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Suffocation - Breeding the Spawn
Review: Highly-rhythmic and easily combative, Suffocation's second album builds on the legacy of their first with more emphasis on the bearing weight of repeated changing rhythm than the percussion of repetition, which because of its rhythmic nature has a certain degree of repetition not experienced here. In many ways, this album served as a precursor to some of the experiments in hypnotic metal that came after death metal's obsession with "technicality."
Often using sliding, entirely motion-oriented riffs to direct their tunes, Suffocation are as capricious as nature herself and so direct immediate onslaught toward any idea, even that of onslaught itself. As such it would be easy to get buried in the complexity were it not for a masterful sense of rhythm which guides each song toward its conclusion. Behind that rhythm is a Slayer-derived sense of melody which enables the band to work with few open intervals and still give hints of breadth to harmonic space in simple gestures of motion that refuse to strictly harmonize.
The highly dissonant nature of this approach is downplayed because of the rhythmic intensity and narrowness of harmonic focus toward the conclusions of most of the more intensely thrashing material, but the emergence of melody brings a profound conclusion to each song. As always the guttural vocal expansion of vocalist Mullen is crippling and corrosive. With the overall emphasis on brutality no musicality is lost: the predominant element in this album's evolution, becoming more prominent toward the end of the disc, is its tendency toward doom metal with slow and drawn-out riffs in the Morbid Angel style, but even darker, more forebodingly abstract. And although you can barely hear it, there is highly creative lead work from Cerrito and Hobbs sparsely distributed through these songs.
A recursive percussionism of apocalyptic negativity, Suffocation brings a great vitality to existence with these insurgent anthems to chaos and power, and through its use of savage aggression and brutal minimalism encourages independent thinking in a nihilistic world.