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This sinful life of mine, will not go to waste. - 95%

LeMiserable, December 31st, 2014
Written based on this version: 1995, CD, Roadrunner Records

The fact that Suffocation made this album proves that they have zero interest in actually creating music that's as good as people consider it to be. Ah yes, now that my bias has been revealed, I'll say that Pierced from Within is the only Suffocation release deserving of its praise, and actually I feel this doesn't get enough attention for the quality of its material, and has to deal with generally being named after its 2 predecessors. This is retarded at best, Pierced from Within is miles ahead of anything else this band has made. One of the main reasons this doesn't suck nearly as much as its peers is because it actually has a production job that doesn't hold the album back and it's the only one in this regard. This is very different in style compared to other Suffocation releases, and seems to be much more focused on groove and complexity rather than going flat-out fast on us with riffs aplenty, for better or worse. It's not really complex in the musical sense like a lot of technical or progressive death metal nowadays, but this album progresses in a really awkward way most of the time, barely staying true to most of the genre's conventions as far as songwriting is concerned. It's highly unique and unusual, and the only Suffocation album that's not completely overrated.

It's not that this album chugs like Meshuggah or changes tempos constantly like Malignancy, but the general flow of songs can be compared to later Defeated Sanity. Pierced from Within is really busy constantly trying to cram a lot of fills in places where you don't expect them to be. I don't know if it was the band's intention for it to sound that way, but judging from the organic yet very unusual flow I think it's very likely that this was the band's vision with no real goals set beforehand. It doesn't sound deliberately technical or complex for complexity's sake, which is actually pretty apparent given how good the songwriting is, something you can't say for a lot of bands playing a similar kind of death metal. The production job, while still not quite perfect, is no longer a drawback to the album's overall quality. The bass drums might be a bit too deep and dry for their own good, but they're a welcome departure from the otherwise paper-thin drums we had to deal with on previous efforts. Also, the musicianship on display here might well be the best we'll ever get to hear from Suffocation, with basically every member playing at the top of his capabilities.

One of the first things one might notice is how obscenely bassy this album is. It helps that the bass guitar itself is loud as balls, otherwise you wouldn't have heard it and you wouldn't have missed it either. The guitars are more of a fuzz rather than an actual guitar playing riffs, but the weird things is, there's more than enough treble. You can easily hear the guitars shift pace, pitch or from riff to riff. The tone itself takes some getting used to as there aren't a whole lot of bands trying something similar, but you'll hardly desire something else once you fully witness the greatness it resulted in. Pierced from Within however, not only serves as the best Suffocation album, but simultaneously manages to be one of the best BDM albums ever made, succesfully combining complexity and brutality and not sounding pretentious and creatively misguided at the same time.

This album is so utterly satisfying from beginning to end, there's honestly not a second that bores me. There are some moments that I like less than others, but this album is incredibly consistent and serves as the true example on how to make proper techy brutal death metal. In contrary to the previous album, Mullen is very good again. I think his mic-cupping style would've been a teeny tiny bit better-fitting to the weirdness here, but the brutish growling we get here instead does its job more than right. He's a little more understandable as well, you can actually hear what he's saying from to time now, which is actually pretty cool as the lyrics are pretty good. You see, everything just falls into place. Everything the band does here is just great, be it the grindy riffs left over from the debut, the newly-introduced abundance of grooves mixed into the formula, or the weird progression of the songs on display, it's all a joy to listen to. So here you have it, the only Suffocation album that doesn't come off as disappointing or not deserving of its praise, this deserves every kind of praise it gets for the quality of its material. This is Pierced from Within, one of the most complex albums ever, and one of the best as well.