To all good things, there must have been a beginning. For SUFFOCATION, it was this small EP. They started off their career with a high note and continued to raise the bar, for both themselves and the Death Metal world. They are one of the most, if not THE most, emulated, or worse, copied, bands in the Death Metal world. Hell, the entire Brutal Death Metal genre owes its existence to this band. However, most bands sadly, SADLY, miss the entire point as to why SUFFOCATION are revered, while most bands that play this style never get any attention.
The reason is because SUFFOCATION concentrates more in forging their songwriting in heavier and more brutal territories, instead of just writing fast & heavy material for the sake of it. If you’ve heard SUFFOCATION’s other albums, the music contained on this one is rather primitive, in composition (They’re amazing songs, but don’t hold too much to the better classics they would go on to write), sound (it sounds like SLAYER’s “Hell Awaits”, but with infinitely more bass and balls) and performance (probably due to the sound). The first 5 songs on the album were all re-done and re-corded on their subsequent releases, but they have a youthful rage on this album. “Human Waste” is the only track off this record that has yet to be re-recorded (I doubt it will be, though) and the other two tracks are from their 1990 Demo, “Reincremation”. They don’t hold up as well in comparison, but they’re still sick, sick songs.
All of the elements that made SUFFOCATION into one of Metal’s best acts are present on this album. From their brutal yet memorable songs, to the two guitar team of Doug Cerrito & Terrance Hobbs (Their solos just kept getting better and better as their career went along) to Frank Mullen’s hellish, deep yet decipherable vocals are all apparent.
If you already have this album, the extra stuff are: The two extra songs (“Involuntary Slaughter” & “Reincremation”), lyrics, a full booklet and a band picture, showing how young they were when they wrote and recorded this. The production hasn’t been touched up. It’s up to you to decide if you want to buy this album again.
This is a classic release in the American Death Metal world. Most acts wished they had a debut release HALF as good as this one. (Online November 23, 2005)