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I am a brutal death metal fan, so when Suffocation’s new self-titled release hit the shelves, I was more than happy to get it. When I had first bought the release, though, I only knew the band by the Human Waste release, and I was kind of skeptical because though in 1990 the band had much potential, I naively thought that the production quality would be the same as on Human Waste or the band would have lost their passion for music, and would be a little weak on this disc. I was totally wrong. After purchasing this release, I also bought Effigy of the Forgotten and Pierced from Within, both of which have refined songs from the Human Waste release, and I can truthfully say that Suffocation has progressed both technically and brutally at this stage of their careers.
The opening to the disc is a long guitar whine for a little more than thirty seconds breaking into their single Abomination Reborn. This song begins with heavy destructive drumming, and sustains with heavy drum blast beats throughout. Frank Mullen’s growls, though not containing the high-pitched screams as other death metal outfits, sustains a level of anger and holds the listener’s attention with lyrics that are more discernable than those of other vocalists like Glen Benton from Deicide. These vocals though are very brutal coupled with the music and the drum fills make up for any time without vocals. The song breaks down into a slower ballad of death wrought on the ears at 1:00, but the solos both melodic and haunting make up for the slow-down of tempo, only to pick up again at 2:34 and kick into another set of blast beats and then go into another change where it becomes more catchy and even more brutal, then more blast beats to end the song.
Redemption kicks in with a haunting acoustic section building to a kick in with drums and bass as well as guitar which begin to accompany the vocals with blast beats making Mullen’s gutturals even more insane. The drumming and sound quality throughout is amazing, not missing a note, and production value is top notch. This song also features a slow-down, brutal, still feeling rather new, and the lyrics grab attention severely with lyrics including “pain, murder, genocide”.
Bind Torture Kill begins with a brutal ballad about one of the most notorious killers of the past few generations. This song is rather long compared to the others, but none less brutal, since it is about binding, torturing and killing. This follows a somewhat different formula including less blast beats, more filler in the drums, and more consistency with every part of the song. There are no solos in this part, but it does not get any boring at all. This one also slows down, but moves into a technical balance of hatred and brutal death metal. Lunacy sets into the song near the end, but it is controlled as it picks up, then slows again into what can only be described as the rant of a psychotic in Mullen’s vocals as the music backs the vocals up to the end of the song which picks up and drops steam again then finally picks up to a solo to finish out the song.
Track five: Misconceived begins with the guitars and brings drums with the vocals. This one slows at 1:13 and brings a heavy set of guitars and slows further and further as this symphony of death describes the psychosis more and more. This assault on the ears is so low that all the notes are too low to be heard without a sub woofer. The song picks up at 2:30 and stays with a strong tempo with frequent blast beats from the drums and becomes a great song to head bang to.
Translucent Patterns of Delirium is the only song that I vehemently oppose on this disc, and this is saying a lot because I normally like every song on many of the death metal releases I buy, even though I scrutinize much of the music. This song, though it shows a distinctive effort by every member of the band, has some very weak lyrics. These lyrics are so weak that I normally skip this song every time I listen to this disc. This song really hurts the cd in general, and though I hate to do it, I must reflect this song in my overall score.
Creed of the Infidel, on the other hand, is a very well done song with heavy guitars, blast beats, bass is very prevalent and the drum fills help the vocals as the rest of the band tapers off in some points of the song. The chorus of the song has a catchy feel with technical and fast guitars all around it. As the song progresses, a few solos are introduced with very well-done drum blasts to accompany and enhance the solos. This is one of the heaviest songs, with heavy subject matter also that I have heard in a while.
Track eight is Regret which is a fast song that sounds like some earlier death metal in the beginning but takes on a whole new sound as it begins to go into the vocals. In this song, the drums are not as big as the bass and guitars. The drums serve as some filler, but bass and down tuned guitars is what they seem to have been going for in this one to accompany the vocals. A whiny guitar section begins around the center of the song which gives it a unique perspective, but it quickly disappears into featuring blast beats and bass hammering as Mullen says “You turn cold, as I take, from you, one, last, kiss” leaving a haunting guitar, bass, and drum crash to end the song.
Entrails of You features quick guitars and the ever-popular drum and vocal adjoining to create a haunting chorus early on with the down tuned guitars working overtime. A solo begins at 0:59 and leads into the next section of lyrics, a repeat of the opening, the vocal and drum set, and another slower section. The section with whiney guitars and Mullen’s voice coming through them like screams through blood is haunting, brutal, and a favorite section of mine because it could easily be played while carving someone up. This is a very powerful song, and is one of the most haunting and well-done tracks on this release.
The End of Ends comes up after Entrails of You’s quiet and haunting ending with loud, fast drums, guitars, bass, and finally Mullen’s voice to complete the cycle. This is another good song, though tough to understand the vocals at times because the guitars and drums cover the vocals. This is reminiscent of older Suffocation, and goes into another destructive section that features some pretty constant drum hammering, that holds the ears at bay and wanting more in the assault. The song picks up again after a time of silence and only drumming into another set of psychotic destruction that rips the head to shreds with another set of slow guitars and fast drumming that covers everything else at times.
The final track of this release is Prelude to Repulsion, a well done fast track to end the cd with. It goes immediately into a brutal technical sound with some weaker sounding vocals from Mullen, but they do increase in quantity. They are less discernable, and he sounds like he has some laryngitis, but the vocals do contribute greatly to the song. The music is consistent throughout until the breakdown at the end, the guitars are quick and very technical with good leads, the drums have great fills and destructive blasts, and this is an all around good and psychotic way to end the disc.
In all, this was a great release from Suffocation, but the disc fails greatly in the song Translucent Patterns of Delirium. This was a massive let down of a song, and really shakes up the great start of the disc. There is great production quality, the drums and other instruments are not too loud, and the vocals can easily be pushed away in order to hear the other instruments. This is one of Suffocations best releases to date, and hopefully there is more of this to come.
Suggested Songs: Abomination Reborn
Bind Torture Kill
Entrails of You
Creed of the Infidel