Blending metal genres is nothing new but Vitriol do this with such ferocity on Suffer & Become that it simply feels like a new creature has been born.

Release date: January 26, 2024 | Century Media | Facebook | Instagram | Buy/Stream

It has been some time since we’ve gotten to review new Vitriol music over here and finally the time has come. This is a band that we’ve talked about at length on the site, from reviewing their last record to my recent chat with the band, it’s safe to say that we enjoy discussing their musical output and sharing those damn entertaining playthrough videos of theirs. Suffer & Become is a record that bears discussion. It’s dense, cathartic, noisy, and as we’d come to expect from this band, aggressive. Given that this is the band’s first new music to see the light of day since the pandemic, there’s a lot of complex emotions jammed into this thing and it’s simply overflowing with feelings and it sees the band flirt with new ways to express these horrors and hopes of existence. Let’s dive in.

The first thing that we have to discuss is the title. It’s worth mentioning due to the last record’s title – To Bathe From the Throat of Cowardice – being so firmly unforgiving of weakness, that the new album’s title has a slightly more constructive purpose. As this album unfolds and we get to hear the emotional tones of the songs range from utterly destructive to strangely cathartic, the album’s title begins to make sense and the listening experience is far richer and dynamic because of it. To that end, I do think while there are several ways of interpreting this record, I want to start in the middle and take a look at the literal center of the record which is a microcosm of the album’s themes. The instrumental track “Survival’s Careening Inertia” is the fifth of ten tracks and it serves the album so well by placing light and oxygen into this set of songs but it also fully embraces the turmoil and chaos that we’d expect from this band. If that’s not an encapsulation of this record, then I don’t know what is.

One of the highlights of this act is the dueling vocals of bassist Adam Roethlisberger and guitarist Kyle Rasmussen and that interplay continues here and adds an additional layer of dynamics to an album that is surprisingly rife with them. If you’ve listened to Vitriol before, you know that they have always enjoyed neck stomping more than anything and while that hold true here there are also flecks of respite that take the mood into different directions. The heaviness feels heavier when you contrast it with just how bright things can get and while this is by no means a light record – just listen to “Locked in Thy Frothing Wisdom” for a second – but the inclusion of these gasps for air really make this record feel like a fully realized emotional journey.

When I spoke with Kyle a few months ago, I called Vitriolthe final boss of death metal.’ That elicited a fist pump from him and while this is a band that hasn’t really embraced being pigeonholed into one genre, they are often billed as death metal. This is the album where I think that will change. This is more 1349 than it is Hate Eternal, but the blend of these two bands is where I’d firmly place where Vitriol has landed on Suffer & Become. The riffing feels angular and seething on every song but shines on tracks like the closer “He Will Fight Savagely” and the grand “Flood of Predation” where the lightly pingy snare reminds you that this band also likes brutal slam metal. All of these things work together so well that even the sometimes uneven production can’t hold it back. The kick drum is often a little too loud and can overshadow some of the intricacies of Kyle’s guitar work at times, but this is only a small ding on Suffer & Become because there’s more than enough to pull me in and hold me there.

Suffer & Become is 50 minutes of pure auditory bliss. And by bliss I mean tortured vocals, wholly original guitar solos, blast beats, and savage bass lines all rolled into an surprisingly raw emotional tone. I’m beyond excited that Vitriol are back and taking their singular style into new places. Where To Bathe from the Throat of Cowardice held you down and punched until nothing was left, Suffer & Become lifts you into the burning sun to die in its radiance.

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