On their ominous, multi-textured and tantalisingly-intangible sophomore full-length, ‘The Cyclic Reckoning’, Suffering Hour have crafted an immense offering of destructive and desperate dissonant Black / Death, angular and abrasive, wherein masterfully conjured sonic shards vie for prominence amid a maelstrom of controlled chaos and disconcerting meditation. An alchemy of swirling incongruence and frequent tempo changes showcases tremendous technical capabilities and song writing prowess, precision and passion ensuing that all the parts meld together seamlessly despite threatening to peel off in conflicting directions.

Though an exacting, accomplished monolith, ‘The Cyclic Reckoning’ is nevertheless dark, harrowing and eerily organic, regret and pathos to the fore on the nightmarish tapestry. The music is always infectious and compelling, a glorious Icelandic Black Metal flavour evident, awash with devious sophistication, deep guttural growls accompanying the intricate, dizzying guitars (for the most part) and significantly upping the Death Metal quotient.

Suffering Hour have raised the ante here to the nth degree, desolate horrorscapes complemented by weighty, tormented lyrics, mysterious and stark, hinting at the inherent futility and pointlessness of everything, be it the raw tragedy and forlorn hopelessness of ‘The Abrasive Black Dust Part II’ or the raw nihilism of ‘Obscuration’. ‘The Cyclic Reckoning’ represents a jarring, twisted tsunami of anguish, a reverberating avalanche of unbearable sadness and grief; mammoth, atmospheric and hefty.

The mesmerising, cascading closing track, ‘The Foundations Of Servitude’, is a story in and of itself, pregnant with grandeur and bleak introspection. Accounting for more than one third of the album’s entirety at sixteen-and-a-half minutes, this sobering lamentation upon humanity’s plight seems particularly poignant in the times that are in it, with the world in tatters and all of us utterly lost. As we have always been.

Evilometer: 666/666