Suffocation return with their 8th album, adding in Eric Morotti on drums and Charlie Errigo on guitar. Opening with “Clarity Through Deprivation” the song kills from start to finish. This is one of the best sounding Suffocation albums. Some people may say it sounds too clinical, and yes it is a cleaner recording, but holy crap you can hear more of the riffage too. Also Derek Boyer turns in his bass bass playing performance of all time and his tone is extraordinary. How about Frank Mullen’s vocals with the chorus? This slow-beat down and then with the soling coming in with Charlie and Terrance will make you do the Mullen chop all over the place. This moment luckily stays with us a while and Suffo do not abandon it too quickly. Man I was chopping shit all around my house. My wife was like what the hell is going on in the basement? She came downstairs to see massive devastation and hand slits in the walls from my mullenesque chops. It was awesome. Now while there are some grumblings all over the place, Suffocation has yet to officially announce if Mullen is still in Suffo.
The new album comes out and Suffocation announced they would be touring the US with Morbid Angel, but with Kevin Muller (The Merciless Concept) on vocals. I guess his bandmate, Charlie, who was and still is playing guitar for Suffocation, as well, knew Frank was not going to tour with them. Well Kevin Muller’s vocals are like vintage 90’s Mullen, so what a goddamned fit. Kevin sounds ferocious. But to do all this touring and not announcement if he’s the new singer, well maybe Suffo are playing it safe. Maybe they want to see how he continues to do on the tours. In the summer, Mullen passed the torch to Muller, (see how many times you can say that fast in a row without interchanging Mullen and Muller). The torch was seemingly passed and Frank giving Kevin his blessing, seeing how Kevin was doing such a great job live. Anyway, Kevin makes a nice guesting appearance on this album. “Return to the Abyss”. On the section you will hear him come in and growl Beyond the Darkness, around the 2 minute or so moment. God dang it, he freaking killz it!!!!!!!
And, I cannot forget to mention the new drummer, Eric. The blasting moments on …of the Dark Light will remind you of Despise the Sun. Yes, that damn fast. His double bass and rolls are tight as nails and the snare drum has a great pop to it. “Some Things Should Be Left Alone” is the perfect example of a Holy Shit moment. Actually the Holy Shit moment comes in right from the jump. The blast is so damn fast and I have no idea how Derek’s bass guitar playing is keeping up with the drums. But he is and his fingers are falling off in the process of plucking those chords 1000 bpm. Ha, ha. This opening mauling blasting is one of the greatest Suffo moments ever. It’s so ferocious. I mean Terrance is on fire, writing this shit. Mullen sounds killer and his vocals are the best produced of any Suffocation album.
Suffocation ends the album with another redo of a Breeding the Spawn song, “Epitaph of the Credulous”. It’s well done. Obviously the production values give it a boost. Terrific. I love the new album cover and the inner artwork panels are a great way to see the beginning creation of the being which adorns the album cover. I’ve heard all the arguments and the critics say Frank does not sound like he used to, the music is more technical and blah blah blah. This is the natural progression for Suffocation’s sound, after Pinnacle of Bedlam. Yes, it’s a bit more techy, but for crissakes the riffs are so killer and the band is slaying it on this album.
I do have 1 request. If in fact Kevin is the new Suffocation singer going forward, the band must announce it to the fans, to once and for all eliminate the confusion. We’re all unsure of what’s going on. But if it’s announced in the next year Suffocation should put out a 4-5 song ep with Kevin on vocals. It would not make sense to wait another 4 years for an album, while Kevin has continued to sing for them. If this is Frank’s last Suffocation recording it’s a scorcher to go out with. I always say go out on top and …of the Dark Light is a monstrous album. Well done Gentlemen, killer goddamn album.
For Fans of: Technical Brutal Death Metal
9 out of 10
Suffocation ….of the Dark Light Album Info
1. Clarity Through Deprivation
2. The Warmth Within the Dark
3. Your Last Breaths
4. Return to the Abyss
5. The Violation
6. Of the Dark Light
7. Some Things Should Be Left Alone
8. Caught Between Two Worlds
9. Epitaph of the Credulous
June 9, 2017
For Fans of: Technical Brutal Death Metal