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The earliest work of brutal/technical death metal pioneers, Suffocation, brings out the raw talent of the burgeoning band in their self-released demo, “Reincremation”. These rough cuts of three defining tracks, “Human Waste”, “Involuntary Slaughter”, and “Reincremation” waste no time in showing the band’s groundbreaking combination of straightforward songwriting delivered through riffs and drum patterns that experiment with a more technical approach. While in its preliminary stages, Suffocation’s technique brings an unmerciful energy from the band that demonstrates just how dedicated to their style the metal masters have been since the beginning.
This recording of “Human Waste”, which later appears on the EP of the same name, sounds just as bewildering as when it first infiltrated my ears five years ago as a death metal newcomer. Now in the middle of my death metal education, I’ve come to understand the strength of Suffocation’s extensive and detailed musical meter, realize the importance of balancing and closely listening to both the percussion end and the treble end, and come to appreciate the complexity of song structure as well as recognize the subtleties in each technical variation throughout the song. While the treble-heavy and minimalist production in itself warrants re-recording this song, it’s a shame that “Human Waste” has never shown up on a Suffocation release since their first two demos. The combination of throbbing, growling thrash-style riffs, original drumming that shows off Mike Smith’s experimentation with blast beating style, and guttural growls delivered in quick bursts with held notes at the end of lyrical lines reveals both an inexperienced death metal band with much thrash influence and a youthful quintet finding its own sound by testing the newest extreme musical style of death metal with the old enduring conventions of heavy and thrash metal. Suffocation pulls “Human Waste” off astutely and the momentum continues while going into “Involuntary Slaughter”.
This second track is looser than its version on “Effigy of the Forgotten” with squeakier sweeps, aggressive but higher more harsh than guttural vocals, and drumming with more cymbal sound smattered around each pounding riff at the end of the song that muddies the mix a little but ensures the volatile song the closing explosion needed to drive the point home. While the latter iteration starts with a slower more brooding sound, this one is a take-no-prisoners assault that again shows the abrupt thrash conventions when confronted with death metal’s flowing insanity. Even with such a loose delivery compared to the later album version, both songs come out to be only three seconds different from each other in length though miles apart in execution as the earlier attempt sounds so much more juvenile than the later, more professional version in the legendary album only a year later.
The demo ends with the title track which features some great combined vocals early on and endures as the song progresses. Though this song is most like its later appearances throughout Suffocation's discography, it is obvious why “Reincremation” has seen few alterations in its style between this demo and its appearance on “Effigy of the Forgotten”. As this song is the epitome of the cruel sound Suffocation strives for while still hinging on instrumental competence, "Reincremation" gets the band's point across perfectly for a first effort rather than solely hinging on their catchy first riff. This song truly achieves the percussive sound that Suffocation’s brand of brutal death metal has perfected all these years and is the first glimpse into the sound that bands have been striving to attain ever since. The breakdowns are crushing, fills pummel, and blast beats begin writing the textbook for how to create brutal and technical death metal. Suffocation is born.
With “Reincremation” the groundwork is laid, the structure is being built, and Suffocation is on its way to perfecting their revolutionary method. Any fan of Suffocation would be glad to hear this demo, but naturally the uninitiated wouldn’t have as much fun with it. Either way, “Reincremation” is a great insight into the band’s most primitive phase and expounds upon what the members found most important to include in their preliminary work and where the band struck gold right off the bat.
This is the demo that started it all for Suffocation. Three songs that show the youth and the skill of the band members. Suffocation is arguably one of the most consistent bands of all time putting out quality releases one after another. So of course after first listening to the albums many time and actually acquiring the physical demo I had to hear what started it all. Of course I checked to make sure music was on the cassette but I listened to a version I got off the internet to keep my cassette intact.
Hearing all of these songs in their original version kind of hurt the ears at first, even though the sound was a lot better than other demos of the time. Still sounding very quiet and as if it was recorded from a distance. This demo not only got a band signed to a big-time label that was very good back in the day, it started the beginning of a genre; Technical Brutal Death Metal. The songs surely are technical and brutal; often times the problem with a young band is that they fail to keep song structure or there are obvious flaws in craftsmanship, such is not the case with this demo. The songs are furious and intense letting fans of the time know that the band was ready to destroy faces and kill the unborn.
As a blatant fan boy of Suffocation it truthfully does hurt me not to give their first release a perfect score. As my favorite band they will always have a special place in my heart, but also the demo does leave more to be desired as I know is fulfilled by later releases. I do not know if my opinion would have been different if I heard this demo at the time of its release, or just simply before I heard their other releases. Reiencremated is an important part of death metal history and brought the band to who they are today influencing many other bands.
Originally written for http://metalcrypt.com