Suffocation - Blood Oath (Nuclear Blast/Riot)

Death metal has undergone a mini-renaissance in 2009 and Suffocation's Blood Oath continues this welcome re-emergence.
Release Date: 
2 Jul 2009 - 11:30pm

American death metal has always prided itself on sounding as menacing and gruesome as possible; Cannibal Corpse, Deicide and Malevolent Creation come to mind as bands that didn't necessarily have to grind their fingers into shreds to provoke that sense of the grotesque and morbid - and Suffocation are schooled in that same class. Doom-inspired, crushing grooves open the record until bursting open with Cataclysmic Purification, pegging back and forward keeping the listener on their toes, much like the dearly missed Death of old.

Frank Mullen's gut-wrenching vocals slathers a demonic sludge over the disc; however, in the borderline early-Gothenburg-inspired Dismal Dream one can almost differentiate words from his fetid growls. Some songs continue the trend of mixing up their riffs and introducing their angular and intricate riffing. Mental Hemmorhage especially makes liberal use of the band's thick and vast production style that just fills out every corner of your speakers, and, ultimately, your brain.

While widdly-fingered and percussively fluid enough to warrant a keen listen from the technical crowd, and straight-forward enough to keep headbangers satisfied, Blood Oath has all the meat squarely hanging from the band's deft chops. Suffocation's Blood Oath is their commitment to brutality and the band have upheld it in full. Death metal fans will love it - a definite standout record in the genre, full of variation on an intensely brutal theme.

Suffocation's Blood Oath is out now on Nuclear Blast/Riot. Buy this here on VINYL or CD.