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4.38 | 7 ratings | 3 reviews
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Album · 2017


1. Clarity Through Deprivation (4:04)
2. The Warmth Within the Dark (3:39)
3. Your Last Breaths (4:36)
4. Return to the Abyss (3:56)
5. The Violation (3:41)
6. Of the Dark Light (3:41)
7. Some Things Should Be Left Alone (3:23)
8. Caught Between Two Worlds (4:19)
9. Epitaph of the Credulous (Rerecorded) (3:58)

Total Time 35:17


- Frank Mullen / Vocals
- Terrance Hobbs / Guitars
- Derek Boyer / Bass
- Eric Morotti / Drums
- Charlie Errigo / Guitars

Guest/session musicians:
- Kevin Muller / Vocals (backing)

About this release

Nuclear Blast - CD, LP, Download, June 9th, 2017

Track 9 is a re-recorded song from the Breeding the Spawn album.

Recorded at Full Force Studios.

Thanks to Nightfly for the addition and UMUR, adg211288 for the updates


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Specialists/collaborators reviews

"...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of Bedlam" from 2013 and features a couple of lineup changes compared to the predecessor as guitarist Guy Marchais has been replaced by Charlie Errigo and drummer Dave Culross has been replaced by Eric Morotti.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.
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.
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.

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