Suffocating Hallucination is a collaborative album of two bands who both are rooted in realms of extreme music. Primitive Man is a three piece band from Denver, Colorado, formed in 2012 and play a Sludge/Doom style that's dark, crushing, raucous, bleak and noisy. Full of Hell is a band of four members. They hail from Ocean City, Maryland and have blessed the world with their sonic terror since 2009. Their method to lay everything to waste is a chaotic, blackened Powerviolence /Grindcore/Noise. Suffocating Hallucination has been released March 3rd, 2023 via "Closed Casket Activities".
Driven by similar emotions and related, yet different, forms of expression, they created an album that's more than just more people making more noise at the same time... (well, that too, but it's not the point). It's like they open up a new dimension of sonic terror. Both bands use their respective qualities that delightfully complement each other, especially the vocal deliveries throughout and the drum insanity in "Rubble Home".
"Trepanation of Future Joys" opens the album (or the future joys) with some cautious plain guitar chords that soon get drowned in an explosion of noise, feedback and vocal eruptions. The song develops into a nasty, filthy soundscape... slow, heavy, low and abrasive. It ponderously crawls its way over layers of noise, scraping and grinding itself down. The monotonous slow rhythm is almost trance-inducing, if there weren't this growing dissonance and uneasiness and a feel of dispiriting futile exhaustion towards the end.
The first half of "Rubble Home" takes up on the hypnotic monotony before an eruptive blast beat passage, where the luxury of having two drummers gifts us with a sense of frantic urgency and desperate loneliness at the same time. This duality is kept up for the rest of the song that steers its way through a nasty, thick atmosphere with a growing, everything devouring intensity - aggressive, forceful and emotive.
"Bludgeon" is ... um... a bludgeon. It's a 25 seconds short distorted Grindcore punch. Short as it is, it is a highly functional cleanser and smart transition from the thick atmosphere and emotionally laden intensity of "Rubble Home" to the black, glacial Ambience of
"Dwindling Will". The contrast of abundance of sound and the quiet ethereal spacey backdrop that follows is utterly terrifying. A variety of eerie patches of industrial noises, grinding, tinkling, clattering sounds, opaque ghostly voices and drones, seemingly unrelated, starts to fill the spacey ambience and thickens the atmosphere lending a sense of aimless motion and disorientation that's deeply disturbing and appalling.
The transition to "Tunnels to God" is seamless and here by degrees a surging structure emerges from the post industrial noisescape, faintly reminiscent of church bells and choirs eerily alienated, until it gives way to an obnoxious Sludge-ridden crushing heaviness, that nonetheless, works like a release from the nightmarish Ambience. The luxury of two vocalists is pure bliss here, as they greatly amplify the emotional impact of the mournful Funeral Doom melody.
Suffocating Hallucination holds so many treasures. There's an abundance of extreme emotions, be it anxiety, hate, disgust, sorrow or loneliness... as there is abundance of their sonic expression in violence, heaviness, grinding distortions and feedback, noises and atmospheres. And they are extreme no less.
And to make everything even more extreme, there are so many structural dualities and sometimes they aren't juxtaposed in the narrow sense of the word, but happen at the same time, laid upon each other, merge and build new patterns and sensations.Especially in "Rubble Home" and "Tunnels to God" this effect is impressive.
Along those dualities, each song as well as the entire album develop a unique atmosphere and dynamic that is absolutely compelling in its intensity and beauty, culminating in the substantial and majestic closer "Tunnels to God".