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Legendary Technical Brutality - 100%

noveltyxcrosses, March 5th, 2008

Suffocation aren't known as one of the legends of death metal for nothing. The band debuted right when the 90's started with their Reincremated demo and their infamous Human Waste EP, and when "Effigy of the Forgotten" was released in 1991, it tore death metal a new asshole. But what I'm reviewing isn't "Effigy of the Forgotten", it's their pinnacle work which is called "Pierced From Within", and what an amazing album this is, especially for following up the horribly produced "Breeding The Spawn".

This album is a landmark in death metal. Scott Burns' production fits perfectly for such an album like this, in which every instrument makes a standout, and it gives it a true dark feel. Mike Smith didn't do the drumming for this album, but album replacement Doug Bohn fits it so well that it's not obvious to tell that the drummer got switched. Guitarists Terrance Hobbs and Doug Cerrito perfect the use of riffs and solos here, but the bassist Chris Richards makes an outstanding appearance throughout the album, especially on the priceless intro to "Depths of Depravity". Frank Mullen's vocals fit with the music brilliantly, and while he may not have the best range out there, I really cannot complain since it's perfect for Suffocation.

The songs are brilliantly composed. Each song strays away from the banality that the genre is known to cause by using complex structures, and they fit well. For example, listening to the title track "Pierced From Within", it's hard to not be pulled away, because with its frantic pace, the sudden slowdown gives the ears a pleasant surprise. Each track is able to switch tempos and time signatures without it sounding pretentious at all, which Suffocation deserves plenty of respect for.

I can't recommend this album enough. The variation that lies within each song, the crushing and dark production that fits it well, the amazing musicianship from each member, it's definitely not to be missed if you appreciate brutal or technical death metal.