Depression, suicidal throughts, drinking yourself to sleep or downing any form of pill so that you can kill off any pain you feel from this greedy, self-centered world that we live in today. I’ve never been the one to threaten my own life with foreign substances but the thought of an escape from this hell is somewhat of an easy thing to think about when you feel as if the the people around you are always hounding you for answers and favors. I don’t have all the answers, nor do I believe anyone ever will but I do know that France is becoming a regular stop for me on this train wreck and obscure journey that I call life. In the later part of July I was presented with a demo from a suicidal depression black metal (SDBM) project that seemed to have promise and from the things I’ve read/heard before I started to spin the demo, I was very pleased with. Suicidal Madness is a SDBM project that clearly has the sight and sound to consume anyone’s life and with their debut demo “Les Tourments de l’Âme”, which roughly translates to “The Torment Of The Soul”. “Les Tourments de l’Âme” is a record that I was pretty sure would fill some form of void that I had in my heart and in a sense, I was half right but also half wrong.
Starting the day off I was already kind of down because certain things didn’t pull through and life can be a real downer at times so I thought to myself “What could make this day even worse? What could I put on to just gloom my day over with so much fog that I can’t see a damn thing in front of me?”. Well, the answer is actually “Les Tourments de l’Âme”, and trust me when I tell you that this record literally sucks the life out of you with cold, dead hands. The atmospheres that Suicidal Madness seem to convert in a matter of seconds is strangely exactly what I love about this record. It’s full of distress, apathy, coldness and in a way, makes you want to just wrap yourself up in polar bear fur to keep warm. “Malade”, the second track on the record, could be a hit or miss with most listeners but if you enjoy your black metal down right depressed and you have a gun to your skull while your brain races to find those answers, “Malade” is the track for you. Very slow pounding of the drums while the haunting, melting riffs in the background seem to dwell in a spot of comfort for the suicidal maniac that’s listening.
Now, with all that said and as much as I enjoyed the hell out of the first three tracks, the final/title track “Les Tourments de l’Âme (Outro)” really did put me on edge and sort of ruin my experience with the overall record. The vocals that were giving on this track were below sub-par and the production just seemed to melt away as if it was thrown in a blender and washed away on a beach. I’ll admit this, the production wasn’t as bad as it sounds but the vocals and the vocal work overall on the last track is something that shouldn’t of even been used. I can respect the fact that Suicidal Madness wanted to create a different realm of depressive black metal, I get that but when all I hear is moans and sounds as if someone was getting punched in the stomach by a bodybuilder, that’s when I have to stop it. Some of you might be saying to yourself “But Nick, you dig a ton of noise/ambient stuff, right?”. That’s correct but when I fall in love with the first three tracks on a record and the last one is beyond horrible and so bad that I can’t get half way through the track, I can’t really say positives things about that final track.
So, in the end, “Les Tourments de l’Âme” is a decent debut demo from a band that shows promise with the majority of the work they’ve put out thus far. The demo isn’t amazing or great but it is decent and very much sustainable to the ears of many. True, the truth is in the eye of the beholder so maybe some of you will love the final track but for me, in my opinion, I couldn’t take it. Honestly, take a shot with this demo if you can pick it up because I’m really, really interested in seeing what these guys can do with the next release. All I ask is that they put heart and soul into it, just as they did with the majority of this record.
[Positives = Endless pounding of depression and agony. Very raw.]
[Negatives = The final track was a disappointment.]
Listen to “Malade” below: