Suffocation – ‘Pinnacle Of Bedlam’

Suffocation - Pinnacle Of Bedlam ArtworkOver the past 25 years or so, Suffocation are one of a handful of bands who have towered over the US death metal scene, producing a handful of classic genre-defining – and, indeed, re-defining – albums, such as iconic debut ‘Effigy Of The Forgotten’, the majestic comeback ‘Souls To Deny’ and their almost incomparable self-titled opus of 2006.

‘Pinnacle Of Bedlam – their seventh studio album – is, quite simply, another masterpiece:  a lesson in the controlled ultraviolence of truly brilliant DM, which once again raises the bar to Olympic standards for those wishing to attempt to follow, lamely, in their wake.

Building from the foundation of Dave Culross’ annihilistic  blastbeats (personally I reckon he’s one of the best metal drummers on the planet, and could give even the mighty Dave Lombardo a run for his money in the power and aggression stakes), the album builds layer upon layer of brutality.  Derek Boyer’s bass work is all the more impressive for its understatedness, and the same is true for Guy Marchais’ grinding rhythm work, which allows Terrance Hobbs free reign to destroy everything in sight with riffs which have the pinpoint accuracy of an assassin homing in on his target.

Over the top of everything comes yet another stunning performance from Frank Mullen, who once again proves himself to be one of the pre-eminent death metal vocalists around, especially on the likes of the awesome ‘Eminent Wrath’, the destructive ‘As Grace Descends’ and the brooding ‘Sullen Days’.

If this truly is the ‘Pinnacle Of Bedlam’, then Suffocation most definitely are standing astride it…

Inferno Festival Poster[10/10]

Track list:

  1. Cycles Of Suffering
  2. Purgatorial Punishment
  3. Eminent Wrath
  4. As Grace Descends
  5. Sullen Days
  6. Pinnacle Of Bedlam
  7. My Demise
  8. Inversion
  9. Rapture Of Revocation
  10. Beginning Of Sorrow

‘Pinnacle Of Bedlam’ is out now on Nuclear Blast.

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About Mark Ashby

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