Terrance Hobbs - Guitar
Mike Smith - Drums
Guy Marchais - Guitar
Frank Mullen - Vocals
Derek Boyer - Bass
Doug Bohn - Drums
Josh Barohn - Bass
Doug Cerrito - Guitar
Chris Richards - Bass
Dave Culross - Drums
A phenomenal landmark in the vastly over-saturated realms of death metal. "Pierced From Within" is one of the finest death metal efforts ever and in my opinion, Suffocation's best. There is so much to say about this album, the riffs are incredible, the drumming is superb, the vocals are intelligible and powerful, the lyrics aren't cheesy and in fact pretty damn good....this album conveys death metal in an advanced and evolved form, creative and groundbreaking.
From beginning to end, your senses are assaulted with the finest in death metal creativity. The riffs shine thier dynamic light ALL OVER this CD with speed picking, palm-muted "jun's", quick chord changes and atonally rendered fretboard chaos (solos) that put the icing on the cake! You can just feel your wrists burning when listening to the guitars! This album is the holy grail to any death metal musician!
Guitarists take note! This album is essential to understanding the profound and excellent stylings of death metal guitar...taking dynamics and technique and displaying an open door of endless creativity and style possibilities. Many bands have shown us this incredibly vast spectrum of extreme metal possibilities...Nile, Morbid Angel, Theory in Practice, and definitely Suffocation! Endless streams of heavy palm-muting and twisted speeding picking runs that take infinite forms until the CD stops...the only breather being the bass/clean guitar intro to "Torn into Enthrallment", giving you some time to feel the awesome atmosphere of that beautiful riff until just giving way to the heavy, palm-muted reiteration of the same riff. The solos are mainly tremelo-pick based and rely on atonal exploration, a trademark of great death metal! (goddamn, it's ALL about guitar work on albums like this!)
The vocals add to the already insurmountable instrumental work that graces this CD with power and conviction. Gutteral and brutal as hell, yet intelligible and not ridiculous...amazing...the lyrics are fitting and cover topics that aren't reliant on the shock value of gore that most bands adopt exclusively....very well written and performed, I give the vocals and lyrics alone an EXCELLENT score!
The drumming is SOOO good! Excellent blasts and endurance. The drumming fits the riffing and overall music so well, in fact, the drumming is an ESSENTIAL element to the power that Suffocation conveys through their brutal, technical death metal assault. The drumming is just all over the place with excellent timing, well-placed fills, powerful blasts and double bass.
To sum it up, the instrumental performances are beyond excellent and the un-matched creativity is quite evident and in your face. The guitar sound is probably the heaviest that any death metal band can hope to achieve and certain riffs, especially the slower "jun"-ier parts, bring this out very clearly. You know, I don't want to give just any band a perfect score, the five-star only goes out to the one's that TRULY deserve it, through their performances and overall creativity. This is one of those albums for sure! Highly recommended! Pierced From Within is, without a doubt in the eyes of death metal fans and understanding musicians, up there with high honors as one of the finest death metal creations ever made! I wish I could say that about any of the other Suffocation releases, none of the others have the quality that Pierced From Within possesses...but don't get me wrong! They are very good! Effigy of the Forgotten, Breeding the Spawn, and Despise the Sun are really good in their own way and style...but "Pierced..." is the one that it's ALL about! Don't hesitate about this one...a sure buy that you'll appreciate and love years down the road. Take time to actually LISTEN to this and not just grow impatient and let the technicality and depth of this music just fly right by your attention span.