Review Summary: Melody and Brutality some how make their way together.
Brutality and melody seem like disdained cousins from the musical family that have bitter hatred for one another. There are very few moments that they allow themselves to succumb to and tolerate each other; much less enjoy one another’s company. Brutality, rather than create pretty sounds or elicit a listener’s ear, would much rather make a racket, go faster, and/or slow down to the point of ever-encompassing doom. Melody opposes this and is quite appalled by such a horrible racket, and they almost never find themselves sweetly combined and together while loving each other. However, there are moments in which the two would combine; Suffocation’s Effigy of The Forgotten
, memorable for both its enclosing, viably brutal sound, it’s melody, and its ability for the listeners to easily remember the experience. While melody doesn’t seem like a big part, it’s just as essential to Suffocation’s sound as brutality.
Effigy of The Forgotten
’s sound is, simply put, absolutely suffocating and strong handing in its strength. Its brutality is like a backhand slap to the masses – absolutely crushing and crucial. The production is raw and low quality, and yet it sustains this album’s appetite and makes it even more of a ride. The guitars’ rumbling distortion and constant thrashing calls ‘bloodshed’, thundering through your speakers at breakneck speeds, while at times stampeding towards halting, slowing break downs, chugging and clunging down upon you. And yet, despite the guitars’ sheer shredding dominance and the stripped down, raw death metal sound it brings, the drums are the true highlight amongst the brittle, rumbling (and truly awesome) mess. Mike Smith’s clattering snares and technicality-enhanced blastbeats absolutely drive the album’s direction, giving completely good reason for his special kind of beats to be called Smithbeats. Throw in the guitars and drums down with the all-purveying vocalist Frank Mullen – whose deep throated, dinosaur-esque and inhumane voice roars at the listeners – and we get the boiling pot of hot, brutal death metal nipping at your door.
Despite the albums seemingly completely brutal sound, melody is also a sinister partner in this album’s plot, albeit not in the typical way. Rather than repeating parts in individual songs similar to that of a hook or chorus, the album plays a complete piece, with parts parlaying a certain memorable bit that become something of tiny pieces in a musical puzzle, eventually that puzzle combining, and thus forming a few melodies that don’t attain to whole songs, but rather the entire album. This idea is prosperous here, and works well just as the album’s short length allows it to. Melody and brutality, however, sort of play the game of hide and seek on this album, and it somewhat takes a little bit of effort to find the melody here, as the album’s crushing sound seemingly is all brutality and macho-ism and appears less intricate in its composition than it actually is. But, we shouldn’t go all-out and call this more than it really is too much. Sure, its composure is a little bit more complex and unique than most death metal albums out. But is it really too big of a difference? It’s still ominous, barbarous death metal, and with its grind and thrash influences, sounds combined in almost perfect proportions, parlaying both fast and slow moments wonderfully. Effigy of The Forgotten
is well-worth your time, after all, it is not often you see melody and brutality working together on the same album.