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Suffocate For Fuck Sake – Fyra Award winner

Suffocate For Fuck Sake
by Tommy Mulhern at 08 June 2021, 12:45 PM

Every now and then a band comes along that tap into a very difficult vein of inspiration: angst. A lot of metal music is built on aggression or anger, and it’s easy to see how the distorted guitars and the heavy vocals can portray that to the satisfaction of the listener and the band. But personal distress, when a situation or a frame of mind can change your life in a darkly disturbing way, is the holy grail of extreme music and only a few bands can successfully produce it. To create a feeling of a weight being put on your shoulders, or that you are walking in some very troubled shoes while you listen to it, is an art in and of itself. For me, albums like “Times of Grace" by NEUROSIS or “Fas-Ite, Maledicti, In Ignum Auterum” by DEATHSPELL OMEGA are to name a few, and SUFFOCATE FOR FUCK SAKE'S “Blazing Fires & Helicopters…” would be another. Its not their unnerving and highly choreographed dissonance that creates this quality, although i feel like it’s a vital ingredient. It’s the certain something in the maelstrom and the ensuing calm that is hard to describe but produces the most profoundly cathartic effect. But this effect is only fully utilised by using every second of the record, the peaks and troughs of the experience is needed to represent the subject adequately. And when nothing less will do for the message to be delivered, then it takes a special group of people to get together to achieve it. It was with this unreasonable level of expectation that I approached their latest album.

Formed in Stockholm in 2004, SFFS hit on a sound early on and have built on it ever since. They blend Post Metal and Post Rock with ambient trip hop and electronica, with a mixture of clean male and female singing, but with primarily screamo vocals. All this is coupled with extracts from interviews and podcasts on the overarching theme of each album. On their latest one they chose the topic of addiction; from drugs and alcohol to gambling and overeating, which is no small undertaking as per usual. These human conditions need as wide a spectrum of music as possible to accompany the extremes of the emotions involved. Primarily this would be the release an addiction fulfils, probably followed by despair, then hope, then the foreboding of it taking over again, with lots of bridging feelings in between. And “Fyra" offers the ambience, the aggression, the beauty and the fear needed to fully cover this. There are moments that really remind me of NICK CAVE'S album “Skeleton Key" in its melancholic beauty, especially were the female vocals come in. Then it switches to the desolation and consolation of Niklas Kvarforth’s SHINING, also known for its spoken word parts on another heavy topic, depression. Then there’s the obvious comparisons to DEAFHEAVEN and GHOSTBATH, but only because they do their screamo/post rock just as well, if not better. All in all, it has to be said, this is a complex album for a complex subject.

Using so many diverse styles could very easily go wrong but, credit to the songwriting, they always perfectly compliment each other on “Fyra". From the extreme to poignantly beautiful, and more than a few shades in between, they have created a record of tremendous quality. The parallels between the make-up of this record and the treatment of addictions are very evident throughout; from the primal scream to the search for the beauty in the darkness to just simply talking about your problem, all of which I believe was the plan from the start.  There’s a famous quote from Donald Lyn Frost that says: “Drugs take you to hell, disguised as heaven”, but I think we can say once again that "Suffocate for Fuck Sake" take you to heaven, disguised as hell.

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

4 Star Rating

1. From The Window
2. 15 Missed Calls
3. All Our Memories
4. Alone
5. The Surface
6. Hope
7. Cosmopol
8. Behind The Door
9. To Fall Apart
10. Here
11. Small Comments
12. Quiet
Jonathan Lemberg – Vocals
Tommy Norin – Guitar
Sebastian Stralucke – Guitar
Jens Niehoff – Bass
Daniel Loefgren – Synth & Atmo, Vocals
Jesper Danielsen - Drums
Joi Malmqvist - Synth and Atmo
Record Label: Moment of Collapse Records


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Edited 27 January 2023

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