Pinnacle Of Bedlam review by Suffocation

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  • Released: Feb 15, 2013
  • Sound: 8
  • Lyrics: 9
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 8.7 Superb
  • Users' score: 9.4 (20 votes)
Suffocation: Pinnacle Of Bedlam

Sound — 8
As if the band's name and album cover aren't major clues enough, Suffocation are a brutal death metal band who first soared from the eternal raging pits of New York back in 1988. Boasting crunching distortion soaked guitars, racing riffs, and bellowing dark vocals all typical for the best in the genre, Suffocation's unique form of depression-fueled angst quickly appealed to metalheads across the globe. Such now highly hailed masterpieces as "Effigy Of The Forgotten" and "Despise The Sun" would soon become set into heavy rotation on the airwaves.

Now, preparing to demolish all modern pop-powered bands hitting the scene, Suffocation are marking their return from a brief 3-year studio hiatus with their new album, "Pinnacle Of Bedlam". Normally, bands will try to make a certain message when it comes to putting out a new album after a prolonged period of time. But for Suffocation, this is just another explosive record for this discography, that's just as ballistic as anything they've put out to date. We take our first look at the new album with "As Grace Descends". Immediately you can tell that little has changed when it comes to the band's dynamics throughout their 20+ year career. A rocketing pace is backed by a blistering, pick grinding guitar lick and molten vocals, it's definitely a great way to make a first impression for a band's return, and definitely is a great hint of what to look forward to throughout the rest of the disc.

Lyrics — 9
Lead vocalist Frank Mullen has somehow managed to maintain his raging voice throughout the past two decades. For some reason, I have a strong desire to further elaborate on how well Frank still sounds on the new album. Perhaps it's because how time affects all lead singers, but none more so than who are fronting screaming death metal bands. Not just anyone can go out every night, year after year giving spine chilling roars and expect their vocal chords to maintain their crisp sounding shape. However, Frank has managed to do so, so when it comes to his vocal performance on "Pinnacle Of Bedlam" I cannot give too many complaints.

Overall Impression — 9
Overall, Suffocation do a rousingly solid job throughout "Pinnacle Of Bedlam". Each track is hard hitting, balls-to-the-wall heavy metal, and has yet to show any weak points. The mixing quality is noteworthily great, which helps each song perfectly transition to the next and adds up to an even more enjoyable listening experience. Any death metal fan, especially established fans of the astounded group, should definitely look picking this album up, and take great pride while listening to it at full volume.

15 comments sorted by best / new / date

    0:48 in the album trailer is very Nile-y. just needs a diminished whole-tone lead after it and then "OH FORGOTTEN GODS OF ANCIENT TIMES"
    Suffocation obviously doesn't stand out in any way, which is why their first three albums and Despise the Sun haven't stood the test of time. Except they have.
    I didn't even realize there was a new Suffocation album until right now... Must hear.
    Such a great album. It really exceeded my expectations in every way.
    I love Suffocation, but somehow this album does not work for me at all. I don't know exactly why but these songs seem a bit generic and un-original
    Um, no. Just no. I like suffocation but "The test of time?" Really? The band is not even 30 years old. Argument denied.
    That's some flawless logic. I like how you ignored the fact that death metal at large is less than 30 years old.. Where's the arbitrary line you draw? If being one of the most influential and consistently recommended band doesn't mean anything, than there's nothing you can say about death metal, or any kind of modern music. No one is going to tell you the jury's still out Effigy of the Forgotten. You realize with crappy logic like that, there's really no metal bands at all that you can really call classic. Thrash, death, doom, black metal, none of them are that old, so what's the point?
    Meh, Suffo have always been one of the most overrated Death Metal bands
    Care to elaborate on what's so over rated about them?
    I find their music lifeless and boring. Overly technical riffs without anything to make them stick.
    Well that's a shame you don't enjoy them. The few times i seen them they put on a great show and were keeping up with the younger bands that opened for them.