Many blackened death metal bands within the last decade or two have risen up to make music for the masses and ultimately speaking, Minnesota’s very own Suffering Hour are one of my absolute favorites in the genre. My introduction to this band was around 2019 after hearing their EP Dwell which took their influences from Deathspell Omega, Ulcerate, Immolation and Imperial Triumphant to a much more contemporary, modernized and structured style of blackened death metal with some elements of avant-garde and even traditional death metal to a extent is very diverse and astonishing to hear such magnificent pieces of music. Released on Profound Lore Records, this is the band’s sophomore effort and is the continuation to the debut from 2017 titled In Passing Ascension which in my opinion was an absolute banger of a record front to back.
This time around, this band took their musical compositions, foundations and homework to really showcase the dynamics, authentication and managing these instrumentals feel natural, fresh, experimented and outdone themselves as the music brings out such a atmospheric touch which in this case they’ve heavily relied on the blackened passages rather than the death metal signatures but in this case, they’ve pulled it extremely well. Suffering Hour paid their contributions to make a genre incredibly diabolical, misanthropic and intense musical structures is simply aggressive at its finest. Musically, The Cyclic Reckoning is a 44 minute album demonstrating carnage, destruction, aggression and hatred as these musicians done their research to create a album that’s not entirely for the faint of heart, but the band’s representation and detail for creating blackened death metal music is a work of art.
Tracks such as Transcending Antecedent Visions, The Foundations of Servitude and Strongholds of Awakening you’ll get tracks feature experimentation, atmosphere, fist pumping headbanging actions and magnificent instrumentals that provide a huge outcome upon hearing this album. Even the arrangements they’ve utilized is is absolutely remarkable in every sense possible. If you love your extreme metal filled with darkness, atmosphere and soundscapes feel isolated and lost, then The Cyclic Reckoning is the definition of what blackened death metal is all about.
Overall score: 9.0/10
Review by Jake Butler