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My first death metal album. - 98%

SpecialPerson, April 5th, 2009

This album was actually the first metal record that I had ever purchased. It was back somewhere in the summer of 2001, with me meandering through the isles in a record store in Toronto (can't remember the name of the shop). I don't know what caused me to purchase the album, since I had never heard of Suffocation up until then. All the metal that I had come across at that point was Iron Maiden, Ozzy Osbourne and Black Sabbath. Eitherway, the cover art drew me in, and boy was I in for a surprise!

When I finally got the album home, I unpackaged it, stared at the cover for several moments, then finally placed it in my walkman. The sound was booming! I couldn't make out the drums properly at first, because everything sounded entirely percussive. The vocals were akin to a bear hugging the life out of you! After the first two songs, I had to take off my headphones. It was simply too much for me at first.

Repeated listens proved to be rewarding. The compositions became far more clear, the drums finally became lucid in the mix, and the booming sound felt almost as comfortable as my own heartbeat. I knew that I had found something special and musically challenging. I never truly went back to Iron Maiden, Ozzy or any other traditional heavy metal bands after that.

Upon opening the booklet, I came across lyrics that actually impressed me. They felt very realistic, and not inane like some other bands who felt that the use of pseudo-esoteric lyrics truly meant something.

And as for the overall music, it was (and is) definately on a whole other level, where not many other recordings that I've heard since can reach. Highly dynamic, percussive, and lurching forth like a wild bear about to tear a deer to piecemeal.

I can't recommend this album enough!