Released: 2006, Relapse Records
Fans waited a long time for the mighty Suffocation to return – six years. When they finally did reappear in 2004 with the SOULS TO DENY album, they were met with a mixed reaction at best. Many lauded the album as a triumphant return to form, while others sniffed that the band was merely doing more of the same old death metal – not ruining their legacy, but not adding to it either. After much touring there was silence once again in the Suffocation camp (aside from a self-released live album).
Finally, nearing the end of 2006, the newest Suffocating slab was dropped upon the masses. Simply titled SUFFOCATION, the album is a crushing reminder that old dogs can indeed be taught new tricks, and compete with the young pups of today. After the obligatory throwaway intro, the band rips into “Abominations Reborn” and all your memories of bygone Suffocation albums come flooding back. Technical, punishing, violent, and somehow catchy in spite of itself, the song immediately establishes that Suffocation is still a band to be reckoned with.
As the album progresses, the band keeps the aggression and technicality turned up to ‘10’ – this disc is an aural workout! Of course, Suffocation have always been more demanding of their fans than your average death metal band, containing in their sound that hint of aristocratic air that some of the best have – Nile, Immolation, Vital Remains etc. Suffocation isn’t, and never has been, an average band. Still, if you just want to put on the album and thrash away, I’m pretty sure the band would encourage that too.
Fact: Some of the best Suffocation songs ever written are on this album (“Bind Torture Kill”, “Creed of the Infidel”), proving this trailblazing band still has “it”. If SOULS TO DENY was a let down for you, I highly encourage you to give SUFFOCATION a chance. I guarantee you will not be disappointed.