Every band with the tag “extreme metal” owes a debt of gratitude to SUFFOCATION, period. As the creators of brutal death metal their influence can be felt far and wide. Every break down, every blast beat, and every technical riff (before Nintendo noises were introduced to guitar playing) was done by SUFFOCATION first and frankly better.
Four years have passed since the release of Blood Oath, all the while the band laid silently waiting, gathering their energy until the time was right for them to return in a vicious blaze of glory. That long awaited day has finally come in the form of the monolithicly devastating, Pinnacle of Bedlam.
The record marks the return of one-time drummer Dave Culross and sees the band upping the brutality and speed quotient, picking up where Despise the Sun and Pierced From Within left off. Produced by the band once again with Joe Cincotta (INTERNAL BLEEDING, CRIMINAL ELEMENT), and mixed and mastered this time by Zeuss (HATEBREED, ARSIS, AGNOSTIC FRONT), the quintet has never sounded this clear or well… brutal. Make no mistake, SUFFOCATION is once again fully invigorated, seeing red and out for blood.
Formed in 1989, SUFFOCATION released their three-song demo, Re-incremation. Within weeks of its release came the interest of many record labels that wanted to claim stake to the first SUFFOCATION full-length album.
The band chose to release their follow-up, an EP entitled Human Waste, through Relapse Records in 1991. Human Waste saw SUFFOCATION bash out the beginnings of extreme metal’s most visible style, the New York combination of blasting grind-cord beats and metallic textures. But this was only the beginning.
In 1991, the now classic Effigy of the Forgotten (inducted recently into Decibel Magazine’s “Hall of Fame”) was released by Roadrunner Records. Effigy… brought SUFFOCATION and death metal to a new echelon, taking the multiple languages of music and unifying them in an evocative, thundering chorus of extreme metal.
In 1993, the band released their second full-length album, Breeding the Spawn, on Roadrunner Records. Breeding the Spawn surpassed expectations. This highly rhythmic album built on the legacy of their previous releases.
Following the release of 1995’s Pierced From Within on Roadrunner Records, SUFFOCATION embarked on massive tours of Europe, Canada, Mexico and the United States, playing to tens of thousands of fans.
In 1998, they released the EP Despise the Sun on Vulture Records and disbanded soon after. Extreme metal fans wept at the loss of one the genres greatest champions and pioneers. Eventually the EP was re-released in September 2000 and properly distributed by Relapse Records.
In 2003, SUFFOCATION reformed after a much needed break and in April 2004, Relapse Records released Souls to Deny. The groups return was a truly devastating display of technical extreme metal. Over 400 shows and countless United States and European tours later (including the Wacken Festival in Germany, playing to over 33,000 fans), SUFFOCATION entered the studio to record the most mature and destructive album of their now legendary career. Suffocation, their 2006 self-titled release, again proved why they have solidly held their position as one of the most important and influential bands in the genre.
In 2008, the band signed a world-wide deal with Nuclear Blast Records and began working on material for their label debut. By 2009, SUFFOCATION had entered Full Force Studios with Joe Cincotta, who the band had worked with to record their two previous efforts. Zack Ohren (All Shall Perish, Decrepit Birth) was enlisted this time around for his mixing and mastering capabilities to capture the band’s ever-elusive live sound and intensity, resulting in Blood Oath.
Heavy touring would follow but in early 2012, SUFFOCATION would part ways with original drummer Mike Smith, causing ex-drummer Dave Culross to take his place yet again.
Few bands can be credited with creating a legacy, however, legendary New York based extreme metal outfit SUFFOCATION have done just that. For over 20 years now SUFFOCATION have been creating music that has become the very standard by which we judge all things extreme. Their fusion of technicality, groove and sheer unrelenting brutality has been imitated but never quite duplicated. Milestone records such as Effigy of the Forgotten, Pierced from Within, and Despise the Sun have influenced a wealth of today’s best musical talents. Now with their seventh full-length album, Pinnacle of Bedlam, SUFFOCATION will continue to influence generations to come.