Review Summary: Suffocation's first live album will suffocate the crap out of you...
A live album is something that captures the energy and skill of a band in a raw environment, with no room for second takes. Suffocation's first live album captures the sheer brutality of them perfectly. The Close Of A Chapter
obliterates the listener with a set list that spans their whole discography. We can find tracks from the Human Waste EP
to the Souls To Deny
full length. Since this was recorded during their Souls To Deny tour, that album has the most songs present, a total of four, whereas other albums have only one or two tracks. The sound quality is raw and unforgiving, but this just adds to the brutality. If this was produced cleanly like a studio album it just wouldn't have the same feeling.
As for the musicians, everybody sounds perfect. Frank's vocal work is some of the best he has ever done, especially live. Of course, between songs, he interacts with the crowd, giving us proof that he doesn't feel superior to the fans because they're on stage. Terrance and Guy are both constantly shredding these songs to near perfection, even if it is a bit sloppy sometimes. But, it's okay. It's Suffocation at their peak. These guys both pick up the slack that Doug left, and you won't even notice he's gone. The solos they perform are slightly different from the studio versions, but they are still played excellently. Derek's bass is there, but unfortunately hardly audible during most of the show, like a studio album. Of course, because this is a live album, I suppose that's sort of a tradition. Mike's drumming is absolutely superb. He sounds great on a live album. It's technical, precise and just sounds like he is trying to destroy his kit.
This is a must own addition for all Suffocation fans, and, even if you've never heard of Suffocation, I suggest you pick this up. This is definitely a good starting point for becoming a fan of the band. I don't think this is in stores, I think you have to get it off eBay/Amazon/Play.com or get it off their official website. It is well worth finding it though, you won't regret it. This band continues to be imitated, but nobody will ever surpass the legacy that is Suffocation, in terms of skill and songwriting at least. It may be the close of a chapter, but it's the continuation of a legacy as kings in the realm of death metal...