Pinnacle of Bedlam

Label: Nuclear Blast/Warner
Three similar bands: Morbid Angel/Vader/Decrepid Birth
Rating: HHHHHHH (3/7)
Reviewer: Daniel Källmalm
01. Cycles of Suffering
02. Purgatorial Punishment
03. Eminent Wrath
04. As Grace Descends
05. Sullen Days
06. Pinnacle of Bedlam
07. My Demise
08. Inversion
09. Rapture of Revocation
10. Beginning of Sorrow

Frank Mullen – vocals
Terrance Hobbs – guitars
Guy Marchais – guitars
Derek Boyer – bass
Dave Culross – drums

Effigy of the Forgotten (1991)
Breeding the Spawn (1993)
Pierced from Within (1995)
Souls to Deny (2004)
Suffocation (2006)
Blood Oath (2009)
Pinnacle of Bedlam (2013)

Mike Smith - drums on track 10

Produced and engineered by Joe Cincotta
Chris "Zeuss" Harris – mixing, mastering
Cover art by Raymond Swanland

Released 2013-02-15
Reviewed 2013-03-21

nuclear blast

These guys come with some big words, “Every band with the tag “extreme metal” owes a debt of gratitude to Suffocation, period.” Someone also stated that there are no band with no more clones than Suffocation, I wonder if that is really correct as I believe there are probably other bands with more clones, like ABBA or some band like that. The thing is though that they are said to be the originators of the technical death metal and all of that stuff and to me that is quite difficult to really confirm or deny but if they are the source of inspiration for each and every extreme metal band out there then good on them. They have a new album out and the marketing squad, in other words the internet reviewers, are hot on this release praising more or less everything about it as it was the cure for cancer or something like that. Some commenters to these reviews were not as positive however stating things like generic and boring, lame was another word. It seems as though there is a conflict between the marketers i.e the reviewers and some of the fans, lets see if the voice of reason (that is Hallowed of course) can bring some clarity to you who wonder if you should pick this album up or not.

If you don’t like technical old school death metal then you should not, because that is what this album is. That means quite ordinary death metal with guttural vocals (which are VERY generic) and blastbeats along with an array of technical guitar playing (finger artistry some will claim), some breaks and tempo changes. It is well performed and the album is very well produced which is something that raises it above most competitors of the genre, but then again they probably sell a lot and earn much so it is easy to get a good production if you can pay for it. Their sound is still quite generic I will have to say, but then again they originated the genre so they might be the original ones and that which they can be compared against are just copies. And even if that is true, they are now copying themselves which is not consistent with a band that is said to be a source of inspiration, not just for many, but an inspiration for all. I don’t know about that, I think that Suffocation sounds like anything else and does not offer anything I haven’t already heard many times before.

It is not as good as some will lead you to believe (sure I might be missing a point or something like that, you never know as we all see things differently) as it is a dull and repetitive journey through a few songs that sounds more or less the same, nothing ever happens and the album never takes off it just gurgles around like the band has probably done since they started out. I am not impressed, not impressed at all. They may have been an inspiration in the past and they may have an impressive legacy but today is today and this album is this album and it is not a particularly good or exciting album, it is okay in the regard that it is not terrible.

I think that if you like Suffocation, then you’ll probably find this album amazing and orgasmic or whatever words you want to use just because it sounds like they do all the time. If you want to know about the inspirers of the technical death metal genre I suggest you look at something they did long ago because this is just a repeat of that (I think), I am not impressed as I have already been writing. This is just a generic death metal album, no fancy songs, no fascinating ideas, no freshness, just a well produced album that probably appeals to the fans and the marketers that pose as reviewers. If you listen to a voice of reason I can say that there are way better extreme metal albums to spend your hard earned cash on, this one is best left in the shelves of the stores and distributors.



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