SUZERAIN — Identity

West London’s massive and celebrated electro rock outfit SUZERAIN will release their new album “Identity” on May 27th.

Suzerain - sounds rising like vortices of gas rising through whispered openings...
Suzerain – sounds rising like vortices of gas rising through whispered openings…

The album was produced by Grammy winner Steve Lyon — Steve has previously worked with the likes of  Depeche Mode, The Cure and Siouxsie Sioux.

Suzerain reason that this record has extended their artistic vision to the limit, accomplishing a fulfilling and reflective journey of self-discovery in the process. The resulting piece unifies the elements of indie, alt-rock, industrial into a complex wall of sound.

We made this album across two years,” reveals singer Thomas Pether. “So it took a while to break into something we wanted it to be. Identity is something that is difficult to grasp on a day-to-day basis, it can change but isn’t always obvious. For us, this album feels like our identity at the moment.”

We wanted to strip away as much as possible,” continues guitarist Rich Summer. “It sounds like a cliché but the more we removed, the more it sounded like us. We have a tendency to try everything we can and see what sticks, but this time once we found the heart of the music, we stripped everything down to that one little nugget that was the identity of the track, in a way.

We had a listen:

The album begins with the bubbling dark anxiety of “Identity filled with string rubs, tape effects, dropped semitones and cymbal flares. This intro segues stylishly into “Anytime” which, unfortunately, we cannot help but compare with “Big Bottom” by the idiotic Spın̈al Tap… so any sense of calm moderation was lost on us. We moved swiftly to the next track.

Dark Dark” (it has already been released as a single in 2014) possesses scratched and driving rhythms. The bass-baritone voice calmly pronunces the learned words. This is almost a liturgical piece as it increasingly reflects upon the gloomy state of life in the suburbs. It is a provacative and intelligent piece of artwork.

Dark Dark / Manhattan - Single - Suzerain
Dark Dark / Manhattan – Single – Suzerain

I Know You So Well” is like a Rorschachean blot… graphically illuminated. From time to time some white pointed flares of guitar sound burst through the shadowy mental imagery. This song is heavily weighted too, and brings with it some linear luminance. Nevertheless, this is as black as an ink pot.

The album closer “Manhattan” (also released first in 2014) is another of those antiphon hymn-like tunes.

With voices and sounds rising like gas vortices through whispered openings. The nucleus is dark, with homogeneous chromatins and tinkled piano play that seems disoriented against the smooth contours of the riff.

Shapes, colors and movements are all carefully dissected and re-arranged here. This is a productive and imaginative album.

Beware, it may not grab you on first listen, but the ideas run-deep.

It is a slow combustion sensory experience. For Nine Inch Nails fans.

Words: @neilmach 2016 ©


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.