‘Suffer & Become’ is due on January 26, 2024 via Century Media Records
Artwork by Dylan Humphries
Death metal battalion VITRIOL is now unleashing yet another ferocious new single, “Weaponized Loss,” along with the visualizer! The track is taken from the band’s upcoming sophomore full-length, ‘Suffer & Become,’ which is due on January 26, 2024 via Century Media Records! The clip can be found HERE: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R3hP2RVBfKEVITRIOL guitarist and vocalist Kyle Rasmussen comments, “‘Weaponized Loss’ is similar in spirit to ‘The Flowers of Sadism’ in that it frames the fruits of trauma as a circumstantial strength when one is still at the mercy of an oppressive environment. Becoming well acquainted with death and loss at an early age can better equip you to walk away from situations and relationships that are harming you. Cultivating a willingness to experience painful loss voluntarily, while being dangerous, can be a very valuable tool in the pursuit of survival.”
The album will be available digitally as well as in Standard CD Jewelcase, Ltd. Deep Blood Red LP (All ex-US Retail), Orange Crush LP (All US Retail), and Red / Yellow / Black Transp. Splatter LP (Band Exclusive).
For Portland, Oregon’s VITRIOL, nothing comes easy. Nothing. The title of their second Century Media album, ‘Suffer & Become,’ says it all. “The title really sums it up,” says guitarist and vocalist Kyle Rasmussen. “I pushed things to a point while making this album where it almost became untenable. Things that were supposed to be done in weeks took months. It wasn’t easy, but I think it was suffering well spent.”
At the core of ‘Suffer & Become’ lies a profound sense of extremity and unease. This very essence defines Vitriol as the vanguard in death metal’s evolutionary path—a sonic landscape characterized by its profound darkness, density, and the infusion of nanotechnological precision interwoven with intense, seething emotions. Not easy listening in the slightest. Since forming in 2013, Rasmussen and longtime co-conspirator, bassist, and co-vocalist Adam Roethlisberger have worked with a single-minded vision: to push the genre to its breaking point and invent a new uncompromising paradigm in the process. VITRIOL is a masterclass in pain – and that’s just their jumping-off point.
Recounting VITRIOL’s initial journey into the outer fringes of extremity, Rasmussen is characteristically thoughtful. “I was starving for something that didn’t pull any punches,” says Kyle of VITRIOL’s caustic mission statement, which detonated into the realm of extreme metal with 2013’s ‘Antichrist’ demo. “Death metal was important to me because it speaks to an aggression, a frustration that I had when I was younger. It wasn’t just a sonic connection but an emotional connection, which made music almost a means to an end. What I saw happening in extreme metal at the time was almost a removal of emotion in favor of musicality, that fire, that piss and vinegar spirit. Basically, I wanted something that wanted me dead.”
With 2017’s ‘Pain Will Define Their Death’ EP, VITRIOL took its spot as one of the underground’s most uncompromising exponents, leading them to join forces with Century Media. The resultant album, 2019’s “To Bathe from the Throat of Cowardice,” was nothing short of a crucial next step for the band and the genre itself. Decibel Magazine said, “Vitriol leave no doubt they are one of the best the genre has to offer, with shades of Nile, Hate Eternal, and Anaal Nathrakh frequently peeking through.” Hitting the road that year, at first in Europe with Nile and then in the US with Cattle Decapitation and Atheist, and then Vader before the onset of Covid, VITRIOL was quick to establish themselves as much of an uncompromising force onstage as they are on record.
“Doing ‘Black Seeds of Vengeance’ alongside Karl Sanders [of Nile] onstage in Europe on our very first tour was nothing short of a ‘pinch me’ moment,” Kyle recounts from VITRIOL’s early touring days. “More recently, we were touring with Morbid Angel, and Steve Tucker, who is my favorite Morbid Angel vocalist, came out of his dressing room in a VITRIOL t-shirt and exclaimed that we were one of his favorite new bands! That blew my mind as a fan, first and foremost – a total ‘Holy Fuck!’ moment.”
‘Suffer & Become’ is nothing short of a benchmark for VITRIOL (rounded out by guitarist Daniel Martinez and Matt Kilner). It’s as dense and blackened as anything to erupt from Rasmussen’s vision of sonic disorder. From the onset of the opening track, “Shame and Its Afterbirth,” there’s a new sense of openness, grandeur, and occasional beauty in VITRIOL’s aural arsenal. “I wanted to have an album that had a stark duality to it,” says Kyle. “Very high highs and very low lows. We’re very familiar with the lows but not so much with the triumphant highs. I wanted the album to have more of a sense of optimism to it, both lyrically and musically. I wanted the album to convey a sense of optimism that probably gets lost in the black maelstrom that is the first album.”
Produced by Rasmussen and mixed by Dave Otero (Archspire, Cattle Decapitation), ‘Suffer &
Become’ isn’t merely the sound of VITRIOL upping the ante in death metal’s musical arms race; it is also the sound of salvation for its driving force. “Living in the world of that first album was very difficult for me,” says Rasmussen. “It’s not a nice place. It was very intentionally imbalanced in the same way a horror film is imbalanced. I wanted a healthier world for me to live in, and I believe I achieved that.”
Not that the writing and recording of ‘Suffer & Become’ was anything short of soul-rending. Rasmussen labored over the creation of the album in the studio, on tour in hotel rooms, to the point of painstaking obsessiveness. Kyle is straightforward about the grueling record-making process and its personal impact. “The record feels a bit like a Jungian Dante’s Inferno,” he states. “Plumbing the circles of my personal, psychological, and spiritual hell and then purposely refocusing it so it’s not the unhinged, dark catharsis of the first album. This record is a lot more vulnerable.”
Songs like “Weaponized Loss” or “The Flowers of Sadism” are what Kyle describes as a “dark baptism” in comparison to the absolute darkness of “To Bathe…”. The sound of VITRIOL remains as joyless and dark as ever, but with a glimmer of hope. VITRIOL has taken its trauma-put-to-sound approach to the next level and discovered a new sense of beauty in the blackness. ‘Suffer & Become’ is death metal with a bloody, beating heart.
Kyle Rasmussen – Guitars and Vocals
Adam Roethlisberger – Bass and Vocals
Matt Kilner – Drums
Daniel Martinez – Guitars