Suicidal Madness – Dégénérescence

Rating: 3/5
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Released: 2019
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Band Line-up:

Alrinack (Vocals, Bass, classical guitar)
Psycho (Guitars)
Malsain (Guitars, Drums)


1. Désespoir
2. Haine
3. Corridor
4. Solitude
5. Résilience


Suicidal Madness was started in 2010 by a man named Psycho on guitars. He was soon joined by Saddy on vocals, Alrinack on bass and Molasar on drums. Tragically however, Molasar ended his life in 2011. Malsain from Sombre Croisade replaced him and is a member of SM to this day. In 2015, the group’s debut album ‘Les larmes du passe’ was released and Saddy left to be replaced by now singer Alrinack. However, Al still continues with his instrumental duties. Madness’s sophomore effort ‘Illusions funestes’ was released in 2016 through Wolfspell Records and their latest work ‘Degenerescence’ was too, last March.

The music in Degenerescence is rather epic with four of five of its tracks being over eight minutes long. Such lengthy opuses feature lots of ideas, but unfortunately they aren’t particularly interesting for the most part. The harmony is dark and depressing, which is what most fans will want, but it is no darker or experimental than the typical black metal band’s material. The chordal writing is still strong, however. The bass lines are often much more than simple root note ideas which is good, as most metal bands don’t seem to respect the instrument too much. It would be nice if the distorted guitars were equally adventurous, though. Many tremolo picked ideas that wander up and down the scale are dying for just one note that is unexpected.

The out of tune classical guitar ideas in parts of Corridor are quite interesting, though. They are not so detuned they sound terrible and unmusical, rather they provide just the right amount of tension and eeriness. It’s not every day you hear strings used this way. In other songs, particularly in ‘Solitude’, the same type of guitars play basic arpeggios too frequently, as colourful as they are. Distorted leads do get played on top of them eventually, but they arrive  a little late. Sometimes pianos are heard in the album, but as they also mainly stick to arpeggios, not true melodies, they merely add a bit of colour rather than true substance. It would be ok if SM are going for a minimalist vibe, but they are more traditionally aggressive.

In conclusion Suicidal Madness aren’t a black metal band that don’t care about sounding like everyone else, they just don’t do enough to stand out from the crowd. In my opinion, they should have milked their more unusual sections of music because I’m sure they would be appreciated. After all, (true) black metal was never a genre that aimed to be mainstream and easy on the ears. If you want a bid of an adventure, this album may be for you, it’s just not great.

Review by Simon Wiedemann