It’d be easy to assume Sutrah are mere disciples of their Quebec tech-death brethren, but it’d be inaccurate. Sure, they draw from Gorguts and Cryptopsy on new EP Aletheia, but they’re also far more.
Two members play/perform with Chthe’ilist, who did their home province proud by bringing disgusting Finnish death into its borders. Sutrah do the same with influence from Southeast Asia, such as Indonesia, where vocalist Laurent Bellemare went on a sabbatical. The band build on debut LP Dunes with the addition of a type of traditional Bali instrument gangsa. This band is truly progressive.
Despite only including four tracks, Aletheia clocks in at 28.5 minutes and feels like a journey. Much of this has to do with closer “Variation II.ii – Genèse,” which approaches 16 minutes and feels like an epic in and of itself. A creative rhythmic section feels masterfully like Martyr, with latter-day Death riffing care of Claude Leduc coming in before the gangsa splits the song in two. The ending both breaks the trance and sets you in another one thanks to some throat singing.
However, before all of that, the opening trio of songs helped set the tone for this release’s ebbs and flows. “Variation I.ii – Umwelt” swells beautifully with Alex Bao’s classy bass playing dancing underneath. Rarely have blast beats sounded as calming in this song’s conclusion. Its follow-up, “Variation I.ii – Lethe,” does away with that sense immediately. The drumming is so specifically sporadic (thanks to Benighted’s Kévin Paradis) that it feels like the kit was carefully dropped down a jagged face of a cliff. It is here that the aforementioned Cryptopsy and Gorguts influences shine brightest. “Variation II.i – Dwell” serves as a palette cleanser between that chaos and the closer.
Overall, the progressive yet technical death metal feels like a spiritual companion to Lykathea Aflame. Hear for yourself in the player below.