There’s no way of sugar-coating band names and song title in these dangerous times. It’s the nature of the beast and all we can really do is look upon things with a sense of gallows humour. Live Suffer Die were a duo from the USA and Canada comprising of Lance Gifford (guitar, drums) who sadly died in 2019 and had been involved in numerous projects such as Bitter Peace and Empire Of Blood and Lörd Matzigkeitus (vocals) of The Projectionist, Thy Sepulchral Moon, The Black Sorcery and others. This is their legacy and make no mistake it is odd stuff but I guessed that as the supplied info mentions the likes of Silencer and Bethlehem; the latter bands skewed sense of weirdness being all over this.

We have 5 long and frankly at times torturous numbers here running just shy of an hour in length. The first ‘14 Voices’ will test your limits to carry on listening as it takes a basic riff and channels it repetitively in doom-laden fashion over and over again. It’s Lörd Matzigkeitus who makes it very interesting though with what may well be 14 separate voices coming at you over the top like an evil goblin. Yep these are odd, helium balloon like screeches, cackles and groans that are pretty inhuman with it. What the hell he is gibbering on about here I have no idea but it is no doubt pretty unpleasant and sounds like it is borne from complete and utter madness. Somehow, I doubt he is telling the kids a nice bedtime story. Drums gallop away and it gets even more demented. If you have animals or even people of a nervous disposition they will be running away, tail between legs. Thankfully there are some nice gloomy guitar passages to be found here and as this strange journey continues. A bit of sad and melancholy sanity amid the mental breakdown. It’s my fifth listen and the groove laden simplicity although getting none the easier is getting beneath the skin a bit like a nasty infection (no avoiding these metaphors I’m afraid). More of a DSBM slant drifts in on tracks like the strangely entitled and hallucinatory fever dream of ‘Fisted Aspiration of Sanctuary.’ Melody adopts a Blut Aus Nord sense around the half way mark and it’s all very strange especially with the unique vocal approach which never drops the infliction of utmost mental trauma. Words occasionally penetrate and make themselves heard “bitter discomfort” being an example and exactly what you will no doubt be feeling here but prepare for plenty more of that especially with the epic disharmony of 17-minute monster ‘Self-Destruction Fiend.’

Horror and beauty are a step apart and this shows the divide between them both. Glistening guitars acoustically bring the sunshine, drums beat a slow tattoo and despite the gnarly reach of the vocals the overall sound is quite comforting. Naturally the repetitive nature might not suit short attention spans but there is a change of tempo and the depressive nature takes over with some gorgeous fretwork, the contrasts definitely a form of musical bi-polarism. At times a harrowing listen of dysfunctional mental turmoil as shown with the sometimes harrowing clamour of ‘Twin Witches Of Ruin things finally move to the blissful and almost classical, weeping guitar lines of shorter end-piece ‘Veins Wide Open;’ a touch of nirvana in an oasis of blackened doom.

Having got this out of system and onto virtual paper I am not sure that I will revisit this for quite some time to come and can’t say its entirely recommended listening for these times. Those who do feel like exploring are probably best advised to do so under caution.

(7/10 Pete Woods)