I guess my love for SUFFOCATION is no secret. Inarguably one of the most influential bands in Death Metal, they've been copied to death by countless bands, yet their classic material still remains fresh whenever listened to.
Their previous album, "Souls to Deny", was released to mixed reactions. It was a "reunion" album, which makes people instantly skeptical about the quality of the music, mainly because reunion albums of classic bands seem to lack the fire and, let's be honest, they almost never are good as the preceding albums. The lack of Doug Cerrito was also on people's minds, as he was a MAJOR contributor to SUFFOCATION's success. I personally enjoyed that album a LOT, but a vocal group didn't.
This album BLOWS THAT ALBUM RIGHT OUT OF THE FUCKING WATER. The two major complaints about "Souls To Deny", the weakness of Frank Mullen's vocals and the lifeless production, have been corrected.
The production crushes everything in its path, with the guitars being crystal clear and the drums feel like artillery. The vocals sound inhuman, almost demonic, and are still decipherable while still being low and guttural. The bass, unfortunately, doesn't stand out all that much, which is quite disappointing, because SUFFOCATION has also been known for having intricate bass lines.
The guitars are still the jarring, furious, intense, hypnotic and dynamic elements that SUFFOCATION have been famous for. They manage to mix ultra-fast passages with some more mid-tempo riffing to the crushingly slow sections, which has been their trademark. The result is the feeling of getting pummelled meticulously and efficiently by a gang of violent criminals.
There was also a re-recording of "Prelude To Repulsion", off their much maligned "Breeding The Spawn" album, which goes to show that that album could have been a masterpiece, had it not been for the horrid production. Maybe someday SUFFOCATION can re-record that album to give it the justice it deserves.
The only reason that I'm not flat out calling this their best album in their stellar discography is SUFFOCATION have released material that is classic, but if this ages as well as "Effigy" or "Pierced From Within", this will be considered the best album they've released so far.
"Bind Torture Kill" and "Creed Of The Infidel" have nested their place in my top 5 favourite SUFFOCATION songs.
Death Metal album of the year! Considering CANNIBAL CORPSE and DEICIDE have released incredible albums, plus younger bands like SPAWN OF POSSESSION and DECAPITATED have also released amazing albums as well, it's quite the statement.
Get it now!!! DO IT!
(Online December 1, 2006)