Suffocation – Souls to Deny – Review


Souls to Deny (Relapse)
by Tim Den

I’ve been waiting for this one! The bulging muscles of Suffocation have returned with their first full-length in nearly a decade, every bit as weighty and complex as ever. Not even the subpar production (weak drum sounds, despite Mike Smith’s immaculate delivery; weak vocal takes, despite Frank Mullins’ monstrous pipes) can dampen the fury within. The title track, “To Weep Once More,” and “Subconsciously Enslave” rumble with Suffocation’s trademark palm mute/choked cymbal synchopation, instantly catchy without sacrificing brutality.

Similar to ’95’s landmark Pierced From Within, Souls to Deny took a few listens to sink in. Kinda like those swirly “3-D” drawings that you have to look at really closely in order to see the object inside, Souls to Deny requires you to replay it a few times and pay attention with each spin. The fluctuating time signatures, the irregular punctuations, the sudden pauses… you bet it keeps you on your toes! But if you make it out the other end, I promise you’ll walk away with a full understanding of the subtleties and overpowering heaviness that this band has turned into an art form. The balance of the two elements are, as always, simply stunning in the hands of these masters.

Good to see Suffocation getting all the hype these days, what with a killer new album and a damn near flawless track record in tow. They invented and perfected a death metal subgenre (“NY Style”), and have proven that they can keep up with the young ‘uns. Join the celebration and get this.
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