Frankly, IÂm 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 theyÂve 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 couldÂve done without the cheesy ÂyouÂre so fucking beautifulÂ nonsense. MikeÂs drumming sounds better than ever, and, well, since thereÂs no point in reviewing something that decidedly owns your motherÂs freshly fisted, bloody maw of an asshole, IÂll 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 youÂve never seen Suffocation live youÂre 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; itÂs 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
ÂScientific Remote ViewingÂ Â Good shit, but CC will have to do something very special on their next album for me to stay interested as IÂm not seventeen anymore.
2. The End
ÂDear MartyrÂ Â Awful. If this track was longer than 32 seconds, I wouldnÂt know.
ÂHomeboundÂ Â I sort of wanted to hear more, but then, I sort of didnÂt.
4. Misery Index
ÂConquistadoresÂ Â Boring, uninspiring death metal.
ÂThey Crawl Inside Me UninvitedÂ Â Coldworker? What a dumb fucking band name. Not only that, but this is standard chug-blast-chug formula death metal that hasnÂt been cool for ten years.
ÂUnilateral DisgustÂ Â Brutal, honest, and simple. Skinless have been around forever and they are good at what they do, which isnÂt a hell of a lot, but stillÂ
7. Origin ÂStaring
into the AbyssÂ Â IÂd 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
ÂThe WreckingÂ Â 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 anyoneÂs guess.
9. Gadget ÂI AmÂ
Â Not much to speak of here.
ÂEpitaphÂ Â ItÂs Necrophagist, you either love them or you hate them.
ÂBattered with a BrickÂ Â 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.
ÂWalking a MidgetÂ Â 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
ÂCoke MuleÂ Â 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
ÂGrab a ShovelÂ Â Not entirely terrible thrash, but IÂm 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
ÂTime as Surrogate ReligionÂ Â IÂm looking for the words hereÂ . oh yeah, sloppy
ÂFirst ContactÂ Â Somewhat interesting until they started sounding like an
angry Depeche Mode.
17. High on Fire
ÂCometh down HessianÂ Â I honestly donÂt remember anything about this track.
ÂPontius of PaliaÂ Â 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 whoÂve 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, ÂBind, Torture, KillÂ should inspire lasting erections throughout the death metal community for some time.