ALBUM REVIEW: Vitriol - Suffer & Become

ALBUM REVIEW: Vitriol - Suffer & Become

*Suffer & Become is set for release on January 26th, 2024 through Century Media Records*

Oregon death metal act Vitriol return from the depths of darkness to release their new album Suffer & Become, to start off 2024 with unsullied and unmitigated brutality. The follow-up to 2019's To Bathe From The Throat of Cowardice, the band took their time with this release to amp up the technicality and visceral aggression with this record, along with altering their sound with new elements and atmospheric sections. With the duel vocal attack from vocalists Adam Roethlisberger and Kyle Rasmussen, along with new drummer Matt Kilner, the band's intensity would become stronger and even more brutal with this record. And I wasn't kidding when I said this was going to be an INTENSE record.  

The album opens with "Shame and Its Afterbirth". With a haunting and eerie plinking guitar sound, amidst the building distortion behind it creating a feeling of unease and dread, before the song kicks in. The pounding double bass from Kilner and the increased uneasiness in the guitar, creates a doom metal like intro before the blast beats kick the song into hyperdrive. The vocals kick in, sounding almost in the vein of Nergal from Behemoth in it's mix and sound. The technical drumming and fast-paced, almost chaotic guitar playing, is just entrancing in its sound. Channeling more of the elements of black metal in the guitar sound on the chorus and the relentless blast beats throughout. The song is just endless, violent energy through out the entire almost seven minute runtime. The band does not take their foot off the gas at all since the opening of the song, so buckle up, you're gonna bang your head HARD for the full runtime of the track. With an insanely technical and impressive guitar solo near the closing section of the song. it is a demanding and powerful opening track that prepares the listener for the sonic onslaught that Vitriol is gonna give you on this record.

The album's lead single, "The Flowers of Sadism", opens with a ringing down-tuned chugging riff with cascading layers of guitars in the opening. Amidst the brutal and chugging riff among the pummeling drums. Brutal in its delivery, with mini-breakdown sections throughout the verse, fast-paced and frenetic drumming, the song just continues the manic and chaotic frenzy that the band does so well on this album. Vitriol channels many different genres in the song, from relentless technical death metal, to downtempo deathcore, to black metal, to symphonic elements near the closing moments of the song. The band is not afraid to push what they can do sonically, almost to the point of punishing the ears with so much going on in the song and trying to pick up every little nuance or layer in the mix.

Following that is "Nursing From The Mother Wound". With the same go for the throat mentality in the opening, the band does not give you any chance to rest with this record. It is just pure, unyielding, pissed-off energy that can only be matched by acts like Ringworm. The vocals and guitars on this song are more visceral and so guttural in the vocals, amidst the chaos of choir vocals and double bass pummeling through the chorus. The song channels old-school death metal of old near the end of the track, with elements of black metal with the tremolo like guitar playing and atmospheric elements to the song. "The Isolating Lie of Learning Another" starts with a very, slow headbang mid-tempo riff before the blasting drums of Kilner on the verse section punches through. The song has a more groove to the song in the guitar riff, ala Domination-era Morbid Angel, which the band nails in the performance. I can picture the pit going insane during this song especially as the chorus kicks in, with the vocals even going even more guttural and then into black metal shrieking at the halfway mark. I love the more restrained, almost progressive death metal sound at the three quarters mark, going into the guitar solo section. With the added atmosphere behind it, it is a nice mix up before returning to the band's frenzied death metal sound. On the instrumental "Survival's Careening Inertia", the listener gets a reprieve, with some nice opening clean guitar section. Drenched in reverb, the song sounds so peaceful and such a temporary relief, before the blasting drums and atmospheric pads and layered guitars start to rise from the depths. Almost a slow-burn feel to the song, in a way, like the band is playing with the doom metal sound again, then BAM! into the insane blast beats and double bass, along with distorted guitars kicking the door in at the halfway mark of the song. With more start/stop, speed up/slow down pacing, the band flexes their technical prowess muscle and shred like there is no tomorrow.  

The next track, "Weaponized Loss", opens with all over the place drumming and intensely fast guitars, the song has the energy and chaos of Cryptopsy, but more guttural in the vocals and faster drumming.  The high shrieks on the vocals into the deep gutturals, mixed with the pummeling drums, make the song just stand out as one of the best of the album. The musicianship in the guitar playing is so proficient and technical, it just sounds so good amidst the chaos of the drumming and brutal vocals. One of my favorite tracks off the album, and potentially from the band themselves. "Flood of Predation" just starts off with deep, guttural growls and blast beats punching you right in the face. The band is back to ungodly fast playing and not giving the listener a chance to recover from the onslaught of the previous track, even going faster than the previous track. With Kilner again shining on the record, with just going ridiculously fast and trying to hit every piece of his kit as fast and hard as possible, you can hear it in the track.

With "Locked in Thine Frothing Wisdom", the band continues the fervor and outright pissed-off energy in the song. With the song sounding like a Behemoth track, the addition of high pitched, black metal shrieking amidst the blasting chaos makes the track their own. I love the tremolo guitar sound amidst the deep bass tone before the chorus, with the band creating that otherworldly texture to the song. "I Am Every Enemy" has a almost slam death metal sound to the opening riff, before the blackened death metal sound comes roaring back through. Kilner's double bass rings through the mix, relentlessly hitting the listener in between deep gutturals, chugging guitars and layer upon layer of guitars. The song shows the band lean more towards a blackened death metal sound, which the band does extremely well, while adding the fury and vigor of classic technical death metal acts. I hope the band continues the blackened death metal record sound on future releases. This new direction just adds more to the band's already great sound and performance. The album's closer "He Will Fight Savagely" continues the previous blackened death metal sound from the previous track, but goes heavier and faster. The band throws everything they got at the listener. Going faster, heavier, technical and all out anger to this closing track. An insanely fast closing track as the band goes for the jugular, tearing it out as the song crescendos to its dramatic close.

With Suffer & Become, Vitriol's unparalleled aggressive death metal, with elements of blackened death metal, show's the band's new direction is heading in a great direction. Pummeling death metal, along with demanding and forceful intensity, this band is starting off 2024 right. A strong record, showcasing not only the musical proficiency of all it's members, but it showcases the band's influence to push the band's sound, while still sticking to the roots that the band started with. The band is a sonic assault and be prepared for a sore neck as you will bang your head throughout the entire record. A great record for any fan of technical and blackened death metal.

SCORE: 10 / 10

1) Shame and Its Afterbirth

2) The Flowers of Sadism

3) Nursing From The Mother Wound

4) The Isolating Lie of Learning Another

5) Survival's Careening Inertia

6) Weaponized Loss

7) Flood of Predation

8) Locked in Thine Frothing Wisdom

9) I Am Every Enemy

10) He Will Fight Savagely

FFO: Hate Eternal, Cattle Decapitation, Cryptopsy

Vitriol is set to embark on the Chaos & Carnage 2024 Tour with co-headliners Cattle Decapitation & Carnifex, along with support acts Rivers of Nihil, Humanity's Last Breath, The Zenith Passage & Face Yourself. If you wanna see if the band is coming to your town and get tickets, check out

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