New York death metal legends, SUFFOCATION, have released their new and seventh album, ‘Pinnacle Of Bedlam’, in Europe today, February 15th, 2013, through Nuclear Blast Records. Expect the album in UK stores on February 18th, and in North American ones on February 19th. The LP was produced by the band and tracked at Full Force Studios in New York by longtime collaborator Joe Cincotta. The mixing and mastering of ‘Pinnacle Of Bedlam’ fell in the trusted hands of Chris “Zeuss” Harris, while the art for the ten “genre-defining-bone-crushing” tracks was created by Raymond Swanland. If you happen to live in Germany, Austria or Switzerland you can currently listen to the entire album, which welcomes back drummer Dave Culross, here (German magazine Bild) and if not, you’ll have to make do with a couple of tracks featured below. Download yourselves ‘As Grace Descends’ for free from Nuclear Blast here and buy ‘Pinnacle Of Bedlam’ here (Nuclear Blast store) or through iTunes and Amazon:
“The meaning of the album title, ‘Pinnacle Of Bedlam’ is the tipping point or most elevated moment as we approach the chaotic climax of this existence,” [explained enthusiastically guitarist Terrance Hobbs] The cosmic scale teeters and the fate of humanity hangs in the balance. People should expect nothing less than sheer brutality, as we perform together with this incredible line up! We feel this CD will be the best SUFFOCATION album ever to have been released and are confident the fans will love it”
Formed in 1988 on Long Island, New York by him who-is-recognized-to-be-among-the-first-to-bring-low-pitched-vocals-in-death-metal Frank Mullen, guitarists Dough Cerrito and Terrance Hobbs, bassist Chris Richards and drummer Mike Smith, SUFFOCATION released their first EP, ‘Human Waste’, through Relapse Records and their debut LP, ‘Effigy Of The Forgotten’, trough Roadrunner Records in 1991, with it “providing a veritable blueprint for '90s death metal”:
“Delivering a truly devastating display of technical death metal bordering on grindcore, this incredibly influential release opened the doors for an entire generation of extreme metal miscreants who would subsequently make their uncompromising sounds the prevalent template for East Coast metal in the '90s,” [commented Eduardo Rivadavia, AllMusic – read more here]
While ‘Effigy Of The Forgotten’ showcased Josh Barohn's skills on bass, SUFFOCATION's next full-length featured Chris Richards on four strings; ‘Breeding The Spawn’ was released in 1993 on Roadrunner Record. Richards remained to combat the guitar duo from hell on the band's two subsequent recordings, 1995's full-length ‘Pierced From Within’ and 1998's EP ‘Despise The Sun’ (listen to the remastered track off ‘Despise The Sun’ here (BandCamp), courtesy Relapse Records). Following the release, the band broke up, reportedly disheartened by label problems and a lack of direction. According to SUFFOCATON's official bio, “extreme metal fans wept at the loss of one the genres greatest champions and pioneers,” as a result. In 2003, SUFFOCATION returned and recorded ‘Souls To Deny’, which they issued in 2004 through Relapse Records. Their “truly devastating display of technical extreme metal” featured new guitarist Guy Marchais while Hobbs and Smith contributed on bass:
“There seems to be a sort of hidden logic at work in it, since it's hard for even an astute listener to figure out what's going on in terms of the song structure, yet it obviously all makes perfect sense to the band, who deliver this perplexing material with a natural, freely flowing sense of brutality. Many bands have attempted to copy SUFFOCATION's sound, and most of them are extremely boring because they either don’t grasp the subtleties or don’t have the intuition that these guys obviously possess as songwriters and musicians,” [obviously grasped the subtleties William York, AllMusic – read more here as you listen to the track ‘Deceit’ off the album here (BandCamp)]
Over 400 shows and countless tours later, SUFFOCATION entered the studio to record their fifth, self-titled album with new bassist Derek Boyer. ‘Suffocation’, presenting “punishing drumbeats, frantic doomsday riffing, and vocals so devilish that Beelzebub himself is probably green with envy” (courtesy Greg Prato, AllMusic – more here) as always, was issued in 2006 on Relapse Records. (Again, visit BandCamp here to listen to the opening track ‘Oblivion’.) ‘The Best Of Suffocation’ compilation album preceded 2009's LP ‘Blood Oath’, SUFFOCATION's first Billboard charts entry, where it debuted at position 135 on the Billboard Top 200. ‘Blood Oath’ was the band's first release on Nuclear Blast Records.
SUFFOCATION features: Frank Mullen – vocals, Terrance Hobbs – guitar, Guy Marchais – guitar, Derek Boyer – bass and Dave Culross – drums