Country: Germany
Title: True Godfucking Soulblight
Label: Schwarzdorn Production
Year: 2020
Style: Black Metal

To be honest I didn't expect this from Suffering Souls: after such an appreciated album like In Synergy Obscene was last year, Tobias Micko, alias Lord Esgaroth, the main man behind this band, announces the retirement of Suffering Souls together with a next and last album that is scheduled for 2026, and all this as a reaction of his disgust of the current Black Metal scene, something that seemingly has been building up within him since the beginning of the 2000's. I have never understood musicians and fans that only appreciate and praise the beginners, the founders of a scene, saying it's nothing like in the good old days and at the same time they don't give a chance to what's on the horizon at the moment, to new bands that might just blow them away with their music; and in Black Metal it's a similar, if not overly-enhanced even, situation where most old-schoolers would trash the new bands simply for being not "from those days", before even giving a chance to their music. I'm not saying this is Lord Esgaroth's case, too, but the "good bye and fuck off" statement from the booklet of this CD seems to be exactly in that direction: "those were the good times, now it's all shit".
Anyway, talking about this release, I'd mention it is made of the first 2 Suffering Souls releases, the When Silence Cries Eternally demo from 1998 and the Cries of Silence EP from 1999, plus an unreleased track from 1996, one from 2000 and a live track. On the first demo the keyboards are quite subtle, acting as atmospheric background support while the guitars create both the tremollo Black Metal riffs and the melodic harmonies on leads. The following EP gives more space to the keyboards and the music actually gets that later Symphonic direction together with it. Although using programmed drums and having a rough production, both recordings are ok for that period, and the guitar work to me seems the highlight of Suffering Souls' early work. The live track is raw as hell, it's for the best he included only one track like that, it gives you an idea on how Symphonic Black Metal used to sound in the '90's live, but at the same time it spares your ears from the atrocious recording quality. 
Actually through this compilation of early works Suffering Souls prove they did good music from the beginning, production mistakes and shortages being taken care of as time went by. Fans of this band should definitely get a copy of this release, but I would also recommend it to fans of Symphonic and Melodic Black Metal for an introduction of this genre's early days. It would be a shame for this band to disappear out of some momentary frustrations, and especially keeping in mind their latest album was such a well-received material.
Reviewed by Adrian
Rating: -/10