Internal Suffering – “Unleash The Antarctic Colossus” (Stereogum Premiere)

Cyclonic Void Of Power, Internal Suffering’s fifth full-length and first in about a decade, runs deeper than the typical blast of brutal death metal. Split into three chapters, these 10 songs plus one cold Lovecraftian ode form a conceptual whole. Tracks are sprinkled with lines like “Cosmic cataclysms, empyrean catastrophes/ State of duality!” And the music matches that hinted-at abundant harvest of lyric-sheet exclamation points, smartly, catchily, stacking riff atop riff atop riff. Not to mention, in interviews bassist Andrés Garcia, the 20-year-old quartet’s longest serving member, even answers questions about album art.

However, Internal Suffering aren’t trying to reinvent BDM. The band, now based in Spain after rising to the top of a fertile Colombian scene and a stay in the USA, isn’t an agent of calculated disruption attempting to smarten up BDM for the finicky who find the style’s tropes hard to stomach. Nope, Internal Suffering are, through and through, a BDM band. Snare heads are sacrificed to unleash a sense of speed greater than diet-pill regimes from the 1940s, technical runs rush toward mid-song monoliths glorifying the tenets of all-caps EN*SLAM*MENT. At Fabio Marin’s first guttural, you know exactly what Power is going to be. It’s just that it’s more than that.

Internal Suffering’s confidence and comfort with the material is a key contributing factor. Take “Unleash The Antarctic Colossus,” the latest peek during the year-long run up to Power’s release. The way the opening minutes flip between spiky and smooth, chunky and supersonic, are an old death metal trick. But newcomers Wilson “Brigadier” Henao (drums) and Michael Tarazona (guitars, since replaced by Diego Alonso) sound assured, nailing both parts with a pleasing looseness. In fact, that’s one of Power’s best attributes: It sounds human.

This quality really shines in “Colossus'” back half when Henao, after already spending three minutes beasting through a forearm workout that would be the envy of peak Mark McGwire, just goes for it. Turbo engaged, double bass and snare start a-rolling at ludicrous speed. Where other BDM outfits might practice this sort of impulsive adrenaline rush out in favor of robotic, logical precision, Internal Suffering, keeping with its career-long hunt for that next gear philosophy, uses it as a centerpiece. And the impact is hits harder because super human feats sound cooler when actual humans are performing them. That’s why Power runs deeper: For all of its impossible shredding, it’s relatable. It’s recognizable. It’s us at our brutal death metal best even though we could never hope to reach this level of songwriting/outsized br00ftality. It’s the Bartolo Colon of technical BDM, maybe. (If Colon is enraptured by the Cthulhu Mythos, then definitely). State of duality, indeed.

Cyclonic Void Of Power is out 6/24 via Unique Leader Records.