Frankly, I’m tired of talking about how good this band is. While Souls to Deny was a worthy comeback record, it had its faults (namely some bland riffing and raspy, halfhearted vocals), but this latest effort is undoubtedly the best thing they’ve done since Pierced. Mullen may be a flabby, shotgun-pumping father and disgruntled New York stereotype, but he throws down a performance that demands respect, although I could’ve done without the cheesy “you’re so fucking beautiful” nonsense. Mike’s drumming sounds better than ever, and, well, since there’s no point in reviewing something that decidedly owns your mother’s freshly fisted, bloody maw of an asshole, I’ll simply say this- Suffocation refuse to compromise, refuse to bow to lesser bands masquerading as torchbearers of brutality, and refuse to think it odd that not one, but two black guys are in the same death metal band! Additionally, if you’ve never seen Suffocation live you’re a clueless buffoon that has overlooked one of the most important bands who, despite their obscene age, still stand out as one of the very best in a field that has changed dramatically around them over the last fifteen years. On that note, their live album, The Close of a Chapter, is worth exploring; it’s raw and brazenly barbaric at times but it features possibly the best Suffocation set list ever put together. For a promo gift, Relapse decided to attach a retarded little brother to the new album– a sampler disc that I will now take you through, track by track:
1. Cephalic Carnage
“Scientific Remote Viewing” – Good shit, but CC will have to do something very special on their next album for me to stay interested as I’m not seventeen anymore.
2. The End
“Dear Martyr” – Awful. If this track was longer than 32 seconds, I wouldn’t know.
“Homebound” – I sort of wanted to hear more, but then, I sort of didn’t.
4. Misery Index
“Conquistadores” – Boring, uninspiring death metal.
“They Crawl Inside Me Uninvited” – Coldworker? What a dumb fucking band name. Not only that, but this is standard chug-blast-chug formula death metal that hasn’t been cool for ten years.
“Unilateral Disgust” – Brutal, honest, and simple. Skinless have been around forever and they are good at what they do, which isn’t a hell of a lot, but still…
7. Origin “Staring
into the Abyss” – I’d rather stare into my microwave, which is exactly what I did as I nuked a Hot Pocket while this track was playing.
8. Fuck the Facts
“The Wrecking” – I heard these weenies well before they got popular and knew it was only a matter of time before highschoolers across the country would be yellowing their jizzrags to them. However, why this particular track was chosen for the comp is anyone’s guess.
9. Gadget “I Am”
– Not much to speak of here.
“Epitaph” – It’s Necrophagist, you either love them or you hate them.
“Battered with a Brick” – Legendary grind pioneers. From their ancient split disc with Dead, these guys have been nothing but fun. For fans of Haemorrhage, Deranged, Dead Infection, and GapeThatAss.com.
“Walking a Midget” – Insipid and lame. Look, I hate midgets as much as the next proportionate guy, but must they always be the brunt of death metal jokes?
13. Birds of Prey
“Coke Mule” – Mediocre at best. When I heard the horrid, squealing pig voice
half way through the song, I skipped to the next track.
14. Rumpelstiltskin Grinder
“Grab a Shovel” – Not entirely terrible thrash, but I’m convinced the reason these guys are signed to Relapse is either a) they know somebody, or b) one of them is sticking it to Andrea Goonan. Fuck, I miss Coroner.
15. Buried Inside
“Time as Surrogate Religion” – I’m looking for the words here…. oh yeah, sloppy
“First Contact” – Somewhat interesting until they started sounding like an
angry Depeche Mode.
17. High on Fire
“Cometh down Hessian” – I honestly don’t remember anything about this track.
“Pontius of Palia” – These two have been around for ages and Amber Valentine is looking more and more like Medusa from Clash of the Titans.
That said, Relapse are still ahead of the game when compared to labels like Roadrunner, Earache, and Nuclear Blast who’ve all been shoveling manure for years now. For Suffocation to reunite and put out an album of this caliber is pretty remarkable considering that many of their founding brethren have either gone to shit, continue to stagnate in mediocrity, or have disappeared entirely. If anything, “Bind, Torture, Kill” should inspire lasting erections throughout the death metal community for some time.