SUFFOCATION

Brutal Death Metal • United States
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Suffocation is an American death metal band that was formed in 1989 in New York. The band comprises vocalist Frank Mullen, guitarists Terrance Hobbs and Guy Marchais, drummer Mike Smith and bassist Derek Boyer. Suffocation rose to prominence of death metal and created a blueprint for the genre for the 1990s with their 1991 debut album Effigy of the Forgotten and released six studio albums since its formation.

The band's grindcore-influenced technical death metal style uses guttural vocals with a bottom-heavy guitar sound; complex, fast guitar riffs and drumming, and "sophisticated" sense of songwriting. Their debut, Effigy of the Forgotten, is considered a classic by most, topping the charts of many fans' "all-time favorites" lists. Also worth noting is their debut EP, Human Waste, which was the first official release on relapse records in 1991.

The band went through a few member changes before briefly disbanding after their release,
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Effigy of the ForgottenEffigy of the Forgotten
Warner 1992
$8.55
$10.35 (used)
SuffocationSuffocation
Relapse 2006
$7.33
$6.53 (used)
Best Of SuffocationBest Of Suffocation
Roadrunner 2008
$4.99
$4.49 (used)
Human WasteHuman Waste
Relapse 2005
$47.60
$19.98 (used)
...Of the Dark Light...Of the Dark Light
Nuclear Blast America 2017
$10.70
$8.97 (used)
Breeding the SpawnBreeding the Spawn
Warner 1993
$6.71
$12.10 (used)
Effigy of the Forgotten / Pierced From WithinEffigy of the Forgotten / Pierced From Within
Roadrunner Records 2003
$136.92
$21.99 (used)
Close of Chapter: Live in Quebec CityClose of Chapter: Live in Quebec City
Did 2011
$11.59
Souls to DenySouls to Deny
Relapse 2005
$10.92
$6.98 (used)
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SUFFOCATION Discography

SUFFOCATION albums / top albums

SUFFOCATION Effigy of the Forgotten album cover 3.95 | 18 ratings
Effigy of the Forgotten
Brutal Death Metal 1991
SUFFOCATION Breeding the Spawn album cover 3.27 | 15 ratings
Breeding the Spawn
Brutal Death Metal 1993
SUFFOCATION Pierced From Within album cover 3.74 | 20 ratings
Pierced From Within
Brutal Death Metal 1995
SUFFOCATION Souls to Deny album cover 3.96 | 9 ratings
Souls to Deny
Brutal Death Metal 2004
SUFFOCATION Suffocation album cover 3.73 | 11 ratings
Suffocation
Brutal Death Metal 2006
SUFFOCATION Blood Oath album cover 3.84 | 11 ratings
Blood Oath
Brutal Death Metal 2009
SUFFOCATION Pinnacle of Bedlam album cover 3.92 | 13 ratings
Pinnacle of Bedlam
Brutal Death Metal 2013
SUFFOCATION ...Of The Dark Light album cover 4.39 | 5 ratings
...Of The Dark Light
Brutal Death Metal 2017

SUFFOCATION EPs & splits

SUFFOCATION Human Waste album cover 3.86 | 7 ratings
Human Waste
Brutal Death Metal 1991
SUFFOCATION Live Death album cover 3.00 | 1 ratings
Live Death
Brutal Death Metal 1994
SUFFOCATION Despise the Sun album cover 4.12 | 4 ratings
Despise the Sun
Brutal Death Metal 1998

SUFFOCATION live albums

SUFFOCATION The Close of a Chapter album cover 3.58 | 2 ratings
The Close of a Chapter
Brutal Death Metal 2006

SUFFOCATION demos, promos, fans club and other releases (no bootlegs)

SUFFOCATION Reincremated album cover 3.00 | 1 ratings
Reincremated
Brutal Death Metal 1990

SUFFOCATION re-issues & compilations

SUFFOCATION The Best of Suffocation album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Best of Suffocation
Brutal Death Metal 2008

SUFFOCATION singles (1)

.. Album Cover
3.50 | 1 ratings
Surgery of Impalement
Brutal Death Metal 2004

SUFFOCATION movies (DVD, Blu-Ray or VHS)

SUFFOCATION Reviews

SUFFOCATION The Close of a Chapter

Live album · 2006 · Brutal Death Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
UMUR
"The Close of a Chapter" is a live album release by US, New York based death metal act Suffocation. The album was originally independently released in 2005 limited to 50 CD copies and the digital download option, but Relapse Records picked it up for a label release in late 2009. The 13 tracks on the 64:05 minutes long album is the full unedited performance of the band´s Quebec City show on the 2005 tour supporting their 2004 comeback album "Souls To Deny".

To those not familar with Suffocation they are one of the originators of brutal and technically well played death metal. Predominantly unintelligible growling vocals, massive meaty riffs and chaotic screaming solos, and a rhythm section delivering loads of tempo changes, breaks and ultra heavy breakdowns, and generally just impressive technical playing. That´s what Suffocation has been about since day one, and that´s what they are about on this live album too.

The tracklist includes songs from all four studio albums released up until then and from both the "Human Waste (1991)" EP and the "Despise the Sun (1998)" EP, so it´s arguably a good representation of Suffocation´s discography up until 2005. Classic tracks like "Infecting the Crypts", "Catatonia", "Pierced From Within", and "Breeding the Spawn", along side tracks from "Souls To Deny (2004)", which at the time was the latest studio album by the band. There is good audience interaction between the tracks as lead vocalist Frank Mullen makes sure to tell the audience how happy Suffocation are to play for them. He also encourages moshpits, and just genereally keeps the show flowing all the way through. Anyone who´s seen Frank "The Hand" Mullen live knows what a great and passionate character he is, and it´s apparent here too.

It´s not only an unedited performance but also what sounds like a raw and more or less unedited sound production. I wouldn´t call it lo-fi, but it is pretty unpolished and not always clear sounding. So you get a pretty good idea of how a Suffocation show sounds like in real life. Warts and all. The thing is though the musical performances are pretty much flawless. Suffocation have always been an extremely well playing act and their performances here are "just another day at the office" in that respect. Upon conclusion I´d say that the sound quality could have been slightly better, but overall "The Close of a Chapter" is a solid and authentic sounding live album by Suffocation and a 3.5 star (70%) rating isn´t all wrong.

SUFFOCATION Reincremated

Demo · 1990 · Brutal Death Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
UMUR
"Reincremated" is a demo cassette tape release by US, New York based death metal act Suffocation. The demo was self-released in July 1990. Suffocation were formed in 1988 and "Reincremated" is their first release. It was also their only demo release, as they were soon discovered and signed to Relapse Records for the release of the "Human Waste (1991)" EP.

"Reincremated" features 3 tracks and a full playing time of 8:37 minutes. "Human Waste" was included on the "Human Waste (1991)" EP in the exact same version, and both "Involuntary Slaughter" and "Reincremation" were featured in re-recorded versions on Suffocation´s debut full-length studio album "Effigy of the Forgotten (1991)".

The recording quality is very raw and noisy, but it´s still audible what´s going on, and there is a unique brutal charm to it, that´s reserved for death metal demos from that time period. While the sound production is unpolished and raw to say the least, it´s still obvious how well playing Suffocation were even this early on in their career. The level of brutality is also really high considering when this was released. At the time Probably only rivaled by the likes of Cannibal Corpse and Immolation.

So while this certainly isn´t a professional recording and there are issues here and there as a consequence of that, it shows from the start that Suffocation knew exactly what they wanted and that they had the skills to do it. I´m not sure brutal technnical death metal was born with this release, but it´s arguably one of the earliest examples of the style. A 3 - 3.5 star (65%) rating is deserved.

SUFFOCATION Surgery of Impalement

Single · 2004 · Brutal Death Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
UMUR
"Surgery of Impalement" is a sampler single by US, New York based death metal act Suffocation. The single was released through Relapse Records in April 2004. "Surgery of Impalement" features two tracks from the "Souls to Deny (2004)" album and one track from the "Despise the Sun (1998)" EP.

Sampler singles are usually used by labels as a promotional tool to promote a forthcoming full-length studio album (typically send to radio stations, webzines, and magazines for reviews). In this case "Souls to Deny (2004)", which was Suffocation´s first full-length studio album in 9 years. The last being "Pierced From Within" from 1995. The long time between albums and a band split-up between 1998 - 2002 were probably contributing factors to why the label felt a promo sampler was necessary.

As a promo "Surgery of Impalement" is slightly odd because of the inclusion of "Funeral Inception" from "Despise the Sun (1998)". There´s no logical reason for including a track from 1998 to promote a 2004 album release, other then the fact that it´s a brilliant death metal track done the brutal and technically well played Suffocation way. But that´s also true for the two tracks from "Souls to Deny (2004)". The different sound productions are slightly distracting, but it´s not a major issue as both the track from "Despise the Sun (1998)" and the tracks from "Souls to Deny (2004)" are very well produced.

So upon conclusion "Surgery of Impalement" is a nice little release by Suffocation, but as it doesn´t include anything that hasn´t been featured on other more readily available releases, the value is still a bit limited. The quality of the music, the high level performances, and powerful sound productions are still worth something though, and therefore a 3.5 star (70%) rating is deserved.

SUFFOCATION ...Of The Dark Light

Album · 2017 · Brutal Death Metal
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UMUR
"...of the Dark Light" is the 8th full-length studio album by US, New York based death metal act Suffocation. The album was released through Nuclear Blast Records in June 2017. It´s the successor to "Pinnacle of Bedlam" from 2013 and features a couple of lineup changes compared to the predecessor as guitarist Guy Marchais has been replaced by Charlie Errigo and drummer Dave Culross has been replaced by Eric Morotti. The usual suspects in the lineup are guitarist Terrance Hobbs, bassist Derek Boyer, and lead vocalist Frank Mullen. While the latter seldom tours with Suffocation these days (mostly only local shows), he is still the official lead vocalist for the band.

Stylistically the material on the 9 track, 35:17 minutes long album is unmistakably the sound of Suffocation. Their stylistic consistency is made abundently clear when the re-recording of "Epitaph of the Credulous" from "Breeding the Spawn (1993)" sounds like a completely natural track to put on "...of the Dark Light" altough it was written many years before the rest of the material on the album. The So it´s no surprise that the music on the album is technically well played brutal death metal featuring lots of tempo changes and Frank Mullen´s ultra brutal growling vocals in front. They pioneered this type of death metal in the early 90s and "...of the Dark Light" is yet another proof that they are still kings of the genre all these years down the line.

In usual Suffocation style, the listener is bludgeoned by the unrelenting brutal assault on the ears. Listen a bit more closely and you´ll discover quite a few clever compositional details though, and there are even a few times during the playing time, when the band venture into new territories (though without ever really leaving their core style), which is great for the variation of the album. This is still first and foremost a brutal death metal album, so variation between tracks is not the main focus here and it is still in that department Suffocation could improve. They are completely uncompromising which is both a charming feature but also means that their music is sometimes inaccessible and not always easy to remember.

"...of the Dark Light" is well produced, featuring a brutal, powerful, and detailed sound production. Personally I could have wished for a slightly more organic sound, but that´s a matter of personal taste, and evaluated objectively the sound production suits the music well. So upon conclusion "...of the Dark Light" is another high quality brutal technical death metal release by Suffocation, which may not add loads of new features to their core sound, but still enough to differentiate it slightly from their preceding output. A 4 star (80%) rating is deserved.

SUFFOCATION ...Of The Dark Light

Album · 2017 · Brutal Death Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Nightfly
Like fellow New Yorkers Immolation, who’s latest album Atonement is the best album of 2017 as far as I’m concerned, Suffocation can always be relied on to deliver the goods. Their brutal death metal laden with complex and crushing riffs never fails to hit the spot. … Of The Dark Light is the latest in a run of strong albums since their reformation in 2003.

A couple of line-up changes seem to have done the band no harm. New drummer Eric Morotti (Killitorous) is a more than able replacement for the short lived Dave Culross who only stuck around long enough to play on one album. In also comes second guitarist Charlie Errigo, who wasn’t even born when Effigy Of The Forgotten was released, but has the necessary chops to play alongside the legendary Terrance Hobbs. Of course Vocalist Frank Mullen is still here supplying his guttural growl, though this time aided by Kevin Muller, as is bassist since the reformation Derek Boyer.

If you know Suffocation then you know what to expect here. Nine songs in total of the sort of complex brutal death metal Suffocation are famous for. The songs constantly shifting in time and tempo, twisting and turning with stop/start accenting punctuating the precise staccato riffing. There may not be a lot of variety from one track to the next but that’s mainly down to the fact that they pack so much into each short-ish song. This makes picking favourites a bit of a pointless exercise but The Warmth Within The Dark is one of the many highlights. If you’re looking for melody look elsewhere though as the only time it appears is occasionally in a guitar solo. As expected the standard of playing is second to none and the production whilst more clinical these days is powerful and balanced with plenty of bottom end cutting through so no complaints there.

Where …Of The Dark Light sits in terms of favourite Suffocation album is difficult to say, with only one or two relatively speaking weaker records, such is the consistency of this legendary band. I’m certainly more than happy with it and whilst it may not be better it can comfortably sit alongside their strongest work.

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