Review Summary: A crushing release of astounding technical death metal - an essential listen.
When I think of Suffocation
, the first thing that comes to my mind is uninspiring. The music was boring and seemed like a mindless mix of various parts. That's what their previous release, Souls to Deny
led me to believe. Having never heard the band before that release, my impression seemed to be marred and I feared that despite the ravings of many avid listeners of the band, I would never get into the brutality that had yet to consume my interest. Death metal seemed a foreign concept in which I was yet to understand and I concluded to leave it at that. Step into the present and blazing through my earphones, the release of their next full-length, the self titled Suffocation
, has me captivated.
keeps the listener at an anxious instrumental for roughly 30 seconds before the album really begins. Abomination Reborn
surrounds you, leaving you in awe of the subtle technicalities and in admiration of the thundering leads. Redemption
leaves no room to breathe. Straightaway, it captures everything the band seeks to accomplish, embodying it all in one song. The few moments of soft melody representing a near innocence, only to be corrupted again by the ever present brutality, creating a beautiful blend in one of the strongest tracks on the album. Blind Torture Kill
gears the listener up to a completely adrenaline fueled Misconceived
, where the band once again showcases their talent in creating a masterly crafted song, in combining the brutality of their music with tempo, tone, and excellently done mixing. Translucent Patterns of Delirium
steadily brings the listener back down to a normal state of mind, while successful in keeping a constant level of quality in the songs. Creed of the Infidel
are reminiscent of older Suffocation
songs, with the determined rhythms, explosive drumming, and furious moments, the songs display some of the heaviest moments on the album. Next up, Entrails Of You
, display some of the most exciting lyrics in the entire album, as lead singer Frank Mullen violently declares,
Submerge myself in your blood and wear your flesh, you are so ***ing beautiful
You are so beautiful; I bathe myself in the entrails of you
From there, the album roars towards The End Of Ends
and finally Prelude To Repulsion
, bringing the tempo up, and ending the album with two furious, raging songs, representing everything this album is and leaving a lasting impression on the listener.
However, one of the major flaws of Souls to Deny
has found it's way onto his release as well, showing little improvement from the last release. It was understandable that being a new member of an old band, bassist Derek Boyer was still finding his feet on the previous release. Unfortunately, he's still not entirely picked up the pace on this album either. While not a bad bassist, Boyer does little to add a lasting effect on many of the songs, and hardly plays a factor in the feeling, tone, or even sound of many of the tracks on the album. Thankfully, the rest of the band picks up where Boyer slacks off, with Mike Smith showing his amazing drumming prowess, making use of his frantic double bass and near perfect fills to bring the songs to a different level. Terrance Hobbs and recent addition Guy Marchais orchestrate tremendously powerful leads that entirely fit the songs they seem to command as well as providing perfect atmosphere for the final member, vocalist Frank Mullen. Mullen's vocals have progressed positively from their previous releases, now combining his brutal vocals with a slightly cleaner tone, complimenting his work perfectly. The old incomprehensible bellows are replaced with slightly more comprehensible, yet almost as relentlessly brutal, vocal work. Not to mention the lyrics which Mullen crafts, combining gruesome imagery with even darker themes, fitting the grim atmosphere of the songs it accompanies.
All in all, this album isn't perfect, but it sure as hell is a damned good head bang inducing death metal release. The band improve in all aspects but one, leaving poor Derek Boyer struggling to keep up with things, and leaving room for improvement on the next one. A decimating and non-stop barrage of brutality, this album doesn't deserve to go unnoticed.
- Insane drumming
- Masterful compositions
- Crushing riffs
- Relentless, brutal vocals
What's Not So Good
- Bassist struggles to make a lasting effect
- Not entirely original
Creed of the Infidel
Entrails of You