SUFFOCATION – Souls to Deny

SUFFOCATION‘s resurrection surely must have been on every metalhead’s wish list but perhaps the actual reality of their reformation may have seemed like an uneasy move for some. For one, they’re returning to a violently different metal scene from when they left five-plus years ago. On top of that, the line-up features two newcomers (guitarist Guy Marchais and bassist Derek Boyer) and one who split from the band in 1993 (drummer Mike Smith). Regardless, SUFFOCATION ignored all nay sayers and delivered, for the world to embrace or dismiss, their “comeback” album, Souls to Deny. And deliver they do–Souls to Deny is brutal fucking death metal like no one else can do in 2004. No Swedish metal riffs. No black metal “atmosphere.” No trendy hardcore flirting. No throwback metal. Just brutal fucking death metal. I’m talking about thick-as-fuck riffs and mosh-bloody-mosh grooves right up Pierced from Within alley (blame Terrance Hobbs!) coupled with an Effigy of the Forgotten bite. This definitely isn’t a one-listen evaluation sort of deal. This is SUFFOCATION. It’s complex, involved, and totally a grow-on-you type of album…like each and every SUFFOCATION album! The only knocks are that Frank Mullen‘s bad ass, noo yawk death growl isn’t quite as guttural nor is the overall execution sliced-to-perfection as they were capable of in their prime. But hey, after aging five years, that’s to be expected. It ain’t 1995 but SUFFOCATION sure make it feel like it is. Their “comeback” album is nearly supreme. And thankfully, their legacy is (mostly) unharmed. (Relapse Records)

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