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Suffocation - Pierced From Within
Review: In death metal history, Suffocation stands unique for fusing the technical with the percussive and brutal older styles of death metal as well as for being emulated more than any other band.
Older death metal used simple structures and repetitive, percussive beats ending in extremely recognizable resolutions to sound heavy and dark, but was shunned by metal audiences as too rudimentary and redundant.
Suffocation integrated the heavier styles of death metal with the muffled strumming and downstroke rhythms of speed metal as did many bands innovating New York style death metal, but then integrated more complex rhythms with a variety of influences and bizarre, mocking lead guitar.
A typical song would begin with slamming, pummeling beats under sections of riffs and then break into the fast strumming chorus riffs of death metal, with chords flowing together from distortion and speed. This beginning would modulate into the unpredictable -- a punk- like strut beat, a walking jazz bassline, or a structural bridging to define the song. Each song brought forth its own struggles and torment both musically and lyrically, at odds with itself and the world.
With Pierced From Within, Suffocation have returned from the abyss of popularity after their brilliant second album, Breeding the Spawn, was ignored by fans either for its lack of bass-heavy production (made famous by Suffocation's first album, Effigy of the Forgotten) or for the fans' pompous attitudes about death metal.
Where Breeding the Spawn was focused and cohesive, Pierced From Within expands to include divergent styles and musical metaphors. Thunderously heavy and rigorously artistic, it surpasses expectations and suprises consistently.