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Highly memorable, albeit uncannily underproduced. - 92%

cinedracusio, July 31st, 2007

It is really weird to me how so many people praise Effigy Of The Forgotten, Pierced From Within or EVEN that pile of narcoleptic brutality that Despise The Sun is, and neglect this album, actually Suffocation's finest work with Pierced From Within.
Effigy had a damn powerful, trebly recording style; in this album's case, whereas great riffs are buried several times and require some time to decipher, the bass sound is nothing short of spectacular. Beginning Of Sorrow alone, with its excellent bass-driven passage (now THIS is slap-bass, assholes!), is an unforgettable and unforgiving lesson for contemporary death metal bands that dream of nothing but brutality, brutality, brutality, and throw musicianship to oblivion. It's even better than on Pierced From Within! Epitaph Of The Credulous has also top-notch bass sequences. Only Cryptopsy would have fitted the bass in their songs to sound this good.

One thing that got me, say, less enthusiastic about this album was the drum sound. The debut full-length had an enjoyable thick drum sound, but this drum sound gets almost muddy and might get boring. However, absolutely each and every song has killer tempo changes, employing all sorts of mid-paced, thrashy or blasting possible (without Cryptopsy's blast-fests, but a fair amount of technicality anyway).

The riffs are excellent, beyond any doubt. I just guess that this is Suffocation's most accomplished album in terms of riffing. The patterns that these "death metal cats" employed are their most difficult, chock full of serpentine rhythmic guitar performances (Marital Decimation has never felt this good!), and rich guitar progressions that are damn close to jazz standards (we are not talking Cephalic Carnage "let's do it as wacky as possible" deal here). Beginning Of Sorrow was the first piece of Suffocation ever to reach my ears, and I would never forget the riff in the beginning. Breeding The Spawn has also screwy interferring guitar melodies in the beginning (memorable, despite the annoying drum sound).
Frank Mullen gave a fine performance here, anticipating the one on Pierced From Within, less grunted than on the debut, but still undecipherable. Now this should be acclaimed as damn influential death metal. Pierced From Within was a refinement of this (longer songs, as far as I'm concerned), and Despise The Sun was just a shadow of their brilliance, but this album sounds as fresh as ever.

As a conclusion, I would advise everyone to grab this stuff (especially beginners who want to hear it done the right way and set standards for their listenings that would be higher than Brodequin or Decrepit Birth, hah). Suck on this as much as you can.