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Suffocation - Despise the Sun
Review: Constructed from the same elements of abstract structure and compelling rhythm that made Suffocation a deathmetal standard, "Despise the Sun" sees the band comfortable enough in their style to develop it to a muscular prime in which it pits its own themes against one another in a vast internal conflict represented as rhythmic warfare.
With more fast strumming than previous albums, and less reliance upon the chanting-rhythm muffled strumming that was "heavy" then, this is a savage example of pounding death metal that utilizes contrapuntal structures in a recursive pattern to produce its effect. A major theme contrasts a challenger, and the two each split into their component parts, which prowl in the form of unseen riffs to return for structural elucidation. The refinements in style can best be seen in the final track, a remake of "Catatonia" from the band's first EP.
Highly percussive from its continued use of heavy downstroking and variable expectancy rhythm, where the pattern of a chord's appearance in a tempo structure is defined by a strict structuralism of the whole complex enough to permit surprises. Engaging, energetic and insightful, this music tears along with no letup in intensity. Accompaniment by the guttural bass blast of vocals punctuates the riffing with a voice of power and reason.
Tearing itself apart as it builds, "Despise the Sun" is nonetheless a powerful testament to artistic process as well as death metal design, and its conflict if taken literally projects a hidden reality embedded within the justifications of human survival. Whatever the abstract interpretation, however, the textural existence that is this music contains both the complexity to be interesting and the brutality to mystify.