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A Thousand Sufferings > Stilte > Reviews > Edmund Sackbauer
A Thousand Sufferings - Stilte

A Thousand Sufferings - Stilte - 82%

Edmund Sackbauer, September 6th, 2023
Written based on this version: 2021, CD, Immortal Frost Productions (Limited edition)

With a band name like A Thousand Sufferings you would either expect the music to be doom metal or some kind of depressive black metal. In some ways both answers are correct to a certain extent as A Thousand Sufferings managed to combine element of various sub-genres on their third full length “Stilte”, with these two being the most dominant ones. This album consists of four tracks (plus one instrumental piece), all around the 10 minutes mark – something which feels familiar when it comes to this kind of melancholic and atmospheric music.

The harmonies and vocals here are absolutely desperate, creeping into your mind and dancing a macabre dance across your brain. This impression starts with the cover artwork, indicating that the musical nature of this album will be equally as eerie, but also mystical in some ways. The four lads of A Thousand Sufferings have created something that is a unique gem for the conscious music listeners out there seeking music that is authentically mournful and engaging. This album is about manifesting dark emotions of failure, reject and inner struggles consistently throughout the more than 40 minutes running time. Much of these empty feelings are portrayed by the astonishing guitar work by the two axe wielders Jurgen and PJ, with the latter one also responsible for the desperate and intense vocals.

The guitar riffs found here aren't too complex or fast paced for the most parts, but still manage to keep an engaging and hypnotic tone and add to the melancholic harmonies, bases on the steady percussions and enhanced by the vocals. Psychedelic and atmospheric avenues are frequently explored, and each track and its diverse sections are constructed with thought, imagination, and skill. The whole album is embedded in a dense aura, making it easy to lose yourself within the music without noticing, and lose track of time, while listening to it. This album is for fans of immersive music who are seeking more than just a bunch of single tracks bundled together, so listening to it with the headphones on and fully concentrated surely pays off.

A Thousand Sufferings are throwing lengthy songs at the listener, connected via some laid-back and more ambient passages, which ebb and flow between emotions and paces. The music keeps veering and twisting and playing with the listener’s feelings, and it is steeped in melancholy through intense heavier passages to walls of drifting shoegaze you can lose yourself within. The various feelings and themes are all combined with a good feeling for fluidity, making the flow of the album feel perfectly natural. While there are moments where I would have preferred the band to come to the point a bit more straight-forward the overall experience while listening to this record in its entirety was a very satisfying one.

There are also some strong post metal elements like e.g. in track number three “Woestenij Der Rust”, with the guitars spreading the genre typical harmonies and the heavy wall of sound being interrupted for short softer passages. The production add to this feeling as it is quite modern, for real black metal purists probably a tad too modern to be honest. However, there are dozens of pure and raw black metal albums being released each month so in case you are looking for that “Stilte” might anyway be the wrong place. Everyone who is interested to check out an interesting take on the genre with the boundaries being tested might give this one a listen.