Review Summary: Full of Holes
At its best, Suffocating Hallucination
. This quick-chunky release, the latest in the (now) semi-biblical pantheon of FoH splits/collabs with other variously LOUD people, sees the group play footsie with sludge-soaked DOOM avec fellow big-screm practitioners, Primitive Man. The sticky residue of said flirtatious interfacing is, understandably, quite (erm) large
. Hulking opener “Trepanation For Future Joys” swaggers forth like an oil rig on parade, spurting hot fluids and viscous death every which way via some atypically-well-produced and quite-thick-deep-greasy-yum riffs (size: XXL). Its slow-motion shuddering paints a pretty (ugly) picture of what’s to come, with further primal clanging awaiting those who delve down the “Tunnels to God”. This eleven minute closer shrieks squawks convulses crumbles delightfully
, its sacrifice of dynamics and novelty and (ig) songwriting paying dividends in the form of blunt textural depth and a legitimately hellish colour palette.
At its worst, Suffocating Hallucination
. “Bludgeon”, for example, is pointless. The 30-second non-track feels entirely misplaced, seemingly intended as a reminder that yo
an actual grindcore band were in fact involved in this (it would appear) Primitive Man -driven project, yet it manages to miss that mark by every conceivable metric (tl;dr: it’s brickwalled, stationary, characterless and, paradoxically, not all that “““heavy”””). Likewise, “Dwindling Will” presents as the hole where a choice should have been: a lazy, non-committal ambient excursion that falls flat, substanceless, barely existing, sans umpth
. I could apply the same analysis to the initially-very-good-but-rather-anti-climatic “Rubble Home” - why was more not done with the eerie opening riff and subtle mid-section blast-beats(?) - but you get the picture and I’m bored now.
My intended missive to the bois: do better, please. Dylan and co’s drive to collaborate, form connections and (actually, genuinely, meaningfully) explore the boundaries of what can be achieved, with togetherness, through the medium of dark, angular, shouty music should be applauded. Since their 2014 Merzbow collab, they have been the singular high watermark for creative teamwork and genre-splicing in a musical sphere desperate for fresh blood. This LP, however, was not up to snuff. Gents: dust yourselves off, find a drawing board, and work this shit out. You are more than this