10 Songs

EDITORS’ NOTES

This album by the New York death metal band Suffocation marks the return of drummer Dave Culross, who's also lent his skills to Malevolent Creation, Mortician, Incantation, HatePlow, Gorgasm, and Disgorged. Though he hasn't drummed with Suffocation since 1998's Despise the Sun, it’s hardly surprising (but nonetheless impressive) that he sounds right at home from the opening and uproarious “Cycles of Suffering.” The speed-metal guitar work of Terrance Hobbs and Guy Marchais buzzes violently, like someone stuck a microphone into a bulging wasp’s nest. “Purgatorial Punishment” gets more complex, with stuttered drumming and stop-start rhythms. Over chugging guitars and subtle harmonic touches, Frank Mullen growls with what sounds like prerequisite Cookie Monster vocals pitched down to a demonic timbre. It’s easy to imagine Hobbs' and Marchais’ guitars igniting in “Eminent Wrath”: a moshpit-friendly attack on the eardrums that takes fretboard-shredding to the next level. Similarly, “Pinnacle of Bedlam” contrasts thunderous rhythms with guitar leads played so fast that trying to follow each note could quite possibly induce a stroke.

EDITORS’ NOTES

This album by the New York death metal band Suffocation marks the return of drummer Dave Culross, who's also lent his skills to Malevolent Creation, Mortician, Incantation, HatePlow, Gorgasm, and Disgorged. Though he hasn't drummed with Suffocation since 1998's Despise the Sun, it’s hardly surprising (but nonetheless impressive) that he sounds right at home from the opening and uproarious “Cycles of Suffering.” The speed-metal guitar work of Terrance Hobbs and Guy Marchais buzzes violently, like someone stuck a microphone into a bulging wasp’s nest. “Purgatorial Punishment” gets more complex, with stuttered drumming and stop-start rhythms. Over chugging guitars and subtle harmonic touches, Frank Mullen growls with what sounds like prerequisite Cookie Monster vocals pitched down to a demonic timbre. It’s easy to imagine Hobbs' and Marchais’ guitars igniting in “Eminent Wrath”: a moshpit-friendly attack on the eardrums that takes fretboard-shredding to the next level. Similarly, “Pinnacle of Bedlam” contrasts thunderous rhythms with guitar leads played so fast that trying to follow each note could quite possibly induce a stroke.

TITLE TIME
3:56
2:44
3:40
3:04
4:57
3:42
4:03
3:50
3:49
4:32

About Suffocation

Death metal band Suffocation were formed in New York in the early '90s, comprising vocalist Frank Mullen, guitarists Doug Cerrito and Terrance Hobbs, bassist Chris Richards, and drummer Mike Smith. The group's 1991 debut album, Effigy of the Forgotten, became quite influential in the grind/death metal community. Released on Roadrunner Records, it was followed two years later by Breeding of the Spawn. After the release of the Human Waste EP, Smith left Suffocation and was replaced by drummer Doug Bohn. By 1995, the second lineup had issued its first album, Pierced from Within. The band broke up soon after, disheartened by label problems and lack of direction. A mystery album, Despise the Sun, floated around due to record label politics until Relapse finally released it in the summer of 2002.

The band re-formed in 2003 and began working on its fourth studio album. The resulting Souls to Deny, which marked the return of original drummer Mike Smith, arrived the following year, and effectively ended the group's six-year hiatus. Suffocation's eponymous fifth outing saw release in 2006, and was followed in 2009 by Blood Oath, which marked the band's first official entry in the Billboard charts. Pinnacle of Bedlam, the group's seventh studio album, arrived in 2013. By 2017, when Suffocation released ...Of the Dark Light, Frank Mullen and Terrance Hobbs were the only constant members of the band, spanning its full history. The album also included bassist Derek Boyer, who had been with the group since 2004, and guitarist Charlie Errigo and drummer Eric Morotti, both of whom joined in 2016 and made their recording debut with Suffocation on ...Of the Dark Light. ~ John Bush

  • ORIGIN
    New York, NY
  • FORMED
    1990

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