SUFFOCATION — ...Of The Dark Light (review)

SUFFOCATION — ...Of The Dark Light album cover Album · 2017 · Brutal Death Metal Buy this album from MMA partners
4/5 ·
"...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of Bedlam" from 2013 and features a couple of lineup changes compared to the predecessor as guitarist Guy Marchais has been replaced by Charlie Errigo and drummer Dave Culross has been replaced by Eric Morotti.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.
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UMUR wrote:
more than 2 years ago
Suffocation are a killer live band. Crushingly brutal grooves and lots of technical finesse. I love seing them, and will go every time they come to town.
Nightfly wrote:
more than 2 years ago
I'm enjoying this a lot and looking forward to seeing them next month.

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