"Souls to Deny" is the 4th full-length studio album by US death metal act Suffocation. The album was released through Relapse Records in April 2004. It´s the band´s first studio recording since the "Despise the Sun (1998)" EP. Suffocation disbanded shortly after the release of "Despise the Sun (1998)", so "Souls to Deny" is what you can call a comeback album.
...not much have changed while the band have had a break though and if you´re familiar with the band´s earlier material and in particular "Pierced From Within (1995)" and "Despise the Sun (1998)", you´ll pretty much know what to expect. The music on the album is more or less in the trademark technical brutal death metal style that Suffocation have practiced since day one. The technical level of playing is very high with multible tempo changes, breaks and generally just fast as hell instrumental work. Of course as usual the band don´t neglect to crush their listeners with some ultra heavy breakdowns, so the music isn´t fast all the time. In fact the tracks are pretty complex in structure, no better emphasized than in a track like "Immortally Condemned", which features both mid- to fast paced death metal grooves, blasting sections and heavy breakdowns played over the course of multible sections. Along with the title track and "Deceit", "Immortally Condemned" is one of the highlights of the album. One of the assets of "Souls to Deny" is the remarkable consistency and quality of the material though, so I could name any track off the album and call it high quality US death metal.
The fact that the sound production is powerful, crushingly brutal and heavy and that the brutal growling vocals by Frank Mullen add even more dark brutality to the album, are also assets that need a mention. This is the sound of a band that know exactly what their strengths are and are confidently capable of making the most of those strengths. Suffocation once again prove that they are kings of the technical brutal death metal style and "Souls to Deny" fully deserves a 4 . 4.5 star (85%) rating.