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Suffocation - The Close of a Chapter
Review: Having ceased as a band as death metal ran into stagnation, Suffocation returned in 2002 with a new line-up and a new outloook, which was to be more like the recent hardcore hybrids and simultaneously, to play up the band's reputation as technical masters. On this live album we hear the result through its interpretation of older songs.
These are simultaneously played with more groove but less awareness of the small organic differences in rhythm that made them hang together; riffs either swing or are exactly on the beat, with little variation between. The result avoids the fear of all metal live albums, which is a mechanical sound, and replaces it with a seemingly uncoordinated one.
Newer interpretations of guitar solos give them jazzier rhythms and more recognizably scale-based runs, and the increased texture of drumming with riffs at a slightly slower pace removes the frenetic claustrophobia that defined this band's earlier work. However, that was what made them stand out artistically and while every note is played to technical correctness here, the resulting inability to see the mood of these songs renders them sterile and obedient.