE OF SUFFERING, FOREVER FALLING, LACERATORY, SOLEMN ECHOES), and Miguel Galindo (DISEMBOWLED ROTTING CADAVER, EXHUMED FLESH CONSUMPTION). Anyone familiar with Suffering’s other bands will be please to know this depressive black metal band follows his previous works of being about as happy as a 52 car pile up in front of a funeral home. Fans of doom will find much here to like, as depressive black metal tends to have much in common with that other sorrowed drench genre of metal.  With that being said, “Life Has No More Meaning,” is an album that takes its title and runs with it.  I don’t know if I’ve heard a more depressing album in this second half of the year.

But, of course, it isn’t the titles and lyrics that lend their weight to the darkness.  The music itself is an undead void that has collapsed upon itself, decayed and rotted.  But the atmosphere, including the very tone of the instruments, isn’t dirty or grimy.  Instead, it is a pure mixture melancholic anxiety and hopeless depression.  Ever have one of those days where it seems life has bent you over and had its way with you without so much as a kiss? This album is the soundtrack to those days. Suffering has always had a strong vocal approach and this album continues to add depth to his repertoire.  I wouldn’t say they are blackened in the traditional sense but they certainly aren’t human sounding.  There is a struggle in the rough wails, a sort of tragedy and longing of an age long past but yet no so easily forgotten.  If my soul was pulled apart, I might sound half as insane as Suffering on these songs.

Galindo plays all the instruments to perfection.  The bass in particular is a standout, it has a that classic melodic depressive style to it.  The guitars meld into the fabric of the structures with ease, allowing for songs that have optimal flow despite their nature to be against every grain imaginable. The album begins with “Agony And Despair,” melodic tones laced with a quiet energy that builds up with the backing of a strong drum performance.  It settles into a slow but chunky groove as the vocals begins. Blackened riffs keep the music raw and powerful but these waters are more cold and unfathomable than searing and brutal.  It works for the band’s approach—the songs couldn’t be played any other way.

The End Is Near,” does have a warning of finality with it.  The guitars are especially dark but the serious and moody drums push the song in the right direction.  The guitars in this song are little more intense than the previous track, their rage and anguish just showing through the black clouds.  The last couple minutes get rather intense, those clouds now building up with storm. “Unheard Cries,” is perhaps my favorite song on the album.  The drumming is very interesting, offsetting the stark reality the song brings.  The bass really brings out the stark melody this genre is capable of—devoid of true light but makes the darkness a little more dim.  From the six minute mark onward is a highlight—the terrible scream/shouts over the bass and crashing drums that give way to clean guitar that fades the song out.

Cold Existence,” is the longest song on the album, just a few seconds shy of the ten minute mark.  It is a slow burn but a rewarding one—I enjoyed the long intro and the simple of but effective riffs that propel the song forward without being overly aggressive. This song is all about the atmosphere and I have to say it is my second favorite song here. The album ends with the title track.  This one seems more riff based and straight forward but also contains some awesome melodies, especially around the three minute mark.  Can depressive black metal be catchy?  Yes, Yes it can. That melodic bridge becomes the focus point on the song and is hypnotic as hell, losing yourself very quickly to it.

All in all, “Life Has No More Meaning,” is an album that explores darker themes, both lyrically and musically but presents it in a way that I think a lot of fans will enjoy even if they aren’t normally into this style.

Songwriting: 9
Musicianship: 9
Memorability: 9
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Agony And Despair
2. The End Is Near
3. Unheard Cries
4. Cold Existence
5. Life Has No More Meaning
Lineup:
Miguel Galindo – All Instruments
John Suffering – Vocals
Record Label: Belfry Records
     


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Edited 02 December 2022
 

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