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Suffocation - Effigy of the Forgotten

1991 Roadrunner Records :: Reviewed by rofreason on 2005-07-14

Pretty much inventing the inverted blastbeat, Suffocation here realize all of the goals that were set forth in their early days. The production is a bit dampened (it sounds like the band is playing through cotton), but not even that can maks what is a truly remarkable album. Whatever you want to call this, grind or death, this is just plain brutal. Killer twin guitar work over the just plain inhuman drumming of Mike Smith make this a mandatory release, but don't take my word for it, for in the history books, Effigy is THE album the started the whole Long Island metal scene going. Minor complaints in the vocal department, where the cookie monster growl is in ful effect, but as I said, minor, for this album is a masterpeace of excess vs. refinement in metal. Classic.

Suffocation - Breeding the Spawn

1993 Roadrunner Records :: Reviewed by rofreason on 2005-07-14

The biggest complaint of anyone regarding this album is the Scott Burns paper thin production. My personal theory is that Burns was burned on the death thing, preferring to track bands like Cynic and Atheist, which may explain what happened here. New addition Chris Richards (Sorrow) is a bass monster, and I think Burns just tried to accentuate the technical side of the band, which was mistake number 1. Sure, these guys are excellent guitarists, but that's not why we listen, we want the brutality, and that requires a heavy as hell mix to permeate our thickened skulls. I don't care though, this is still a killer album with more of the classic Suffocation riffs, leads and artillery fire drumming. If anything, the band is tighter and faster here. Don't make this the lost Suffo album in your collection, for in my opinion, it's par for everything this seminal band has released.

Suffocation - Pierced from Within

1995 Roadrunner Records :: Reviewed by rofreason on 2005-07-14

Remember way back in time when Roadrunner used to put out good albums instead of worrying about fashion? Well, Suffocation was a label mainstay for many years, delivering two albums (after Human Waste) which were creative in scope but declined quickly in production. Most people gave up on the band with Breeding the Spawn (myself included) until this, easily one of the brightest moments in Death Metal hit the shelves. Eschewing the then typical Dan Seagrave cartoon art for a more refined, completely eerie landscape cover, you knew change was in the air. I don't how, but Scott Burns must have learned a few new tricks since Breeding the Spawn, for the band just sounds so fucking incredible I can't even compare this to the past. Clarity, expert technicality put to tape, Pierced is Suffocation's intense vision refined and amplified. Frank Mullin's vocals are more defined, allowing the power to remain while being decipherable. I'd have to say that besides the excellent recording, Pierced also benefits from the addition of Doug Bohn on drums (yeah, I always give credit to the drummers). The guy is a monster, completely comfortable with blast beats, keeping the double bass to a minimum, throwing it in when it's actually completely necessary, instead of relying on it as a crutch. It's so forsaken at times that you may wonder if it's nbot by choice, until you hear his feet just fly on the final two tracks. The whole thing is perfect, a momentous occasion in metal, and a definite must have any death metal collection. I'm serious, I think it's that good. If not just to hear the amazing guitar work or just to see where most of today's death metal bands got most of their ideas, check this shit out.

Suffocation - Despise the Sun

1998 Vulture Records :: Reviewed by rofreason on 2005-07-14

Suffocation is, quite simply, the essence of brutality. Their first offerings were raw, unadultered slabs of molten metal that would just tear your head off. As the years went by Suffocation continued to refine their craft, and now present us with a taste (hopefully) of what their next full length offering will be. The biggest improvments are in both the guitar and drum sections, which are tighter both alone and together than on any prior release. Granted, Suffocation has always had someone who could handle the double kicks, but this guy is insane! You can really hear his precision on the Suffo-patented inverted blast beats. This puts a unique spin on things, and for me, throws the repeat listenability factor up quite a bit. If this is the shape of things to come, than Suffocation are definitely set to impress in the coming year.