For all their imitators over the years, this quintet remains unmatched” – ALL
MUSIC GUIDE “death metal demolitionists” – MTV.com
“One of death metal’s most often plagiarized acts.” – from the forthcoming Feral House book Choosing Death: The Improbable History of Death Metal and Grindcore (Fall, 2004)
Relapse Records is proud to bring you the new release from death metal legends SUFFOCATION, entitled Souls To Deny. SUFFOCATION, (Frank Mullen – vocals, Terrance Hobbs – guitar, Guy Marchais – guitar, Derek Boyer – bass, Mike Smith – drums) one of the most influential and emulated bands in the history of extreme music and the pioneers of the now-infamous ‘New York death metal sound’, return to the Relapse label after releasing the now classic albums Effigy Of The Forgotten (1991), Breeding The Spawn (1993), and Pierced From Within (1995) via Roadrunner Records.
In death metal history, Suffocation stands unique for fusing the technical with the percussive, brutal “older” styles of death metal as well as for being emulated more than any other band. Previous to SUFFOCATION’s formation, death metal used simple structures and repetitive, percussive beats ending in extremely recognizable resolutions to sound heavy and dark, but was often shunned by metal audiences as “too rudimentary and redundant”. Suffocation integrated the heavier styles of death metal with the muffled strumming and downstroke rhythms of speed metal while introducing far more complex rhythms, a variety of influences, and bizarre, mocking lead guitar. Suffocation’s approach was to meld the emotions of hardcore and extreme avantgarde metal into a contexture of intricate conflicting structures through absorption of both to form the ultimate in pummeling, concrete, functional rhythms.
After forming in 1990, SUFFOCATION quickly released their 3-song debut Reincremation. Within weeks of its existence came the interest of many labels who wanted to claim stake to the next SUFFOCATION album. The band chose to release it’s follow-up, Human Waste through Relapse Records in 1991. Complex and unrelentingly savage, Human Waste saw Suffocation bash out the beginnings of death metal’s most visible style, the “New York” combination of blasting grindcore beats and metallic textures. This was only but the beginning…
The now classic, Effigy of the Forgotten was released in 1991 via Roadrunner Records. Effigy… took the rhythmic relentlessness of hardcore beats, put them into speed metal structures and overlaid off-time counterpoint structures. Effigy of the Forgotten took SUFFOCATION’s intent to a new plane, taking the multiple languages of music and unifying them in an evocative, thundering chorus of death metal.
Bassist, Josh Barohn was replaced by Chris Richards for the following album, 1993’s Breeding The Spawn. Thunderously heavy and rigorously artistic, Breeding The Spawn surpassed expectations. Highly rhythmic, Suffocation’s second album built on the legacy of their first with more emphasis on the bearing weight of repeated changing / off time rhythms (see later day practitioners MESHUGGAH) and a SLAYER-derived sense of melody. The guttural vocal expansion of vocalist Frank Mullen perfectly complimented the creative lead work from Cerritos and Hobbs. After the release of Breeding…, SUFFOCATION hit the road for months on end in support of the release, bringing their jaw-dropping live performances to both their devoted legions of followers, and hordes of wide-eyed new devotees.
In 1994, drummer Mike Smith left Suffocation and was replaced by drummer Doug Bohn. This new line-up featured on the 1994 live album, Live Death.
Following the release of 1995’s Pierced From Within, SUFFOCATION embarked on successful tours of Europe, Canada, Mexico, and the United States, playing to thousands and enjoying increased album sales. After these tours, drummer Doug Bohn was replaced by former Malevolent Creation drummer Dave Culross.
In 1998, Suffocation once again hooked up with legendary producer / engineer Scott Burns for the recording of the EP, Despise the Sun. Released on micro-indie Vulture Records, Despise the Sun contained SUFFOCATION’s most accomplished material to date, the band comfortable enough in their style to develop it to a muscular prime. A savage example of pounding death metal, Despise the Sun utilized contrapuntal structures in recursive patterns to produce its effect – engaging, energetic and insightful death metal with no letup in intensity.
Despite Despise the Sun’s powerful testament to artistic process and death metal design, the EP suffered from the lack of both availability and awareness that its small issuer would provide. In September, 2000, Relapse stepped in and reissued Despise…, the increased awareness and exposure led many to believe that SUFFOCATION were ready to reclaim their rightful place atop death / extreme metal’s hierarchy that their self-imposed three year layoff had nearly compromised. But conflicts within the band forced Suffocation to disband soon after.
In early 2002, rumors of a SUFFOCATION ‘reunion’ began to surface and the death metal world was immediately abuzz with the possibility. SUFFOCATION confirmed their intentions soon afterwards and with a line-up of Mike Smith (drums), Terrance Hobbs (guitar), Guy Marchais (guitar), Frank Mullen (vocals), and Derek Boyer (bass), the band resumed writing and rehearsals and announced that they were back to stay and ready to deliver once again.
Immediately upon the announcement, SUFFOCATION headlined the sold-out 2003 installments of the New England Metal and Hardcore Festival, Maryland Deathfest and Milwaukee Metalfest(s) to a rousing response. In June, 2003, the band unveiled a brand new song entitled “Deceit”. The as-then-unsigned band’s video for “Deceit” made its world-premier on FUSE’s “Uranium” program, and, as a testament to their universally-recognized impact on the genre, SUFFOCATION was profiled on both “Uranium” and MTV2’s “Headbangers Ball” recently without the influence of label backing.
The wildly influential band entered New York’s Full Force Studios with engineer Joe Cincotta in Winter, 2003 to begin recording their first full album of new material since Pierced From Within, entitled Souls to Deny.
SUFFOCATION return with Souls to Deny, their first full length album in nearly a decade and first full length album for Relapse Records. Masterfully controlled yet frighteningly intense, Souls to Deny is a truly devastating display of technical death metal. Maniacally complex lead and rhythm guitar acrobatics intermix with dizzyingly proficient drum work, creating complex, savage riff collages. Containing the songs “Deceit”, “To Weep Once More” , “Souls to Deny”, “Surgery of Impalement”, “Demise of the Clone”, “Subconsciously Enslaved”, “Immortally Condemned” and “Tomes of Atrimony”, Souls to Deny is set for a late April, 2004 release date. Crushing brutality from the masters!!
300+ shows and countless US and European tours later ,SUFFOCATION has once again entered NY’s FullForce Studios with their fulltime live soundman and engineer Joe Cincotta to release upon the World the most matured and destructive album of their now Legendary career .The self titled 2006 release “SUFFOCATION” further propels the band to the forefront of the Death metal genre proving why Suffocation has solidly held its position as one of the most important and influential bands the Death metal genre has seen to date.
In September Suffocation along with the services of Video director Dale Resteghini completed their first video in support of the New album. The video for the song ABOMINATION REBORN will debut on MTV HEADBANGERS BALL in early October, just prior to the start of their 7 week Fall US tour with Fear Factory,Hypocrisy and Decapitated.
Most American death metal painted itself into a corner years ago, but SUFFOCATION, through musicality, inventiveness, and sheer conviction, have found a hundred little ways to push the envelope and inject personality into its reeking cadaver. “Suffocation”, the album, is a multi-dimensional death metal feast that never forgets its primary mission to beat the listener into submission. In December 2006 Suffocation made its second guest appearance on MTV2’s Headbangers Ball. Drummer Mike Smith visited with Headbangers Ball Host and Hatebreed Frontman Jamey Jasta In support of the new album and to debut the bands latest Video “ABOMINATION REBORN”.
In January 2007 Suffocation was approached and hired by the Cable Network A&E; and the History channel to be the band to represent a new A&E; show called the “Dark Ages” a show that depicts the the way of life that existed amongst the warriors of the Dark Ages, Thankfully Suffocation and the Death Metal Genre were chosen to represent the feel and intensity that existed at that time in history. The DARK AGES episode is scheduled to air in March 2007. The promo commercial that the band performed in is airing in over 700 movie theatres throughout the country as well as on the popular cable network channels VH!, MTV and MTV2. This is just one more opportunity Suffocation has been fortunate enough to be involved in on our quest to represent and help further the success of the underground Death Metal Genre.