Suffering Luna go a long way back. The psychedelic hardcore band was formed back in the ‘90s but has not been very active. They released a couple of split albums, one with sludge/crust overlords Dystopia and the other with Gasp, and then vanished from the scene for about fifteen years. They still returned in 2011 with their first self-titled full-length, followed by the Blood Filled Bong Cassette EP and now they are coming back for this split release, acquiring the assistance of Ian Covelli aka The Astronaut King. The inclusion of the psychedelic space ambient artist helps come up with the trippy “Most High,” which marks their contribution to this album.
Label: King of the Monsters Records
The vibe of Suffering Luna is quite hardcore-based with a lot of sludge thrown in there for good measure. Their music has great groove and does not leave you for even a second to catch your breath. And this band is making sure as hell that this trip is going to be interesting. They throw in some frantic parts with sudden drops and smearing the foundations of their song with very well laid out guitar work. The crazy leads about two minutes into the song fit great, while the band even goes and includes solo parts which grow increasingly insane. And those fucking lead parts about five minutes in sound fucking infernal to say the very least. But what is even more impressive, at least to me, is their sonic manipulation of effects. Throughout the track, the band makes sure that you will not find a dull moment – including strange sounds in their music – constantly building soundscapes and destroying them. Especially the more noise-y part about three minutes into the song, and the effects they use alongside the guitar solo are just amazing to behold.
On the other hand, in this release you also get funeral doom band, Suffer the Storm. The LA-based band makes its appearance on this split album with the twenty-two minute long opus “Squalor.”
Suffer the Storm is a pretty much straightforward band when it comes to their funeral doom, but that does not mean they are not good. Their riffs are as heavy as they can fucking get, straight from the start, with the band concentrating on their slow tempo and trying to make your mind melt along the way. And the different takes on their music are really well placed, from more dystopian parts, about eleven minutes in, to a more melancholic vibe about seventeen minutes in the song. Apart from all that, they enhance their music with the addition of samples. Especially the first sample they use, about four minutes into “Squealer” – a Bukowski poem that fits perfectly with their concept. This also adds up with the more minimalistic moments of the band, especially the one after the first sample, giving a different perspective on the sound of Suffer the Storm. Their use of clean bits to give you a short break from all the terrifying riffs and tremendous feedback sees the band also taking on a more emotional outlook.
All in all, this is an interesting split that will give you insight into a couple of really cool bands. Both acts are great, but I would give a slight edge to the Suffering Luna song, just because of its more energetic vibe and experimentation. On the other hand, Suffer the Storm show they’ve got what it takes, and they can further improve down the road.
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