Suffocation
Pinnacle of Bedlam


3.0
good

Review

by Robert Garland CONTRIBUTOR (197 Reviews)
February 15th, 2013 | 157 replies


Release Date: 02/19/2013 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Holds itself against the band's countless competitors, but this isn’t the same Suffocation listeners' all loved.

Suffocation is largely a household name in the death metal genre, releasing some of the strongest records the metal genre as a whole has ever seen. Enter 2013, and what we have here is a different Suffocation. Pinnacle Of Bedlam still outshines many bands in the genre but does not live up to the much talked about and highly respected Effigy Of The Forgotten and Pierced From Within from the early days of Suffocation’s catalogue (a whopping almost twenty-five years ago). The album is respectable in its own right, but in comparison to these considerably pioneering releases Pinnacle Of Bedlam fall short of maintaining the building steam from 2009’s Blood Oath (which for most listeners, fell short in the same respect even with the input of Mike Smith who’s now absent on this record after a rather public spraying of members of the band). The album’s first single, ‘As Grace Descends’ shows just how the band continues to make head way with tracks, but lacks the monolithic input that Effigy Of The Forgotten’s ‘Seeds Of The Suffering’ did. Just to clear this up – the music is not bad per-se, just misses out in comparison to what the group did all them years ago.

Despite not having inherently anything wrong with the record, Pinnacle Of Bedlam does have a couple of ‘subtle’ flaws. Namely, in the crystal clear production that removes the intensity of Suffocation’s barrage in musicianship. Some may argue that hearing everything perfectly only aids Suffocation with a modern release but again it comes back to how the band is compared to its past releases; Pinnacle Of Bedlam needed that gritty sound to mesh together the blast beats and low end riffs. Also, the absence of Mike Smith behind the drum kit plays host to a lower energy level with the tracks themselves. Mike Smith is replaced by Dave Culross, who returns to show he is technically “able” but lacks the flair that Smith brought to records and the up tempo presence that most releases maintained throughout the entire of records. Pinnacle Of Bedlam shows a band that’s ticking all the right boxes but Suffocation have simply done better – maybe it’s that the band is maturing into the sound they have now, but that ‘maturing’ so to speak is a regressing of sorts. Suffocation can and do outshine many other acts of the genre but what remains to be seen is the Suffocation of old.

Overall, Suffocation’s Pinnacle Of Bedlam is respectable for what they are doing, especially in the year 2013. Waves and waves of monotonous acts have taken centre stage when recycling the ideas of their betters. Where-as Suffocation can at least be accredited with releasing an album that actually sounds like Suffocation; even if it came a little ‘too’ polished and without the energy of the band’s early days. For long time fans; the record itself is a bit of a letdown, but on the other hand, Pinnacle Of Bedlam does what it should on the international modern death metal scene.



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user ratings (274)
Chart.
3.6
great
other reviews of this album
DragonHeartstring (4.5)
Suffocation hit a home run on their seventh studio record, putting together a collection of meaty so...

ImTheOnlyThugInTheBuildin (2.5)
A misstep for a band that has been consistently good until now...

Jacquibim CONTRIBUTOR (3.5)
Suffocation deliver yet another solid record...

Subrick (4.5)
The best Suffocation record since Despise the Sun....


Comments:Add a Comment 
NocteDominum
Contributing Reviewer
February 14th 2013


7041 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Buy the album here:

https://itunes.apple.com/au/album/pinnacle-of-bedlam/id592675945

Jacquibim
Contributing Reviewer
February 14th 2013


14382 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Another short and sweet review, might write one myself if this doesn't end up having half a dozen by tomorrow.

Digging: We Will Fail - Verstrung

mindleviticus
February 15th 2013


8232 Comments


You're a reviewing machine!

Haven't listened to too much Suffocation, but from what I've heard they rule pretty hard.

Digging: Cultes Des Ghoules - Henbane

AfterTheBreakdown
February 15th 2013


7144 Comments


album art is cool.

Insurrection
Contributing Reviewer
February 15th 2013


21106 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

Was going to review this but that wont be necessary since I agreed completely with yours. Suffocation aren't at all what they used to be. Have a pos

Digging: The Contortionist - Language

Uranium
February 15th 2013


7109 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

production this, production that - holy shit it's getting annoying
sounds just like all of their other records to me

Jacquibim
Contributing Reviewer
February 15th 2013


14382 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

^ You can't possibly be serious..

Uranium
February 15th 2013


7109 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I can agree with you for no apparent reason if you really want me to, no wait- fuck that

Insurrection
Contributing Reviewer
February 15th 2013


21106 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

production this, production that - holy shit it's getting annoying
sounds just like all of their other records to me


Yeah no

Jacquibim
Contributing Reviewer
February 15th 2013


14382 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Well shit...

MMX
February 15th 2013


4818 Comments


I keep scrolling past this in my itunes thinking it's a deathcore album because of the cover lol

Uranium
February 15th 2013


7109 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

insurrection you must defer

BigPleb
February 15th 2013


36705 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Album is solid, nothing more nothing less.

Digging: Arc Iris - Arc Iris

MichaelSnoxall
February 15th 2013


12163 Comments


Album is solid, nothing more nothing less.

Your 3.5 rating says otherwise. Would just a "solid" album merit a 3, or 2.5?

BigPleb
February 15th 2013


36705 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

It would be like a 3.25 but only staff have that novelty.

DirtBagDan
February 15th 2013


582 Comments


not particularly good

Jacquibim
Contributing Reviewer
February 15th 2013


14382 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

My interpretation of "soild" is that it's just very consistent and with few flaws, ratings can vary. Under that interpretation, yes, this is a very solid album, but nothing too special.

BigPleb
February 15th 2013


36705 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I agree with Jac, hence the 3.5 rating.

TheNotrap
February 15th 2013


8073 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Need to check this asap.


Digging: Lago - Tyranny

BigPleb
February 15th 2013


36705 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

You'll dig NoTrap



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