A Thousand Sufferings – Burden

Rating: 3.5/5
Distributor/label: Metal Masala and American Line Prods
Released: 2015
Buy album URL: https://satanath.bandcamp.com/album/sat138-a-thousand-sufferings-burden-2015
Band Website: http://athousandsufferings.bandcamp.com/releases

Band Line-up:

PJ: Guitar/Vocals
Jurgen: Guitar
Nico: Bass
Timo: Drums


1. Once In A Blue Moon
2. Bloodletting
3. Lamentation
4. Remembering Treasures


Hmm. This is an interesting mix; black metal with doom and sludgy underpinnings. ‘Burden’ is the debut album by Belgian four-piece A Thousand Sufferings, and I haven’t heard anything quite like it.

‘Burden’ begins with ‘Once In A Blue Moon’, a crackling, and unnerving atmospheric intro. This is a mix of unearthly keyboards, vast emptiness and background suffering. Overlaying this is a distorted and unsettling narration. The second track ‘Bloodletting’ is the first full track on the album and this is where it gets interesting. Before long the doomy underpinning is thrown in through this fairly typical black metal introduction. This is really satisfying in the heavier sections and it works unusually well. The lyrics are clearly interpreted over the backdrop of these persistent, doomy chords. As the song develops there are some melodic guitar sections but overall the simplicity is what stands out here. Following is ’Lamentation’. This begins faster than expected at first but the tempo is varied while staying true to the slower doom inspiration. The vocals follow the tempo changes but the lack of development in the delivery makes this feel somewhat repetitive. The final track ‘Remembering Treasures’ is more of a mix. The opening sombre guitar melody quickly descends into the turmoil of black metal while accentuated by heavy, drudging passages. Everything in this track is more varied. It’s melodic, contains more riffs and does not feel as monotonous.

There is no shortage of slow, unrelenting doom in this album. At times it feels a little underdeveloped but the atmosphere is there and they have combined their influences well. I’m curious where A Thousand Sufferings will take this combination because ‘Burden’ is definitely an interesting listen.

Review by Helena Byrne