With so many extreme metal bands arriving in the past few years, an older band like Suffocation (founded in 1988) could get lost in the vast sea of blood, guts, gore and indecipherable logos. But the fact is, any extreme band today owes a debt to the Long Island death metallers that are credited widely with inventing “brutal death metal” on their 1991 release, Effigy of the Forgotten. Decibel Magazine called Effigy of the Forgotten “a benchmark for extreme music, that sacrificed neither virtuosity or brutality … while opening up rhythmic dimensions and the scope of the blast beat.”
After a hiatus from 1998 to 2003, vocalist Frank Mullen announcing in 2012 he would not be participating in all the band’s future live shows, drummer Mike Smith leaving the band for the second time and fours years since they released their last album, 2009’s Blood Oath–take one listen to their new album, Pinnacle of Bedlam (Feb. 19, 2013, Nuclear Blast), you would never know all the strife the band has endured. The album throws the listener into fray straight from the get-go. The unsuspecting listener may not make it through, while Suffocation fans once again will recognize the band’s legacy of brutality.
Live Metal recently grilled bassist Derek Boyer about Pinnacle of Bedlam, the meaning of the title, artwork and more. We also tried to get some answers about the beginnings of Suffocation and the future of the band. But what we came away with time and time again was a simple, yet effective answer; “Suffocation plays brutal death metal.” (more…)