When it comes to pioneering death metal, we often give all the love to bands like Cannibal Corpse and Morbid Angel for defining the sound, or Carcass for expanding the sound into new and different directions. But in my opinion, it is Suffocation who truly defined death metal as it is today.
Suffocation were way ahead of the curve for several reasons. They were the first to get truly weird with the sound, pushing it into directions I would argue ended up influencing and spawning slam, tech death, brutal death metal, and weird, experimental death metal in the vein of Vastum. That, coupled with their sprawling artwork and their inclusion of more than just white men in a band from the 90s, really set them up to be major pioneers
Now, six years after releasing their 2017 record …Of The Dark Light, Suffocation are back with Hymns From The Apocrypha, out now via Nuclear Blast. Many folks had big feelings about this record, since it does not feature vocalist Fran Mullen, and since there has been such a long build-up to this record. But we are pleased to report today that their legacy is safe—This album is still really good.
While Mullen was an epic vocalist and often hilarious, his banter about how much he wanted to actually kill his ex-wife always made me… a bit uncomfortable. As such, new vocalist Ricky Myers really holds his own, formerly of the U.S.-based Disgorge. He can still bring the energy Mullen delivers live, so that should prove to be a huge boon to the band.
In my opinion, the real hero behind Suffocation is Terrance Hobbs, who’s thankfully still hanging in there. Derek Boyer also sounds great on bass in this offering, while Charlie Errigo is on guitar and Eric Moretti handles drum duties.
The title track is a great example of how Suffocation still absolutely crush it. Between blast beats, tempo changes, chunky riffs with some melody, and punishing vocals, it’s clear from the rip that this is going to be another classic Suffocation album. “Perpetual Deception” even carries on the tradition of being heavy and angsty about betrayal at the same time, and the breakdown complete with bass interlude is one of my favorite moments on the record. “Immortal Exercration” is impossibly heavy and groovy, calling to mind a little bit of slam influence as well as old-school flavor.
“Seraphim Enslavement” is another hard hitter, one of the most streamed on the record according to Spotify and just a really heavy, almost beat-down track. “Delusions of Mortality,” closer to the end of the record, has some of the most melody on the entire album, which I really appreciate, but still keeps thing incredibly heavy.
And while those are the standout tracks, it’s important to note that the band don’t miss a beat on the whole recording. There isn’t really a dud in there. Considering how long this band has been around, how much of a legacy they have to live up to, and the addition of their new singer, this record really pops off.
The post Review: Suffocation Continue Their Legacy on <em>Hymns from the Apocrypha</em> appeared first on MetalSucks.