ETERNAL SUFFERING - "Drowning In Tragedy" 12" vinyl LP

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ETERNAL SUFFERING - "Drowning In Tragedy" 12" vinyl LP

Imported from Morbid Generation (Germany)

Good luck finding an original copy of this album for less than $150. Long out of print, this 1999 album from Massachusetts' ETERNAL SUFFERING is easily one of the greatest brutal death metal records OF ALL TIME.

Thanks to the internet, and its rarity, it has achieved a cult status over the last decade. Rightfully so!!

I have been desperately looking for a copy of this album for many years. When I saw Morbid Generation had reissued it, I immediately jumped on it. And you should to. If you like fellow Massholes Scattered Remnants, you'll love this fucking album.

Maybe I'm biased but brutal death metal from New England is just better than brutal death metal from anywhere else. ;)

This Metallum review sums it up nicely:

"Drowning in Tragedy is the kind of album that makes you sad because it's so good. Nobody in this band did much else musically other than this album, with the band coming to a close shortly afterward. A couple of the guys went on to some other random unknown bands, each of which fizzled out in their own right, and that was it. This is the kind of album that could have been a minor classic, existing in a formative era and having the kind of sound that blurs subgenre lines and pushed death metal into more brutal realms, but it doesn't have nearly the kind of clout or the recognition that Disgorge and Gorgasm get, despite them being the only other bands ever signed to the short-lived Extremities Productions. Even Dripping has a ton more underground hype than this - I guess Eternal Suffering needed more hip-hop influences or weirder song titles or something.

First off, this is heavy. Really fuckin heavy. The guitar tone cuts through like a cinderblock, rumbling and massive, gelling perfectly with the bassy undertone, somehow overcoming the quiet mix with sheer brute force. And the picking is so clean! The way the proto-slams glide into your brain is effortless and immediately gets you into caveman mode, and you feel every little tremolo during the faster moments, with some hints of that delicious stutter-step style that defines bands like Decapitated and Soreption. At first it didn't make sense, but then I looked at who mixed this album - none other than Jason Suecof. The amount of pure force he is able to extract out of this group's sound is probably one of the reasons why he's a household name as a producer nowadays.

Slam wasn't even fully a thing yet, but they encapsulated what makes a slam good so perfectly with their gargantuan hardcore chugs giving respite from a section of convulsing blasts and tremolo. The way they can turn on a dime from shredding your face off at 240bpm to knuckle-dragging brute force is impressive and seriously fun to listen to. The drums are similarly tight, with a ton of impressively fast snare work while still maintaining a solid, NYHC-style groove during the slow parts, with tons of interesting footwork underneath - seriously, who are these guys? Why are they not household names, or at the very least, the kind of people that get harassed to record new music in the same manner as Mohammed Suicmez?

I suppose I sort of get it - there's a certain ugly, decrepit feel to the melodies, like their guitars were just a hair out of tune while they were recording. It's as if they're trying to be melodic, but also understand that they can't have it sound too jarringly different from the music around it, so they add more chromatic phrasings in and move things down a couple frets. In a shittier band, this would come off as awkward and amateurish, but because Eternal Suffering is so rigid and focused in their assault otherwise, it becomes another element in the atmosphere, and creates a creepy, twisted vibe - mid-90s melodic death metal bent and contorted until you can barely recognize it. There's also the jagged, winding way in which the songs flow - sometimes they'll go back and forth between a chug and a faster, tension-building riff to give some semblance of a verse (check "The Warmth In Her Torment"), but each track has its own linear rollercoaster of fat riffs with a big lumbering low end and fast tremolo riffs. Perhaps the more equal balance between the two was actually the reason for this album's lack of success - everyone knows Devourment fans only really listen for the slams, and the uberfast parts are just for contrast and dynamics, but Drowning in Tragedy has midpaced transitions, and a lot more texture and groove in the drum performance. (again, who the fuck is this guy? He is incredible!) It's too smart for the slam bros and too dumb for the prog nerds, which is precisely why I love it, but probably why it's damned to obscurity.

Even the bad ideas on this album hit in their own weird way - if something isn't skull-fuckingly brutal, it's developing the unique character of the album. There are tons of little garnishes - the organic, tonal high squeals of the vocalist, the occasional random ass bass lines that pop up, the odd sample choices, whatever the fuck that last track is (I think it's "Eye of the Tiger" recorded while on a stupendous dose of heroin) - and all of it makes for a beautiful piece of the wonderful subgenre that is late 90s early 00s technical brutal death metal."