Suffocation
Despise the Sun


2.5
average

Review

by Maximilian Harkness USER (65 Reviews)
November 8th, 2008 | 63 replies


Release Date: 1998 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Suffocation disappoint with this rather weak EP that really doesn't show what the band can do, just repeats filler from their other records.

It really doesn’t need to be said again, but here it is: Suffocation fucking slay. Their brand of death metal inspired an entire generation of children that wouldn’t be playing this type of music if it weren’t for them. Everything that every new tech death band has ever tried has started with Suffocation, whether it is jazz-inspired grooving death thrash anthems, or time-shifting, skin-rippingly fast guitar nightmares. That being said, Suffocation aren’t the perfect band, and they’ve made their fair share of mistakes. After Pierced from Within, fans were really expecting the absolute most of their band, to make an album that is able to match Pierced in quality. Due to these pressures and idealistic differences between band members, Suffocation broke up around 1998 and released one EP as their final goodbye. This is that EP Despise the Sun, and despite some parts of the album matching up to past efforts, is just a boring, mediocre effort by comparison.

What really makes Despise the Sun such a bland and yawn-worthy effort? Well, the blame for this would be place able on the band members, particularly Dave Culoss’s performance. After Pierced, Mike Smith left the band, so they had to recruit Dave from Maleviolent Creation. Unfortunately for Suffocation, his drumming can’t touch Mike Smith’s with a one hundred foot pole. His drumming through most of Despise the Sun is just the same generic blast beats over and over again. The snack that is mediocrity has caught two more victims on Despised, as Doug Cerrito and Terrance Hobbs seem to just play the same riffs and chords as they have before, only this time without it really sounding fresh. It just seems like the same fast tech death riffs, and while they are good riffs, they are rather bland and don’t really differentiate form each other. Vocalist Frank Mullen, however, is doing some of the best vocals of his career on Despise the Sun. His vocal style has always been among the best of death metal, as he is renowned for his low growl and his menacing bark. On Despise the Sun, the vocalist’s style switches up a bit, and makes his growls a bit more menacing, while lightening up his tone a bit.

There is one standout track on Despise The Sun, and that is “Catatonia”. “Catatonia” is much like Suffocation’s older material, probably because it was re-recording of a Human Waste song, and was among the band’s first songs. This album contains a re-recorded version of the song with the new drummer, and yet it still contains just about everything good about Suffocation: thrashy technical riffing, blazing, pounding blast beats, and, my favorite, the heavily Slayer-inspired solo work. “Catatonia”’s solo is wild and chaotic, even by Suffocation standards, slamming high notes like crazy and pentatonic scale-ing it’s way towards the end… But the sad facts are, one good song can’t save a five song EP form being rather mediocre. Despise the Sun shows the struggle of a great band, attempt to live with themselves for the last few moments before breaking up. With the exception of Frank Mullen, none of the band members are truly up to their usual standard, and in the end it just sounds disappointing. Shame to, this was released after the band’s classic Pierced from Within, so this EP was the last thing before 1998 break-up until their 2003 reunion.



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user ratings (142)
Chart.
3.9
excellent
other reviews of this album
Suffohead (4.5)
The album that would introduce a different sound from the band after Pierced From Within, but oddly ...


Comments:Add a Comment 
bastard
November 8th 2008


3435 Comments


I don't know why some people really like this release, it's rather boring really.

"Catatonia" rules though.

beans
November 8th 2008


2332 Comments


i was just about to say that. song is awesome
i remember listening to this a while ago and it was sub par.

bastard
November 8th 2008


3435 Comments


yeah pretty much

beans
November 8th 2008


2332 Comments


saw you applied for that contributor position as well. good luck to ya. im filling one out right now. although i know i probably wont get it. cant hurt to at least put my name out there.

bastard
November 8th 2008


3435 Comments


That's pretty much what I thought when I was submitting mine.

beans
November 8th 2008


2332 Comments


fer sure, there's just a lot more people with more material out than me. but whatever like i said. cant hurt.

SylentEcho
November 8th 2008


1575 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Review is slightly short, but it's ok for an EP. This EP was alright IMO.

bastard
November 8th 2008


3435 Comments


I don't think I will do anymore Suffocation reviews after this.

I'll probably look forward to some hip hop :thumb:

beans
November 8th 2008


2332 Comments


i was thinking about doing an ice cube one the other day lol

Tarantino's Tarantulas
November 8th 2008


819 Comments


Well, the blame for this would be place able on the band members, particularly Mike Smith’s performance. An amazing drummer he is, Mike Smith plays blast beats like no other, faster and more complex than any other. You really don’t get the same drummer on Despise The Sun, he really just plays the same generic blast beats over and over again throughout the record.
Mike Smith is not on this record, he was unavailable so they drafted in Dave Culross (from Malevolent Creation).

“Catatonia” is much like Suffocation’s older material
Not surprising - it's a re-recording of a Human Waste song and was apparently the first they ever wrote (or so Mullen introduced it when I saw them live).

Otherwise, good review

masscows
November 8th 2008


2236 Comments


Catatonia is the only good song on this

good review and I agree

Wizard
November 8th 2008


19641 Comments


Good review once again bastard. Glad to see you're filling this database with some albums that haven't been reviewed before.

Digging: Ash Borer - Cold of Ages

McP3000
November 8th 2008


3941 Comments


somebody's going through the suffocation discography.

good choice. one of the better brutal death bands in a sea of shit.

bastard
November 8th 2008


3435 Comments


Mike Smith is not on this record, he was unavailable so they drafted in Dave Culross (from Malevolent Creation).


Oh okay, now I sort of understand why the drumming was fairly bland.

Not surprising - it's a re-recording of a Human Waste song and was apparently the first they ever wrote (or so Mullen introduced it when I saw them live).


Oops, I really needed to do my homework on this one.

Thanks everybody for comments and such.

joshuatree
Emeritus
November 8th 2008


3742 Comments


sort of an awkward review

bastard
November 8th 2008


3435 Comments


I am working on it as we speak.

EDIT: edited review now.This Message Edited On 11.08.08

Tarantino's Tarantulas
November 12th 2008


819 Comments


Oops, I really needed to do my homework on this one.
Yeah, wasn't trying to nitpick or anything but thought it'd be helpful to point a couple of things out. Fixed review is great.

InHumanForm
April 23rd 2009


316 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

dude this album kicks ass...every song has good riffs, and funeral inception? come on its a classic

gutturalmaster
January 13th 2010


170 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Great death metal album; drums are brutal, and the mastering is perfect

Asiatic667
January 13th 2010


4648 Comments


Oh, one of those knock knock whos there bands



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