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Probably the Best Death Metal EP - 70%

Petrus_Steele, April 14th, 2019
Written based on this version: 2005, CD, Relapse Records (Reissue)

I love that this reissue combines the first Suffocation release from 1990, the Reincremated demo. Now you have eight traditional death metal tracks instead of five, with different mixing and sound and a better bang for buck for headbanging. Honesty, this is a great purchase for anyone who's interested. This is also in development of what would later become the pioneering of the technical/brutal subgenres of death metal: Effigy of the Forgotten, the debut album.

I gotta start off with Catatonia because it's a blast of a song, both live and studio (re-recorded version on Despise the Sun - don't even go there because everything you want is right here on this EP). It's a bit raw, more thrash metal-influenced (drums wise), the death growls that'll later distinguish Frank Mullen's (the vocalist) very own was still in development here, and the music is absolutely fantastic - and if I were to live in 1991 I would've been blown away, too. Most of the EP speaks for itself since all the tracks are pretty much in development, yet to this day still maintained quality and importance. Mike Smith, the drummer surely blasts a lot of beats, yet was probably more concentrated towards drums of thrash metal and hardcore punk. As Frank was still developing his death growls, or maybe the production was just making it sound like the death growls are intentionally raw and incomprehensible, I love the reverb effect on his vocals when he growls longer, in Reincremation and Infecting the Crypts; really justifies the pounding of the music and overall experience. The bass gets loved, so that's good to hear (literally hear) and the guys behind the guitars are giving us an observation of their technical skill when they were just in their very early 20s.

My personal take, unfortunately, is that I didn't like most of the EP. All the re-recorded tracks that made it to Effigy of the Forgotten are much better because they sound more like what the band is advertised; as technical/brutal death metal than traditional death metal or thrash metal, though the original version of Reincremation is extremely good for traditional death metal and the best track from the Reincremated demo (can't tell if that's the title track?). I love Frank's death growls and the quality of the entire track. Synthetically Revived's re-recorded version that ended up on Pierced from Within also sounds better and kinda belongs into said album more than the original version, as if it's an entirely new track. Mass Obliteration sounds empty with the decreased volume of the pitched harmonics of the guitars and George "Corpsegrinder" Fisher's missing vocals - and Frank's growls kinda suck, compared to the re-recorded version.

Now, I can't be biased after saying I hardly liked the EP and give it a bad rating, because it is a phenomenal EP. So 70% would be my rating, because of the design, quality, music, and the development. It IS a masterpiece, in every sense of the word. Standout tracks would obviously be Catatonia and Reincremation.