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Brutality Perfected - 80%

Petrus_Steele, April 17th, 2019
Written based on this version: 1995, CD, Roadrunner Records

Pierced from Within marks a lot of changes in the band: from lineup, to direction, to music, and to sound and production. The original drummer, Mike Smith, has left the band (for whatever reason) and was replaced by another psycho, Doug Bohn, who's done an amazing job behind the drum kit. The lyrics have taken another brutal direction, but describe more about oneself and their perspectives of the world, as well as the nature of using one's flesh for joy. The music itself; the brutality rather, has been perfected past the point of no return. While Effigy of the Forgotten shaped brutal death metal, with technical elements, Pierced from Within pierced into another degree of brutal death metal, altering and perfecting what was. To simply put, if anyone's looking to listen to one of the best brutal death metal records objectively, it's this bastard! The sound now is so much better, comprehensible, and matured, as the production assisted in making an enjoyable listen thoroughly, with now producing their longest album to date, having longer tracks than before to express the music even further.

The albums starts with the title track, already glimpsing the sheer brutality this album produces; with crushing riffs and explosive guitar solos, technical bass, and perfected drum sequences, along with Frank's death growls - taken into a whole other level of philosophical songwriting (and that's not discrediting the other band members' work on the songwriting). Thrones of Blood unravels metaphorical methods of experimenting with flesh and blood, as well as gore. The incredible Depths of Depravity that offers rather melodic guitar riffs, longer-melodic guitar solo, along with an intense breakdown. Then pretty much the rest of the album's choruses sound of the same structure, music wise. Suspend in Tribulation, the longest track on the album, offers the most range of brutality and some melodies, along with a fine ending of hammer-ons from the guitars. Torn into Enthrallment's intro is probably the only part Suffocation has ever used the chorus effect, or a rather atmospheric opening, so that was a nice touch (which I wished it applied throughout the song).

Despite the massive recognition and the amazing brutality this album produced over the years, I didn't find it to be as impactful as the last two records. While the first introduced technicality and brutality and the second introduced improved technicality with raw production, which despite financial or other issues that couldn't have been set during the recordings of the album, it still fitted. Most of the tracks on Pierced from Within aren't as good as the first three tracks, being the only worthwhile tracks on the record. And as for the whole album, it's not as good as the first two.

Suspend in Tribulation was durably long and lost its touch. Torn into Enthrallment was pretty simple; like the entire track was a simple listen, and the chorus was underwhelming. The Invoking's verses sound like the entire title track, but it has beautiful guitar solos to say the least - same thing applies to Brood of Hatred.

It's definitely a phenomenal and pioneering record in the genre of death metal, objectively speaking. It has all the tools it needs to make such an outstanding brutal record, and while a change is mostly important for a band to develop, mature, and to be more creative, Pierced from Within wasn't doing all that at the level of the last two records. And the best tracks have to be the first three because they wholly showcase the album, while the rest just contemplate as extras.