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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...Of the Dark Light...Of the Dark Light
Nuclear Blast America 2017
Audio CD$7.99
$3.82 (used)
Souls to DenySouls to Deny
Relapse 2005
Audio CD$10.99
$5.91 (used)
Pierced From WithinPierced From Within
Import
Imports 2016
Vinyl$39.90
Effigy of the ForgottenEffigy of the Forgotten
Import
Imports 1992
Audio CD$9.31
$13.17 (used)
SuffocationSuffocation
Relapse 2006
Audio CD$12.72
$5.99 (used)
Blood OathBlood Oath
Import
Nuclear Blast America 2012
Audio CD$8.60
$9.99 (used)
Pinnacle of Bedlam (digi pac with dvd)Pinnacle of Bedlam (digi pac with dvd)
Nuclear Blast America 2013
Audio CD$11.43
$9.89 (used)
Human WasteHuman Waste
Extra tracks · Remastered
Relapse 2000
Audio CD$39.99
$18.18 (used)
Close of Chapter: Live in Quebec CityClose of Chapter: Live in Quebec City
Import
Imports 2011
Audio CD$7.49
$7.48 (used)
Breeding the SpawnBreeding the Spawn
Import
Imports 1993
Audio CD$12.26
$15.53 (used)
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SUFFOCATION Discography

SUFFOCATION albums / top albums

.. Album Cover 4.01 | 18 ratings
Effigy of the Forgotten
Brutal Death Metal 1991
.. Album Cover 3.68 | 14 ratings
Breeding the Spawn
Brutal Death Metal 1993
.. Album Cover 3.96 | 20 ratings
Pierced From Within
Brutal Death Metal 1995
.. Album Cover 3.99 | 9 ratings
Souls to Deny
Brutal Death Metal 2004
.. Album Cover 3.74 | 11 ratings
Suffocation
Brutal Death Metal 2006
.. Album Cover 3.97 | 11 ratings
Blood Oath
Brutal Death Metal 2009
.. Album Cover 3.91 | 13 ratings
Pinnacle of Bedlam
Brutal Death Metal 2013
.. Album Cover 4.46 | 5 ratings
...Of The Dark Light
Brutal Death Metal 2017

SUFFOCATION EPs & splits

.. Album Cover 3.62 | 6 ratings
Human Waste
Brutal Death Metal 1991
.. Album Cover 3.00 | 1 ratings
Live Death
Brutal Death Metal 1994
.. Album Cover 4.26 | 4 ratings
Despise the Sun
Brutal Death Metal 1998

SUFFOCATION live albums

.. Album Cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
The Close of a Chapter
Brutal Death Metal 2006

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

.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Reincremated
Brutal Death Metal 1990

SUFFOCATION re-issues & compilations

.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Best of Suffocation
Brutal Death Metal 2008

SUFFOCATION singles (1)

.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
Surgery of Impalement
Brutal Death Metal 2004

SUFFOCATION movies (DVD, Blu-Ray or VHS)

SUFFOCATION Reviews

SUFFOCATION ...Of The Dark Light

Album · 2017 · Brutal Death Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
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.

SUFFOCATION ...Of The Dark Light

Album · 2017 · Brutal Death Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Kev Rowland


Suffocation have been creating a storm for the best part of thirty years now, and show no signs of slowing down just yet. This is brutal technical death metal at its very finest: it just doesn’t get any better than this. Singer Frank Mullen has been there since the very beginning, and keeps being persuaded to turn out for just one album and tour, but with a family he can’t commit as much as he used to, so his successor, contributing vocalist Kevin Muller (The Merciless Concept / ex-Pyrexia) is also involved on this one. Of course, guitarist and songwriter Terrence Hobbs has been there since 1990, and bassist and lyricist Derek Boyer since 2004, so they know exactly what needs to be done to keep the band true to the Suffocation sound. It has been four years since the last album, due mostly to the band being on tour so much, but there are also a couple of new boys in guitarist Charlie Errigo (also in The Merciless Concept) and drummer Eric Morotti. Together they have linked in and created another monstrous sound, while Chris “Zeuss” Harris mixed and mastered the album and has created something that is powerful, delicate, and full of rage.

I was a big fan of their last album, ‘Pinnacle of Bedlam’, but this one is better. Whatever one wants from a technical death metal album is here in spades. Brutal, over the top, this is amazing.

SUFFOCATION Pierced From Within

Album · 1995 · Brutal Death Metal
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Warthur
"Suffocation" is, in and of itself, a great name for a death metal band - because not only does it suggest death, but it suggests a really horrible death, a frantic struggle for breath which is denied to you, a method of killing which doesn't even break the skin and yet is terrible to imagine experiencing nonetheless.

Apt, then, that Suffocation's Pierced From Within should have such an absolutely smothering sound, unleashing brutal attack after brutal attack against the listener without giving you room to breathe. This can be off-putting if you aren't in the right mood for the soul-shattering brutal death assault of your life, but for when you want to be sonically beaten into a pulp for 45 minutes, it really hits the spot.

SUFFOCATION Pinnacle of Bedlam

Album · 2013 · Brutal Death Metal
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UMUR
"Pinnacle of Bedlam" is the 7th full-length studio album by US, New York based death metal act Suffocation. The album was released through Nuclear Blast Records in February 2013. There´s been a lineup change since "Blood Oath (2009)" as drummer Mike Smith has left to be replaced by Dave Culross (mostly known for his long stint with Malevolent Creation). It´s the second time the latter is involved with Suffocation as he also layed down the drum tracks on the "Despise the Sun (1998)" EP. The rest of the lineup who recorded "Blood Oath (2009)" are intact.

From the first notes of the opening track "Cycles Of Suffering", it´s abundantly clear that Suffocation have not slowed down or become less brutal, nor have they any intention of taking any prisoners this time around. It´s not like it´s a surprise, but I´m still greatly impressed by these guys every time they release a new album. While "Sullen Days" (which is also one of the highlight of the album) is the only track on the album that I consider slightly innovative in terms of sounding different from the band´s trademark sound, and lack of innovation is usually considered a negative trade, Suffocation have over the years proven to be an exception to that rule. They are proof that no matter how "retro" sounding music you play, it´s all about how you deliver the music and how skilled you are as a composer. And that´s where Suffocation excel. The music on "Pinnacle of Bedlam" does sound slightly more contemporary/current than most of the band´s output, but that is probably mostly due to the sound production (some of the breakdowns also have a deathcore touch).

The playing is as always on a high technical level. Precision breaks, multible tempo changes (including blast beats, über heavy breakdowns and everything in between), blistering solo work and those sub woofer deep growls courtesy of Frank Mullen. Tracks like the above mentioned "Sullen Days", "Cycles Of Suffering" and the title track are killer death metal, and while not all tracks on the album stand out equally much, they are all on a high compositional level and delivered with a rawness and brutality that few can rival. As usual Suffocation have opted to re-record a track from "Breeding the Spawn (1993)" in "Beginning of Sorrow" (they´ve re-recorded tracks off that album several times throughout the years). Mike Smith makes a guest appearance on "Beginning of Sorrow".

"Pinnacle of Bedlam" is yet another great death metal album by Suffocation. While there have been a few tiny bumps in the band´s discography, this is a band that cannot fail. If you in any way enjoy brutal technical death metal, "Pinnacle of Bedlam" is an album of the highest caliber in that style. While I personally feel the more clear sounding contemporary production doesn´t fit Suffocation´s music as well as the more raw productions of earlier releases by the band, it´s arguably a powerful and professional sound, which I´m sure many others will praise greatly, so my minor issue with the production values is pretty surely an aquired taste. A 4 star (80%) rating is deserved.

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