Monday, December 12, 2011

Suffokate - No Mercy, No Forgiveness


Suffokate is a lot more popular than you may think. And the interesting thing about it is that this is the only really good album they’ve put out. Apparently they released a new album this year that was generally received as mediocre and average (but not bad). Coming from the most populated state in America, Suffokate experienced their period of fame for about a year (which makes this album a fluke). There are quite a few things I like about this album, but it’s not one that I consider as being a deathcore landmark or being super awesome like the new All Shall Perish release. The one thing that everyone noticed first is the fact that the gauges in the vocalist’s ears are big enough to fit a baby’s hand through as well as having numerous randomly placed piercings on his lips and cheeks.

Here’s what I think is the most unique thing about this album. The guitars and bass are tuned so low that when I tune my bass down to play Constant Urge to Kill, my strings sag a tiny bit. I found out about this album in an ad in an Alternative Press magazine, so after hearing this album, I listened to their first one and it sucked. On top of the guitars being tuned so low, the distortion has a really deep, meaty sound that has a little bit of a crunch to it. Other than that, there isn’t really anything that impressive that the guitarists do. There aren’t any guitar solos (unless there were some too short for me to notice), and 96.84% of what they play is just really low bar chords.

It’s pretty much the same story with the bassist. His playing style fits the deathcore genre perfectly, so it’s not like he doesn’t fit. It’s just that all he does is play the root note of all the chords the guitarists are playing. One thing that I’ve noticed over the years is that there aren’t very many remarkable deathcore bassists. The only bands that I can think of that have a truly outstanding bassist are All Shall Perish, Veil of Maya, and Lamb of God. It’s actually kind of disappointing how a lot of deathcore bands out there think that all they have to do is come up with some catchy riffs and slap together a bunch of breakdowns. But it’s actually much more difficult to make a truly impressive deathcore song (I know that because I was the vocalist in a deathcore band for 2 years).

Their drummer is a former member of Legacy of Pain. He’s the member that I think has the least amount of creativity. He has skill, but the only skill he has is being able to keep a tight beat without screwing up. He can’t even double-kick that fast. I saw a picture of him playing on stage and I was infuriated on how crappy his drum set looked. Yes, I know that it’s hard to replace cymbals and drums because of the high prices, but I mean there’s a point to where something just isn’t playable anymore! The skin on his kickdrum had been repaired so much that it looked like the drum skin was purely made out of duct tape, half of the cymbals had huge cracks and probably sounded horrible. I noticed though that in the studio pictures that the band took during the recording of this album that he was playing a different drum set that wasn’t his own. It’s just that I like to see musicians take care of their instruments.

Their vocalist is actually really good. He has really deep growls accompanies by high-quality vocal fry screams. That’s the thing that turned me on to this band, the vocals. He actually sounds a lot like vocalist for Blind Witness. So overall, this album isn’t that bad at all and will generally be a pleasure for the ears with brutal breakdowns, deep guitars, lots of bass, and amazing vocals. But for those of you that are more critical about what you listen to, this album is pretty average, there isn’t too much that I don’t like about it, it’s just that there aren’t very many things that I do like about it. Their follow-up 2011 album is pretty bad, so that officially makes this album a fluke. I would give this album 15/20.