Review Summary: Faster than a speeding bullet, deeper than my poetry, this album fucking slays.
Suffocation has a lot in common with Faith No More. Faith No More lit a fire under the butts of the alt-metal world, farting out a funky concocted "rap metal" sound that went on to be shortchanged by a shortbus full of tattooed red hat wearing douchebags. In an alternate dimension, Suffocation were pillaging the death metal world with their blatantly New York aesthetic; a sound ripe with gluttonous technicality, hate filled breakdowns and drummer Mike Smith's eponymous "Smith-beats" [blastbeats to the un-elite laymen] and now we have bands like Despised Icon and Dying Fetus -- I'm sure you can fill in the stuff that went on in between.
Replete with a low end so throbbing it's bound to shock the bowels of all who listen to it, calling Pierced from Within
"heavy" would be doing it a disservice. Released in 1995 to an audience of lesser talented musicians who'd go on to make a career in ripping it off (Muhammed Suicmez instantly comes to mind), Pierced from Within
took the angry and volatile death metal brought to life on Effigy of the Forgotten
and added on a thick layer off bile and hatred, which basically means that it's bigger, faster, stronger and heavier. Mike Smith let Doug Bohn "borrow" his invention and with it Bohn pounds the skins with such intensity that it can only be truly explained in bad "metalphors" and cheap puns. Frank Mullen's growls are animalistic, pissed off and occasionally intelligible. Doug Cerrito and Terrance Hobbs manage to combine chuggy breakdowns, technical shredwork and thrashy, hardcore infused riffs that slice alongside the album's most distinguished element: the invasive, unavoidably awesome but wholly polarizing bass playing. Saying Chris Richards is fully utilized on the album is a gross understatement; with only four-to-six strings, Richards makes his bass play a dual role as it adding to the album's rib-rattling low end as well as contributing to its technical slant.
Faster than a speeding bullet, deeper than my poetry and with more shred, juns and breakdowns than you can shake a stick at, Pierced from Within
is an absolutely essential component of death metal canon, if not for its crushing brutality and technical propensity than certainly for its sheer, clear influence on not just death metal, but metal as a whole.