Written by: PP on 06/11/2006 17:56:25

Even those with the most minimal knowledge of death metal should by now recognize Suffocation, the living legends of their genre, who, at least according to their promo sheet, are universally regarded as the best death metal live band in the world. Whether that's true or not I can not say, but based on their new self titled album's display, that recognition may well be very accurately stated.

The speed of instruments on the release is phenomenal when considering how technical the leads shredding scales up and down are, especially when they are jumping seemingly all over the high and low notes at the same time. "Abomination Reborn" makes absolute mockery of most death metal bands considering themselves heavy by starting out inexplicably heavy with lightning speed double-bass kickdrums and deep, demeaning growls of vocalist Frank Mullen. Pauses in music that the unsuspecting listener could label as breakdowns then occur, where the rhythm changes more than just a few times mid-solo with chaotic drumming providing the texture needed for a proper death metal atmosphere. However, the advanced solos and guitar gimmicks lead you to lean more against technical metal, and the speed of it all could just as well place the band under grindcore, so the confusion is imminent at first.

Throughout the album, however, it becomes clear that the fusion of these three genres is perfect. On one hand the dominant drumming with constant blastbeats make your ears bleed in "Bind Torture Kill" like extreme death metal is supposed to, but then the strangely melodic, enlightening solos patch the wounds up in "Misconceived", before your head is placed under a constant instrumental hammering trademark to the grindcore scene in "Creed Of The Infidel".

But the best part about Suffocation's fusion of the genres is that the end result is perhaps the most accessible one to non-fans of the genres as well. The obvious link to draw here is to Cattle Decapitation's release "Karma.Bloody.Karma" earlier this year, but the difference is that whereas Cattle Decapitation focus on those bits of melody in the midst of the grindcore chaos, Suffocation believes quite literally in its name: its sound captures you and suffocates you at first, only to reincarnate you into brutality-meets-technical melody in the end, which is something that may well attract some of the melodic hardcore fans toward this genre. Great work.

Download: Abdomination Reborn
For the fans of: Cattle Decapitation, Fragments Of Unbecoming
Listen: Myspace

Release date 25.09.2006
Provided by Target ApS

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