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Punishing - 100%

planiol, March 16th, 2007

Of all the Suffocation albums thus far, this one probably has the most slow parts. That’s not a bad thing, as all their slow parts are crushing. Mike Smith, who basically invented the style of blast beat drumming for brutal death metal, refuses to overdo it like every other drummer in that genre these days. This is one thing that separates Suffocation from all the Suffocation rip-offs.

The vocals are also noteworthy on this album. Frank still sounds as pissed and brutal as ever, but you can actually understand what he’s saying. That’s because he doesn’t cup the microphone as often. This is a contrast to their older stuff, like Effigy of the Forgotten. I can listen to that whole album and not understand a word. Being able to hear what he’s saying on this album is cool because it allows you to sing along in the car.

The music on this album is top-notch. There are awesome fast parts and awesome slow parts. There is one slow part in particular on “Blind Torture Kill” that’s VERY heavy. They switch things up often, but not so much that they are just all over the place. Hobbs does some kind of weird noise guitar solo on “Blind Torture Kill” that is reminiscent of Kerry King. But it’s tastefully done. It sounds crazy but not obnoxious. And one really awesome part on the album is the clean guitar intro to “Redemption.” It’s pretty (yes, a pretty part on a Suffocation album) and sounds as though it came from old school Metallica (i.e. “Call of Ktulu”).

For the last song on the album, the band re-recorded “Prelude to Repulsion.” So if you are one of those people who whine about the bad sound on Breeding the Spawn, here's a song from Breeding the Spawn recorded with better sound.

Just try to listen to this album without head banging. It gets more impossible to do after you’ve heard it a few times and know where the really cool parts are.

If you don’t have this one already, GET IT! And if you have never seen this band play live, GO SEE THEM!

Highlights: Redemption, Blind Torture Kill, Code of the Infidel, Entrails of You.